Television - good or bad?  My parents thought TV was bad so we never owned one and I spent the first 19 years of my life not viewing a TV unless we were visiting friends or staying in a motel on holidays.  I was the only child at my school without a TV and I felt a bit left out!  I now own two, so are they ok or not?

According to an A.C. Nielsen poll, the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.

Like anything - all things in moderation - knowing when to turn it off and knowing when a programme is mindless rubbish.  Some nights when I look at what is on I wonder who is watching as it is just a complete waste of time (reality TV is a big thing at the moment which is anything but reality!).  On the plus side, TV can be very educational - I have watched a number of excellent documentaries e.g. history, art, natural science and travel that have increased my knowledge and on occasions led to me to read further on a particular topic   I also thoroughly enjoy watching cooking programmes (not the competition ones) which leads to buying cookbooks that I don’t use very much (good/bad - mmmm???).

Sadly TV has become an addiction - how many people do you know that have to rush home to watch a sports game or have to record an episode as they can’t miss it.  Families watch TV for hours  upon hours and don’t do anything else, including talking, playing games, reading, eating together.  Many of the most popular shows today focus on the worst that mankind has to offer, and evil is glorified as good.  Many of the shows are violent, the language is questionable, modesty is more than questionable, women are treated as sexual objects and most lack any Christian focus.   The latest themes for TV shows are witchcraft and vampires which are both against the Scriptures and are down-right horrible (not that I have watched more than a few moments and that was enough).

And as for the advertisement - well, that is another whole story - creating the “must have” society which is why I prefer to watch the ABC (for non Australian - the ABC is government owned and has NO ads and many of the programmes are quite good - but they do have their fair share of rubbish)

I could write a very long piece on this topic as it is easy to find evidence against the TV (especially in relation to children's viewing) however I think going back to my point on moderation, anything becomes harmful when you don’t know when to walk away (or turn it off).  However others (including my mother) would say that having a TV in the house creates a temptation (especially for children who hear what their friends are watching and want to watch it too) that makes it hard to say no and gradually you watch more and more of what is bad - and of course it starts to look less evil as you get immuned to the mindless shows.  And, most importantly, if it takes you away from God then it isn’t good at all. 

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil."
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

You might have different views and I would be interested to hear. 
What do you think of Christian movies? 


  1. You know of course that I too grew up without TV... I had one for a time when I moved out of home - and got sick of the rubbish after awhile. I've never owned one since. It's easy to obtain documentaries and true-story movies etc on DVD, so that is our preferred method of viewing anything that's worthwhile... And I'm glad we can raise the children in a house where we eat our meals together and play games and read books and use our imaginations for our family leisure time!
    I've walked into some houses and the TV is blaring in the background - even if no-one is watching it, and it just seems silly... Sometimes I think (especially in non-Christian households) that the TV provides a distraction so thoughts never go deep... because if they did, the conscience might start bothering people, and what would they fill the empty gap with? It would certainly provide a 'good' distraction from thoughts of God!!
    I think TV and movies of the world certainly cause a lot of 'callousing' in people - they tolerate more and more immorality, and can even embrace it because it seems like that's the normal thing to do...
    Regarding Christian movies... I suppose as with all TV and other movies etc, one must use both discretion, self-discipline, and moderation in order for it to not take over...
    *whew* sorry for the long ramble - you hit on one of my soap-boxes ;)

  2. I couldn't agree with you more.

    People get so wrapped up in TV that it becomes their life and they start to believe that it is life - the truth.

    Some of the shows designed for teenagers are just horrible - nasty girls fighting and being aggressive, I wouldn't waste my time watching them but kids sit for hours like sponges, soaking in this stuff.

    Imagination - I am sure kids are less imaginative when they watch too much TV.

    I thought you might like this!! I quite like long responses - it means I have picked a topic of interest.

  3. I grew up in a home where my dad watched tv every evening, all evening. I was rather resentful of the attention that he gave to it. I remember asking him many times to play games with me, or to read to me, but he would not because he was too involved in his shows.

    I've always had a tv, but do not watch it much. I tend to watch only PBS - our public broadcasting stations, which carries both American and BBC programs. I watch documentaries, Antiques Roadshow, and Masterpiece Theatre. For the most part, our tv is used to watch old movies (sci-fi for Bow Tie Man, musicals for me) and dvds of BBC shows that we can't get here in the States.

    We do not have cable tv, which many people consider to be a necessity. On the other hand, though, is getting rid of a tv accomplishing much when you can watch most of the same things on the internet or the computer?

    I do know that if we have kids someday, there will be strict tv rules, including time limits. There will also be NO tvs in the bedrooms, which can be a big problem with kids.

    I've often thought about blogging about tv as well, and asking the question of what would the people who invented tv think if they could see it today? Sure, it was a way to bring educational programming, some theatre, music, etc. to the masses. But it has turned into a garbage dump.

  4. I have both lived with and without a TV in the house. Now that I live in the UK, I (we) do NOT have a TV. For one thing, I am appalled that we have to pay the government something like £145 per year for the "privilege" of watching garbage on TV. I say the money is better spent elsewhere, like on books or charities or travel. SO, we haven't had a TV for three years. Neither of us misses it. I do agree that there are some good programs and documentaries available, but there is just too much other stuff to wade through, and you get bombarded. My sister has her TV going all the time, usually on a 24-hour news channel, and it is like being blasted with machine gun fire all day. And everything is a crisis. Without a TV, I have discovered that virtually nothing is actually a crisis that the news people tell you is one! Yes, everything in moderation, but I just feel like TV has become a real tool of the devil.

    Wow. You're a brave woman with all your controversial topics! Love reading your blog!

  5. JO: we too have done the no t.v/t.v thing. At present we do own one. I rarely watch as I loathe most of the shows. Ditz & Dearest both love their t.v. Dearest likes his sport, Ditz likes crime shows [i count it towards her science & she has learnt from me to be a pro~active watcher of crime shows & apply logic to the clues].

    The thing is though, if Christians won't be aggresive & create the sort of brilliant shows Hollywood can be so good at then Satan will fill the gap. Sad to say much Christian literature & media is simply drivel. There is no artistic merit [Tolkien, Lewis, Sayers, Chesterton are an earlier generation] so why would any non~Christian be attracted to it? My 2 cents. ☺

  6. We own a TV, but it lost it's hold over me many years ago. I can't stand most of the programs and to be honest, I don't even know what's on anymore. I mainly use it for the purpose of viewing DVD's or listening to CD's as it is plugged into stereo sound.

    We grew up in a home that had a TV, and it was always on of an evening.

  7. TV is not a priority in our house... we are too busy, lol! I grew up with very little TV and spent a lot of time outside instead. Even though I wished I could watch more when I was a kid, now, I'm glad. :)

  8. Ganeida - I like to watch Agatha Christie movies and I can never guess the killer no matter how hard I try!!

    Did I mention that I often fall asleep whilst watching TV so miss much of the story anyway:)

    Amanda - we also use our TV for watching DVDs. I like DVDs as you can turn them off when you want to and can watch as little or as much in an evening + no ads.

    Stacey - I didn't know that you still had to pay for watching TV - I thought that had gone long ago.

    Val - I am with you with what we watch - I think the BBC does a great range of programmes and I often buy the ones I like so I can watch them at my pace.

    Genny - like you, I am too busy doing other things to find the time to watch TV!

    Love all the comments ladies.



Post a Comment