Friday, February 27, 2009
I hate when I feel I have to justify myself. Because that feeling means that deep down, I know that I'm wrong.
This isn't that. This isn't a justification. This is more of an explanation.
Lately, I feel that I have been confronted by the age-old debate. Okay, it's not age-old. It's only been around since the 50s. TV or not. This conversation has been going on with my parents, my sister, some friends, some blogs, and Facebook.
Many parents feel that their homes should be television-less. Many more are going that direction.
We are not one of those families.
I feel about TV free the way I feel about vegetarianism. It's not a bad thing. It can be a really good thing. But it is not for everyone. Nor are you a less healthy person, a worse parent, or a complete drain on society if you choose to continue to watch the tube.
I did the vegetarian thing. I did the TV free thing. Both those phases of my life didn't last. And just like there are a couple meat things that I love so much that I can never go back to being a complete vegetarian (think grilled lime-cilantro chicken kabobs), there are a couple things on TV that I love too much to ever give it up (Lost, Survivor, Psych.)
Of course, moderation in all things. We don't watch an exorbitant amount of TV. Our kids pretty much only watch Saturday morning Disney cartoons (mostly so we can sleep in, just a little.) Occasionally, we watch a movie together as a family. Maybe a couple times a month. I love renting movies and watching them with a huge bowl of popcorn and a tissue. This also happens maybe a couple times a month. And there are a couple weekly shows that I just love. And refuse to give up. Refuse!
And off course sports. Sports, sports, sports. Because watching them on TV is just so much cheaper and more convenient than tickets. Not to mention local.
So yes, we are television watchers and movie lovers.
(I know that someone is saying, but what about books? Well, I always have a novel on my dresser. So does Hubster. I read to my boys every night. Both my boys love books. So we aren't exactly lacking there. But just imagine that your job is reading. Lots and lots of reading. Textbooks. Medical journals. Review articles. The LAST thing you want to do is come home after 12 hours and read some more.)
But besides the pure enjoyment factor, TV is a little more practical. What do TV less people do during elections? The Olympics? National disasters? I know that there is the computer. But computers are solitary zones, while television, by its nature is a group activity. What chances do you get to address reactions to news, talk about difficult situations that haven't come up in your childrens' lives yet.
Like it or not, we live in this world. Just a little bit of exposure is healthy. Essential.
Consider it a cultural vaccination.