Why do we watch TV? Is it the draw to live vicariously through the miraculously genius doctors on House? The lure towards the dangerous lives of FBI agents on Criminal Minds? The attraction towards something new, something we don’t have in our own lives? In Barbara Rehearing’s The Worst Years of our Lives, this Is the question she asks.
People on TV, she points out, are never seen watching TV themselves. Modern man has become a couch potato, part of a society that would rather watch a football game, faces full of junk food and soda, than actually play one, al to avoid getting sweaty, or tired, or because it’s painful.Maybe we watch TV because the people on the television are more interesting than we are. They’re definitely more active. An obesity epidemic has forced celebrity athletes and even the First Lady to speak at schools and encourage today’s youth to pursue a more active lifestyle. They recommend turning off the TV for an hour every day – one less hour in front of the tube in hopes that the child will spend one more hour in the pool, r on their bikes, or walking with friends.
But few do, not when it’s “too hot” outside and there’s a humming computer waiting In the next room. People disagree, Rehiring says, “because It is either dangerous or would Involve getting up from the couch,” and then where would we be? The passage points out that television pulls people In two directions: we’re drawn to It, to the plastic people with plastic smiles and perfect hair, drawn to their more interesting lives, doing everything that we want o but can’t.They don’t watch TV – they fly out towards their special bat-beacon and save the day.
But on the other hand, we’re lazy. We’d rather watch them save the day because it would be too much of a hassle to go about it ourselves. You’ll never see TV characters “watching [television], hour after hour” like “real people” because even we, The Coach Potatoes of America, would be bored. I find examples of this everywhere, in my own life and in others’.A friend of mine has a little brother, only nine or so, ho is fully content to Ill spread-eagled across the floor and stare at the flat-screen for hours on end, sun-up to sun-down. There are marathons to watch, episodes to catch up on, and If he misses Sponges, God help us.
Like Rehiring says, modern people “do nothing that Is ever shown on television,” because a video of a person snoring for eight hours would only serve to send us to sleep, and do nothing to up the ratings. Rehiring is right to call the world inside the black box “eerie and unnatural.It was never intended to be anything else. Barbara Rehearing’s observations are, though obvious, enough to see Just how Americans transformed into the “root vegetables” they are today. Couch Potato Syndrome may have been widespread in the sass, but it’s still going strong today. As fascinated as we are with the characters of our favorite sitcoms or cartoons, we hardly want to become them. People are content with laziness, happy enough to lie back, relax, and press a button to end up In the Amazon.
The majority of television (save for news programs and documentaries) has always been a method by which ordinary people escape their day-to-day routine, a hiatus In the slog of work and financial concerns, a thrilling or hilarious experience shared with friends, a chance to bring the family together over a dinner-time movie. Modern people, “I. E. Couch potatoes.
” aren’t necessarily happy hundreds of television sets will be switched on, and we will all be among the vegetables. “So why do we keep on watching? ” Because we’ve got nothing better to do.