Television must be the most popular pastime for human beings today. Just about everyone watches television and just about every house has a television set. Every day and night people glue their eyes on the sets watching their favourite shows. So television exerts a very large influence on us.
It is fine if we just use television as a source of entertainment or to be informed about things happening around the world. In fact, documentaries are very informative and we do learn many things from such programmes. News keep us up to date with the latest developments. Cartoons keep children entertained. There is no shortage of programmes to keep the viewers occupied.
There is nothing wrong with watching these programmes, but they must be done in moderation. Then we use television wisely and do not get attached to it. However, there is always the danger of making a habit of watching television.
A habit is something we always do and might get upset if we could not do it for some reason or other. A man who has made smoking a habit would be very upset if he is not allowed to do so. Someone who must have a cup of coffee every morning would be upset if he could not get one. Similarly, a person who makes a habit of watching television would be upset if he misses his favourite programmes. These are all symptoms of addiction, like those of a drug addict.
To be addicted or attached to television is to abuse it, that is, one feels compelled to have the television on. In other words, one becomes a kind of a slave to it and may spend hours just watching it. For example, the first thing my uncle does whenever he comes home is to switch on the television. He used to watch the television a lot but now he just switches on the set and does something else. I have on occasions switched off the set because no one was watching it only to have my uncle switch it on again almost immediately. I asked him why and he said that he just wanted the set on. it is quite ridiculous really, but I noticed he is addicted to the sound from the television. He finds it unbearable not to have the set on.
One great abuse of television is how it is used by advertisers. It is of enormous benefit to both advertisers and television station to have advertisements on television. The viewers also get to know what product is available and the advertisers get to sell their products. However, the situation on television now is such that the time allocated for advertisement is about the same as that for the actual programmes. In fact, in some popular programmes, the station spends more time screening advertisements than the actual show. This is sheer abuse. No one wants to have their programmes interrupted so often by repetitions of advertisements that become so boring after a while.
So we watch television. Finally, only we know whether we are making use of it wisely or we are abusing it. Whichever it is we reap the results of our actions.
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