TV or no TV?
1. Today there is a television set in almost every house. In some countries, you can choose between as many as forty different channels; some show only a single type of program – news, sports, music, theater or movies; most show different kinds of programs, giving the viewer a lot of choices to choose from. In one country, a recent research showed that the average person spent three and a half hours a day watching television. Housewives were the biggest group of viewers. They spent an average of about five hours a day watching TV while their husbands were out at work.
2. For families with children, a big problem is getting the children away from the television to do their homework. Then what is the effect of television on people’s lives?
3. To find out, an unusual experiment was done recently. A group of forty four families were asked not to watch TV for one month. The families were studied to see how their lives would change by not watching TV during this period.
4. Four of the families found that family life simply could not continue without TV, and they left the experiment. They said they could find no other way to spend their free time. Among those who successfully did not use television, several interesting observations were reported.
5. Some parents were glad to end the daily struggle among family members to decide what program to watch. In some families, the family went to bed earlier. Family members found other things to do, such as reading, or playing volleyball. Many families found that they had more time to talk and play among themselves without television. Dinner times were more relaxed without the pressure of TV. Children’s eyesight improved in several cases.
6. Some children found they had nothing to talk about at school. Several mothers found they had less to talk about with their young children.
7. At the end of the experiment, most of the families wanted to have a television back in their homes. But they said that in future they would watch only certain programs, and not allow their lives to be influenced by television.