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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default The role of TV in your life

    My niece is doing a project about TV and the role it has played post-war (highschool social studies). She is interviewing my mum, me, her dad (who is 11 years older than me) and then adding her own experiences.

    I was thinking about it and I believe that the role of TV has really changed from when it was first introduced, through my generation, until now when it has largely been replaced by the internet. I think there are some interesting trends to notice.

    During your growing up years/now what role does TV play in your life? Do you use it to inform, entertain, offer companionship, take your mind off problems, soothe, wind down, put you to sleep, stimulate...?

    Why do/don't you watch TV?

    What do you imagine you would do with your time if you had no TV or internet? How would it affect you?

    Do you feel that TV brought/brings you together with people or separates you from them?

    How old are you? How many TVs did you grow up with in your house compared to now? Do you have a big screen TV? About how many hours a day is it on?

    If you have children (either in the future or now), would your guidelines/time spent surrounding TV in your home be the same or different than they were when you were a kid? How much guidance/censorship do you feel is necessary with a child's TV choices?

    How do you think TV programming has changed from when you were a kid to now? What about the role it plays in people's lives and how it shapes attitudes? What changes have you seen? Do you think it has gotten better or worse?

    Answer any or all questions of interest to you or make up your own. I'm interested to know how much of my experience is unique to me.

  2. #2
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    [During your growing up years/now what role does TV play in your life? Do you use it to inform, entertain, offer companionship, take your mind off problems, soothe, wind down, put you to sleep, stimulate...?

    I don't watch much TV. When I do watch it it's mostly for entertainment and occasionally for information.

    Why do/don't you watch TV?

    I feel that there's not much good on TV. Even if there was, to me sitting in front of the TV doesn't feel very productive to me. Then again I feel like a hypocrite by saying that because I do other unproductive activities instead. I don't find reading and posting on this forum very productive but I enjoy it and do it anyway.

    What do you imagine you would do with your time if you had no TV or internet? How would it affect you?

    Having no TV wouldn't change things much because I hardly watch it anyway. No Internet on the other hand would be very difficult for me as that is a large source of entertainment and information for me. If I had to give up the Internet completely, I'd probably do alot more recreational reading. On the bright side, I'd probably take up some other hobbies and exercise more.

    Do you feel that TV brought/brings you together with people or separates you from them?

    More separating as people will talk about TV shows that I've never seen or sometimes never even heard of. It can bring people together if we have seen the same show and both are interested in discussing but for me that rarely happens.


    How old are you? How many TVs did you grow up with in your house compared to now? Do you have a big screen TV? About how many hours a day is it on?

    32. Grew up with anywhere from 2-4 TVs in the house. Right now, I have just 1 TV, medium size. I have it on maybe a couple of hours a week at the most.

    If you have children (either in the future or now), would your guidelines/time spent surrounding TV in your home be the same or different than they were when you were a kid? How much guidance/censorship do you feel is necessary with a child's TV choices?

    I don't believe in much censorship but I would try to steer my kids towards age appropriate programs. If there was something they really wanted to see that was beyond their age range I might insist they watch it with me depending on what it was but I don't want to totally deny them the opportunity.

    I wouldn't want my kids in front of the TV all the time. I wouldn't have strict time limits but I'd encourage them to do a variety of activities so they are not obsessed with the TV all the time. If TV started to interfere with their getting homework or chores done, then I'd set limits.

    How do you think TV programming has changed from when you were a kid to now? What about the role it plays in people's lives and how it shapes attitudes? What changes have you seen? Do you think it has gotten better or worse?

    More reality TV now. Also much of TV programs are now available online through sites like Hulu.com. More choices overall but I think the overall quality of programming has gotten worse. Also Which is not to say all TV is trash, there is still some good stuff out there.

    It seems like the more choices people have on TV the less satisfied they are. Is it due to lower quality programming? Or something else? It seemed like back in the days when TV started there would be like 3 channels only and people were more satisfied with whatever was on.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I gave TV up in 2008. My partner and I had no reason for it. We were gone all day, most of the night, went out with friends quite a bit, and when we did have time to sit around and think, we did it with the internet. It was a useless expense so we decided to cut it. We still rent movies and watch alot of stuff online. I do miss cable at times. About once every 2-3 months I will go over to my parents house (TV addicts) and lounge on their couch and watch really stupid shit, like Bridezilla, The 'Real World' Las Vegas, and oh yes.. that new Tori Spelling series thats out. Its feels great! Zoning out like a vegetable, saturating myself with worthless, superficial stimuli, its almost therapuetic! But I am happy not having it, and seem to appreciate it alot more.

    On the other hand, I spend WAY too much time online. It's rather addictive. I'd be curious to see what is actually MORE addictive, TV or internet. I can go without TV (and do) but internet? Eh, it would sting. I also think it would be really HEALTHY for me to cut internet out for brief periods. I have no doubt that if I had no TV or Internet, my yard would be meticulous, along with my house, and I'd probably interact with my friends and family more. Actually, I've set some goals to do this.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  4. #4
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    During your growing up years/now what role does TV play in your life? Do you use it to inform, entertain, offer companionship, take your mind off problems, soothe, wind down, put you to sleep, stimulate...?

    I was not allowed to watch TV as a child, unless it was the History Channel/Discovery channel documentaries. I remember being in elementary school, and while we were waiting for the bus the teacher would turn on the TV. Power Rangers was always on. I, to this day, have an undying love for Power Rangers because it was the only TV show I saw.

    Now I have 1 or 2 TV shows that I watch online for entertainment. I watch Survivor religiously. I don't actually own a TV.

    Why do/don't you watch TV?
    I prefer interactive entertainment, such as videogames over TV.

    What do you imagine you would do with your time if you had no TV or internet? How would it affect you?
    I try to spend a lot of time playing my guitar/piano and drawing. I find myself neglecting it for my computer. If I had no internet, I would certainly draw and play more.

    Do you feel that TV brought/brings you together with people or separates you from them?
    I don't feel that it has any impact on my relationships with people.

    How old are you? How many TVs did you grow up with in your house compared to now? Do you have a big screen TV? About how many hours a day is it on?
    I'm 23. In my home we had 2 TVs. In my apartment I have zero.

    If you have children (either in the future or now), would your guidelines/time spent surrounding TV in your home be the same or different than they were when you were a kid? How much guidance/censorship do you feel is necessary with a child's TV choices?

    N/A

    How do you think TV programming has changed from when you were a kid to now? What about the role it plays in people's lives and how it shapes attitudes? What changes have you seen? Do you think it has gotten better or worse?

    Well, I think all of the documentaries I watched made it very clear to me what subjects I was interested in, and what I was not at all interested in. I have a very clear idea of what subject I wanted to pursue as early as elementary school.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  5. #5
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    the only role my TV serves is something I can stack shit on.

  6. #6
    The Duchess of Oddity Queen Kat's Avatar
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    I don't watch a lot of TV, around 15 minutes a day (there's only one program I watch regularly, "PowNews"). In the old days I used to watch TV for 3-5 hours a day every day, I can't imagine myself doing that anymore.
    I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower. The TV was obviously on. I used to fly myself and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
    - George W. Bush -


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  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I like fiction and storytelling. Written, television, or otherwise. So, to answer the question, I see television as entertainment.

    Documentaries come in second. Granted, there's a lot of depth missing that you'll find in books, but some subjects, like astronomy, benefit from visual aids.

    Sorry if I'm not going down your list and answering each question. I don't know how to answer some of them.

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    My niece is doing a project about TV and the role it has played post-war (highschool social studies). She is interviewing my mum, me, her dad (who is 11 years older than me) and then adding her own experiences.
    COOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I was thinking about it and I believe that the role of TV has really changed from when it was first introduced, through my generation, until now when it has largely been replaced by the internet. I think there are some interesting trends to notice.
    Agreed on both counts...

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    During your growing up years/now what role does TV play in your life? Do you use it to inform, entertain, offer companionship, take your mind off problems, soothe, wind down, put you to sleep, stimulate...?
    MY COGNITIVE YEARS I WAS A U.S. ARMY DEPENDENT, LIVING IN GERMANY, SO I ONLY HAD ACCCESS TO 1 TV CHANNEL (that was in English) "AFN", or "The Armed Forces Network."
    SO - the stuff I saw was kind of dated, as in a decade or more since it was "new material."
    When I was a kid I watched cartoons.
    Then I watched re-runs of old shows (Leave it To Beaver, Gilligan's Island, The Andy Griffith Show, Etc...).

    WE MOVED BACK TO AMERICA in 1983
    Then I watched MTV because I loved music.
    Then, a few years later I bought a guitar and a skateboard, and started a band, and commited a few acts of vandalism, and TV was no longer useful to me, I was hooked on real life.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Why do/don't you watch TV?
    BORING! Reality TV sucks. I am too busy. I have a full time job, wife, 2 kids, and am in graduate school, and all my free time goes to working out or keeping up the house/maintaining my garden, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What do you imagine you would do with your time if you had no TV or internet? How would it affect you?
    Not much at all really, except for Gmail and this site.
    I don't use YouTube or Facebook much at all.
    I'm just too busy, and I can't sit still very well.
    I'm serious. I NEVER WATCH VIDEOS because I get restless and think "I have too much shit to do than watch this stupid 6 minute video."
    BUT - that is probably why I am productive as I am.
    I do have a NetFlixx subscription, and my wife and I watch movies or series like "Dexter" or "True Blood" for short periods of in-home chill time when we need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you feel that TV brought/brings you together with people or separates you from them?
    Separates, isolates, unless you are watching it in a group with a bunch of others, but then again, all of you would be sitting on your asses doing nothing, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    How old are you?
    I am 37.4, and getting better looking by the minute.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    How many TVs did you grow up with in your house compared to now?
    Growing up 3-4 TV's. biggest was 27"
    NOW = 1 TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you have a big screen TV?
    Yup. 50" Plasma. When I buy anything, I get the most pimped out model I can afford...and sometimes more than I can afford, and then hustle to make up the extra cash.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    About how many hours a day is it on?
    For me, Zero to 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    If you have children (either in the future or now), would your guidelines/time spent surrounding TV in your home be the same or different than they were when you were a kid?
    For my kids, no more than 2 hours per day, usually less.
    They like the Internet bettter anyway.
    Both my kids have laptops, they are 6 and 9 years old, I am training them to be "Little Halla's."

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    How much guidance/censorship do you feel is necessary with a child's TV choices?
    ALOT.
    My wife and I are VERY particular about what we let our kids watch.
    There is no trashy, soap opera, ghetto MTV, or other low class bullshit allowed on my set.
    Hell. No.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    How do you think TV programming has changed from when you were a kid to now?
    It has gone to hell in a handbasket.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What about the role it plays in people's lives and how it shapes attitudes?
    It has lessened, but it is till a very popular medium of communication to society at large, just not to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    What changes have you seen?
    Bad ones!
    Reality TV = HELL

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you think it has gotten better or worse?
    Definitely worse.
    BUT - networks like "Discovery" and what not are great.
    I just don't have cable or Satellite.
    I have a DSL connection, and it plugs into my Plasma TV via a hard wired Ethernet port from my router, and I can access NetFlixx via the DSL connection, OR watch DVDs/BlueRay Discs...

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Answer any or all questions of interest to you or make up your own. I'm interested to know how much of my experience is unique to me.
    See above!
    Nice to hear from you, Fidelia!

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  9. #9
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Why do/don't you watch TV?

    For video I almost entirely watch DVDs, stream video, or download. Is that the same as watching TV? In anycase, it's almost entirely for entertainment.

    What do you imagine you would do with your time if you had no TV or internet? How would it affect you?

    Oh, I'd find different diversions. I'd read more, I'd probably bake more and tinker more.

    Do you feel that TV brought/brings you together with people or separates you from them?

    It brings us together. It's something to talk about, another thing to do together.

    How old are you? How many TVs did you grow up with in your house compared to now? Do you have a big screen TV? About how many hours a day is it on?

    32. Had 3 tvs in my house growing up. Back when I had a nuclear family, I had 2 tvs for the whole family.

    If you have children (either in the future or now), would your guidelines/time spent surrounding TV in your home be the same or different than they were when you were a kid? How much guidance/censorship do you feel is necessary with a child's TV choices?

    The guidelines are not defined very hard. They need to take care of all the other things they should be doing, school work, chores, Boy Scouts, 4H, etc. For the most part, they have personal things they want to do as much as watching TV. All of their programming is all from downloads and DVDs, so they watch things by choice, not by what happens to be on. That also gives us more control over what they're seeing. I am very much for parental guidance in what my kids are watching, but that being said I tend to be a bit lax when it comes to violence and some sexual content depending on the general 'merit' of the programming: If it makes you think, what kind of contexts are violence being presented, etc.

    How do you think TV programming has changed from when you were a kid to now? What about the role it plays in people's lives and how it shapes attitudes? What changes have you seen? Do you think it has gotten better or worse?

    There are a lot of better things on TV compared to when I was a kid: quality of writing, acting, educational, etc. And theres even more dreck. There's just a lot MORE. If you can pick and choose like I do, you only watch the good stuff.

    Back in the 'old' days, TV was more of common ground for everyone. Everbody was watching a lot of the same content. It had a lot of influence on what people's attitudes should be and where their attention was focused. Now, there's so much content that people seek out to find what matters to them, the message the media sends isn't near as strong of influential.

    Overall I think it's a good development.

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