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Old 03-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Richard the Lionheart View Post
Absolutely it's a problem, especially if they are watching it eight hours a day. While some programming obviously is better than others, and some National Geographic in extreme moderation may even be enlightening, it would be better if my kids were reading a book (a much more active form of education, rather than sitting and having information thrown at you while your brain is on flat-line), or even playing outside. I'd much rather my kid was outside learning about bugs and trees and flowers first-hand, where he can develop a real love and passion for those things, and hell, maybe even join a club or society like the Boy Scouts where he can learn about those things further (organizations like those are all on the decline because of television and "home entertainment"). Aside from the fact that we are creating isolated people who can't think for themselves, we are making a much less sociable and more dreary world in the process.

Then again, I don't have kids, so who am I? I'm sure its very tempting to just set them in front of the tube and let Elmo babysit them.
I agree with your general point here, but I still see a huge problem with your argument.

I know this may be the exception, but what if a kid reads 2 hours a day, joins clubs, plays outside, AND enjoys a half hour of cartoons (or whatever) a day?

Yes - TV, internet and video games have taken the place of more valuable activities. But that's not to say there is no value in those things.

For instance, there are millions of bugs that are much more effectively presented on TV or the internet than any book could begin to present.

I get what you're saying, and I probably still agree with you at the end of the day that the government can't really do anything about this, but more and more arguments like this are starting to sound like "If my kid wants to eat nothing but cookies all day why shouldn't he have the right to?" We're obsessed with this notion of rights, which is good in a way, but in obsessing over them we are neglecting all sense of duty and responsibility. And if you're going to say that my analogy is weak because it deals with children, I would answer by saying that I trust the judgment of the average child MUCH more than any adult who wants to watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County".
Who knows why someone is watching any show? Yeah, "The Real Hosewives of Orange County" is a joke. There is no real value in the show. But if someone gets a good laugh from watching it, where's the harm?

I agree with your point about the obsession with "rights." But that's not really the point I'm making. I'm saying that different people find different value in different things. A show might be a gross representation of the materialistic nature of American society to you, but to someone else it might be a way to forget about their troubles and giggle for a half hour.
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