Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Why We Like TV So Much
When thinking about television, I started to ask myself, "what do I enjoy about TV programs so much that I spend mass amounts of time either watching them on broadcast television or spend money on DVD box sets of shows of TV's past?"
I believe that one of the reasons is escapism, much like many other forms of entertainment. People relax after a long day of work or school by putting aside the responsibilities of life and not thinking about the real issues that plague us in reality. It's voyeurism at it's best: we can follow along a journey, travel to undiscovered places in the world, fight evil, have sex with good looking people and not have to worry about paying bills or getting a job done. The viewer can live vicariously through the characters without any mental or physical danger.
It is also the place where the improbable can be possible. Having mystical powers or being a secret agent even though your just housewife holding a family together. This allows the viewer to go from feeling ordinary to extraordinary. Apparently the lives of millions of people are unsatisfying and lacking of excitement, we much get it from fake images of people who do not exist in situations that are highly unlikely.
The question is: is this a bad thing or a good thing?
My answer would be both; it all depends on the individual. The amount in which an individual is participating in using television programs as an outlet and to the extent in which is affects the reality of that people. I love the TV show Seinfeld, but I do not try to get myself into similar situations to make a parallel from TV to reality. There are people who do cross these boundaries however, most of which have mental illnesses that are aggravated by obsession.
But who doesn't enjoy stepping outside of their selves once and while? The important part is though is remembering to step back in.