The Only Time a Writer Will Tell You to Watch Some Damn TV


Until recently, every time someone proudly told me they “don’t watch TV” or “don’t watch much TV”, my knee-jerk reaction was to congratulate them. As if to endorse their choice.

It makes sense, of course. The notion that TV and film — visual media and narrative — are somehow “less worthy” than written literature, for instance, is something that my culture constantly reinforces. We are told TV makes us dumb and intellectually lazy. It’s called the “boob tube” after all, and countless scholars and cultural critics have weighted in informing us of the inherent dangers of too much TV and media.

But lately when someone tells me they don’t watch TV, I’ve been more of a mind to ask them: “Why not?” and to confront them with the fact that not watching TV doesn’t make them better, or their choices more informed, or superior. In fact, it makes them ignorant.

I will go on a brief tangent to help reinforce my point.