Thursday, April 29, 2010
To TV or Not TV: That is the Question
Thousands of violent acts. Beer commercials highlighting burping, beer-bellied men, bad pickup lines (is there a GOOD pickup line?). Shows that spotlight dysfunctional people, dysfunctional situations...a dysfunctional world. A glance at today's TV Guide leaves me asking a question you've surely considered: TV or Not TV?
Television land has come a long way from my childhood memories of Leave it to Beaver , where Ward plants a kiss on the cheek of an aproned, coiffed June while the Beave and Wally tussle in their upstairs bedroom. So safe. So average. So good ole Americana values a la 1950 and 1960s. But were those values really indicative of American society or just window-dressing on the very middle-class, very suburbia, two-story house at 211 Pine Street, Mayfield, Ohio?
What's a Christian striving to follow the tenets of John 17:6-25 (believers in the world but not of the world) to do?
1. Ponder TV usage statistics and your personal schedule. http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html, reports that Americans spend an average of four hours a day glued to their TV sets. 99% of us own a television set; 66% of our households possess THREE. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that watching TV occupies the top slot in Americans' leisure activities. Second top activity? Visits with friends!
The Lacy household uses TV as a backdrop to exercise time when weather quashes outside activity. The spokes on that stationery bike sure whirr faster when a gritty Law & Order episode works my brain cells and pulls attention from my achy muscles.
2. When we accept Christ, we have a Wise Counselor available 24/7! Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on the niggling issues of "Does this activity glorify Christ, further His kingdom work, provide rest for my soul? If show scenes start a gut-churn, I need to listen. And punch the remote to "off."
3. Analyze potential programs for life or work application. TV CAN teach about moral premise, conflict resolution, and educate on topics as diverse as saving the biosphere to recovering your old sofa.
To TV or not TV: that is the question. What is your answer?
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