What are the advantages and disadvantages of television?

Since the invention of television and especially since it has become so affordable, we have been able to bring a lot of the world into our homes. If looked at closely, we will realise that it has made it unnecessary for us to go out for any entertainment. There are many advantages and disadvantages of television. Firstly it provides ready and cheap entertainment for everyone, it is also a means by which we can learn a lot about the world without leaving our homes. Its disadvantages are that it takes away from us the need to think and also, it keeps us from other pleasures in life.

As a medium of entertainment, the television is unbeatable. It provides a variety of programmes for all sorts of entertainment. There are movies, documentaries, sports, drama and so on. Whereas, once we needed to go about to be entertainment and jostle with crowds to see movies, now we can see them at home. We can see faraway places and see things that we would not otherwise be able to see. How can we see whales at play if not for television? It is a human need to be entertained; otherwise, our lives would be dull indeed. If not for television, we will not be so well entertained.

The documentaries on television go a long way to provide us with education in a systematic and entertaining manner. Programmes also provide news on what is happening all over the world. We also learn to speak in good language from television, provided of course we watch programmes which are in good language. Television can supplement reading to assist in educating us. The variety of documentaries and news programmes can greatly enrich our lives. 

On the other hand, the most serious disadvantage of television is that it is a passive way of spending time. All that we do is sit in front of it and hours will disappear before we know it. There is no requirement to think when we watch television. This can create in us a laziness to think and to avoid engaging in activities which require thinking. It will be disastrous for human beings to cease thinking. It is true that the mind, if not stimulated, can become flabby like a body which is not exercised. Television can certainly be a cause of this.

Another disadvantage is, television can become an addiction. There are people who live their lives around television. Some watch hours and hours of programmes and avoid doing anything else. Surely there are activities other than television in this beautiful world. It is strange that people can prefer to watch football on television rather than play the game themselves. Television also keeps people from socialising. It is common for people to put away social activities because of their favourite programmes on television.

Like everything else in life, we always have choices. If we realise the advantages of television and make use of them, but also realise the advantages and overcome them, we will realise that television has excellent uses. It is naturally in our power to be in charge of the situation and not let television run our lives.