The Day the TV Broke
by Steve Goodier
Tracy Smith quipped, "I wanted to make it really special on
Valentine's Day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid
hours I watched whatever I wanted on TV." Of course we laugh, but
do you know that one of the major sources of friction identified
by couples is conflict over which television channels to watch?
For years now, watching television has become our universal
pastime. We wake up to TV, hurry home so as not to miss our
special programs, eat meals around the set and go to bed after
our favorite nightly news or comedy show. Television is the
babysitter of choice of countless households.
Not that television is bad. Like other forms of communication,
including radio and the Internet, it can be both helpful and
harmful -- depending on how it is used. And how often. It has
been estimated that average Americans will spend eight years of
their lives watching television. Laurence J. Peter sums up one of
the greatest problems of excessive TV viewing among children:
"Television," he says, "has changed a child from an irresistible
force to an immovable object."
Katherine Coroso Jackson, mother of pop star Michael Jackson,
explained this about her son: "It all really started when Michael
was three or four years old. The TV broke and the kids started
dancing and singing to entertain themselves. I convinced their
father they were good, and after he listened to them, he agreed
with me." The TV broke and, well, you know the rest of the story.
If your TV broke, what might get fixed? Or, put another way, if
you turned your television OFF today, what might get turned ON?
An interest in a project you've wanted to begin? An new way of
relating to those you live with? Community or public service? New
friendships or adventures?
The Jackson children changed from immovable objects to an
irresistible force the day their TV broke. WHAT might get turned
on in you the day your TV is turned off? Want to find out?
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