Television, man’s best friend?

Photo by Tiara Winata

Television is gripping the nation. It is everywhere, it plays to every possible audience demographic and it covers every subject you can think of. We watch television about zombies, television about early-20th-century British aristocratic families and, as the Golden Globes have recently proved, sometimes we just watch television about television.

As a complete television addict, I can attest to the fact that the tube can take over your life if you let it. I have had two LOST marathons in the past year alone. There is just nothing sweeter than discovering a new show, meeting the new characters, immersing yourself in the plotlines and twists and before you know it, it’s 5 o’clock in the morning and you’ve finished the first three seasons. But every time this happens, though it can be so much fun, I know in the back of my mind that man was not put on this earth to sit in front of a screen. There are so many things that I cannot experience because I choose to experience television, and with the start of another back-breaking semester here at Tech, time has become something that I cannot afford to waste. So I have had to ask myself a question. How big of a role should television play in life?

Of course, when I say television, I don’t mean the news, the weather or anything that might actually be useful to my life. No, I’m talking about comedies and dramas, action heroes and clowns. But is my undying campaign of hatred against Joffrey Baratheon really worth all the time I put into it (Yes.)? What about my respect for Ron Swanson’s opinion of vegetarian bacon? I suppose the honest answer would be that no, television-based entertainment should not take precedence over schoolwork or life in general, and I should therefore cut all ties with the tube right here and now. But what a boring world that would be! If we consider education and success in life to be the ultimate goal, completely predominant over entertainment, then we may as well just hand our brains over to the robots now and save ourselves a war. Of course, I wouldn’t be anywhere near this university if I didn’t value education above all else, but sometimes it can be a good thing to sit back and give the gears a break. And say what you want about television, but in my experience it has proven itself time and again to be one of the best ways to escape the problems of this world, take a step back and catch my breath.

Overall, I wholeheartedly agree that television is a complete waste of time. On paper, it is clear that every second I spend in front of a screen is a second that I could spend building bridges, flying to Mars or simply bettering mankind. But nothing is ever so black and white. I am human, and our species’ ability to waste time is what separates us from the animals. Maybe television makes me a more cultured, knowledgeable individual, or maybe it gives me a better perspective on what is really important in life. But one thing is for sure: it helps. And so it stays.