06 July 2019

In Defense of TV in the Age of Streaming

By // TV

A lot of people blame television for society’s evils, including consumerism, misinformation, and violence. However, depending on how you use it, TV shows can be a great resource for both adults and children alike.

Here are some of the top reasons why watching TV is still a great option, compared to other alternatives such as DVDs:

Bonding Time With Family And Friends

One of the best things about live TV is that there is a specified schedule for each show. If there is a specific show that you and your loved ones all enjoy, it presents the perfect opportunity to gather and spend some quality time together. By checking out what time the show will air on OnTVTonight, they can fix their schedules earlier so that they can make it to your couch on time.

Watching a specific TV show can also help improve your family interactions. It is very likely that everyone in your family is busy with their own daily routines. However, watching TV with your children can be an invaluable experience. By setting aside a specific time every week to watch a beloved TV show with your loved ones, you can have an invaluable experience that everyone can treasure for the rest of their lives.

Expand Your Interests

Channel surfing allows you to learn about new shows, new places, and people who you might have otherwise never encountered if you stayed in your own tidy, little world of binging Gilmore Girls on Netflix for the 11th time. Here are some great examples of how TV can help you learn more about the world:

  • There are travel shows that allow you to gallivant around the world vicariously. These shows expose you to a variety of people, cultures, and ideas.
  • News, current events, and history shows provide you with a broader understanding of the world you live in.
  • Drama series, documentaries, and other TV shows offer an opportunity to learn about multicultural characters and cater to your need for novelty.

Educational Benefits

TV shows are also a great tool for learning, both at home and in the classroom. Children can benefit from shows that offer educational content about an endless range of topics—from science, history, sports, health, to geography. With the guiding hand of a smart teacher or parent to determine which show is most relevant to a child, watching TV offers a learning experience that can’t be beat.

Here are some ways for you to capitalize on the educational value of television:

  • Because of TV’s powerful visual effect, you can ensure that a child retains more information from the shows that they watch.
  • You can also pick certain TV shows to encourage your children to read more. For instance, you can follow up on their interest in Seuss’s Lorax by getting them books on the same topic, or other books that are also adapted for television programming.
  • There are many children’s shows that encourage interactive viewing. While watching these shows with your child, you can talk about important social issues or help them understand why a character’s action is good or bad.

Social Value

Educational TV shows can help in developing a child’s socialization and learning skills. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, watching TV can help people feel less lonely. This phenomenon is referred to as social surrogacy, because TV acts as a temporary replacement for absent family members or friends.

Watching TV with strangers can also make you feel like you’re part of a shared subculture. For instance, if you find yourself in a social situation where you are surrounded by people with whom you have nothing in common, talking about televised sporting events or popular shows can help break the ice.

Live TV viewing offers emotional, social, and educational benefits that streaming just doesn’t have. We all binged Orange is the New Black at different times, looked around, and realized there wasn’t anyone else who had just finished that very minute and desperately needed to talk about it. But that Game of Thrones finale? We all watched it at the same time, on good old fashioned televisions. Which was important, because at the end of Game of Thrones we really needed someone to talk to.


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