My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Set for Life

Sideline from the Irish Independent, 17/11/2007

Did it really come as that much of a shock to us this week when Barnardo’s reported that one-third of five to nine year olds had a TV set in their bedrooms? Television sets are to modern Irish homes what Sacred Heart paintings and JFK shrines were to the dwellings of yesteryear: ubiquitous must-haves (that can also be quite creepy).

The TV in the bedroom debate normally gets aired in a more adult context, when some sexpert adorns newspaper and magazine feature pages warning about how the presence of the goggle box can put paid to a healthy sex life. But, as Helen Lovejoy would cry in The Simpsons, won’t somebody please think of the children?

I love TV as much as the next person, but even I have my limits. Nothing irks me more than when I’m watching MTV’s Cribs or one of its carbon copies, and you see some smug, empty-headed celebrity showing off their TV sets in their wardrobes, bathrooms and even their showers.

Heaven forbid they actually take a few minutes to themselves and their own thoughts (for want of a better word) without the incessant blaring of the tube! Is there such a thing anymore as some quiet time in TV-less solitude? Or should I just give up now, sell my brain on eBay, connect a USB from my head to the telly and just let it do all the work from now on?

Making kids comfortable with and proficient in technology from an early age can only be a good thing. And I’m not saying children should not be allowed watch TV. I doubt I’d be the functional, well-adjusted adult I am today (be nice) without some of the classic TV shows from my youth.

But there has to be a line in the sand, and I think TVs in the bedroom should be it. Leaving aside the fact that it makes kids giddy at a time when they should be winding down, it robs them of what is possibly the only time they have in their day to freely delve into their own heads without interruption from any external forces like parents, teachers and technology.

Someone once said that television is called a medium because it’s neither rare nor well done. You can’t control the quality of viewing, but you can control the quantity. Why not pull the plug in your Crib?

No comments: