This guide outlines why watching TV does not have to be all downsides, and the benefits you can get by watching TV mindfully.
With the number of streaming services available, the huge budgets, and the general improvement in the quality of content available, you might find yourself watching more television than ever. You might scroll through Netflix looking for a nine-hour reality-tv series and wondering, “Is all this watching TV good for me?”
Having a good binge-watch feels good, but as the credits roll on the last episode, you might feel some regret. Sometimes you may have been discouraged from watching TV, but is it really bad? Well, as with most things in life, it’s about balance.
Benefits from watching TV
Here are some reasons you don’t need to feel bad about reaching for the remote and how to make your TV work for you.
Raising the experience
Some shows can make us feel a part of the action and less lonely. Certain shows are just perfect for watching with friends, and all the reaction and watch-along videos on YouTube exemplify this feeling. Some shows bring feelings of nostalgia as we remember watching them with friends or family.
TV has the power to bring people together and particularly with reality TV or sports, to root for a common goal. Season finales are great because you get the build-up and how everyone comes together to find out what will happen.
We can enhance this feeling with a wager, and now you can place a bet on just about any reality-TV outcome. You may be familiar with Dancing in the Stars. However, did you know it’s based on a UK show known as Strictly Come Dancing? In the UK, many people are checking the Strictly Come Dancing odds to win, and making a bet to show support to their favorites, and if they do, it usually heightens the experience.
If you decide to put some money on the result, make sure you conduct some research. People in the UK watch Strictly Come Dancing, stick around to watch the companion show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, and check any Strictly Come Dancing tips before putting money on the line.
Have you ever watched a TV program and thought “I’d like to do that?” Well, many people actually do. TV can be a force to inspire you to try new things, visit unfamiliar locations or connect with different people. This is significantly relevant for hobbies or home renovations but it could be more impactful as people consider changing their occupation or starting a business based on what they’ve seen others successfully achieve.
TV could also inspire you to educate yourself. We can use TV as a learning tool in a wide variety of different contexts for many years now. The sheer range of channels available now means you can find an expert on almost any subject with their own production, created to entertain and educate. Science, nature, and history feature prominently, but there really is something for everyone.
Your favorite TV program might also inspire you to join a fandom and engage with others on a host of different platforms. Join a Twitter group to discuss a plot twist, enter a Facebook group to speculate on a character’s motivation, or find like-minded people on Reddit that disagree with a judgment on a reality-TV show. People gather in fandoms to discuss everything and fandom is changing television. If you are passionate about a show, you can extend your enjoyment of that production by joining a fandom and connecting with others that feel just as intensely as you do.
Sitting at home watching your favorite TV program or reading a book are undoubtedly two of the cheapest forms of entertainment and so engaging in these activities more often should add some pennies to your piggy bank.
If you have several subscription services for either TV/movies or books, it can become a burden, so make sure you use each periodically so that your money isn’t going to waste and cancel anything you’re not using regularly.
It might be surprising to many but, TV can act as stimulation and rouse you to read more books. Although people were disappointed by the finale of Game of Thrones, it inspired many people to read the novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin because of the show. The same thing happened with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It’s not always the case, but if you enjoyed the show, there’s a very good chance you’ll find material it’s based on engaging and an enjoyable read.
Generally, people recommend reading the book before watching the series or movie, but if you’ve already watched the show, it shouldn’t be a barrier to finding pleasure in the book.
Summary: benefits of watching TV
- It can be educational. Televisions, if you know what to watch and which programs to watch, can be educational for people of all ages. Educational programs increase knowledge and make us more aware of the world around us.
- We stay informed and up to date on what happens in the world.
- There are channels that help improve you, such as cooking channels that teach recipes, channels that teach things like do it yourself, etc. Television can help people learn new things.
- There are programs that can motivate people to pursue dreams.
- Hearing voices in the background helps people feel less alone.
- Television can help expand the mind and discover new things, such as watching documentaries. You can learn and see things that you would otherwise never find in your own life.
- Television makes people feel part of a social group, provides conversation topics and you can watch programs of common interest that make you feel more connected to other people, such as the Olympics.
- TV shows make memories shared from childhood when the programs that were watched are remembered.
- It can have health benefits: exercise while watching television, enjoying the landscapes and nature when you can’t leave home, etc.
- This encourages creativity. For those who like stories, television is a great way to feed this side.
- It’s a source of entertainment. Television entertains people of any age. With so many channels to choose from, with internet on televisions … they have become an on-demand entertainment.
- It’s an employment powerhouse. The world of television employs millions of people directly or indirectly.
Watching TV is a ubiquitous form of entertainment and is better than ever. So, don’t feel bad about the time you spend transfixed by the screen and just make sure your habit of watching TV is working for you.