5.b.6 – It is important to manage the television?

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July 6, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

It is important to manage the television?

Television is a tool for communication and entertainment extremely powerful and versatile; like all the instruments it can be used well or badly. The television movies are a miracle of technology: thanks to them we can see and hear people and things distant in time and space as if they were in our house. This tool can be used to make a show or to materialize fantasies and stories like at the cinema. However, when one tells a story, like it or not, it is culture; this is the main function of the stories and, for whatever reason the stories are narrated, our brain perceives them as examples, as possible models of behavior to be imitated when necessary. Another way to do culture with the television is to transmit the speeches of someone expressing his views: we know in fact that it is through such discourses that culture spreads among friends at the bar, during a break from work and the like, then television is inserted in the natural circuit of cultural diffusion and does it in the privacy of our home.
If therefore we must be attentive to the culture that we receive from friends, family and various acquaintances, it seems logical to do the same with television, but in this case some particular requirements are needed, due to the fact that anyone who speaks to us through television is not a friend of ours, is always in our house, but it is not a family member, is a perfect stranger who is working, but not for us and sometimes against us, as in the case of advertising, political propaganda, etc. ..
Who among us would entrust his children to a passing stranger? Nobody will answer yes to this question, but the truth is that we do it all, because when we leave them in front of the TV, we are doing just that, even if only by an educational point of view. A misguided use of television is not only a danger to children but for adults as well: to follow a soap opera, the variety shows, films or TV series, involves a considerable loss of time that is subtracted to public relations, to the spouse and again to the education of children. In the families we are talking less and less, time is increasingly scarce and the little that remains is dedicated to the TV; this phenomenon leads to social isolation even within our families, already in crisis.
Television has undoubtedly a great charm, and this leads us to devote excessive time to it, further of being very suggestible and susceptible to its messages: have you ever noticed that those who speak on television appear automatically more authoritative and reliable than the average of people? This is even if this person has spoken like a perfect idiot; all this means that we are much more vulnerable to adverse conditioning in front of the television rather than with our friends.
The previous considerations invite us to a more moderate use of television, which responsible use should be determined by adults, but how? What does a responsible use mean? We said that each instrument can be used well or badly: which is therefore a positive use of television? Certainly if we watch is not to harm us, there must be a reason to do so. Once there was, in fact: the TV was a window on the world able to broaden the horizons of the individual like no other ever did before, its potential and its benefits seemed unlimited. Today things have changed, it has become the main vehicle of misinformation and poor education, has lost all or most of its positive features. So why we still watch it? Habit, tradition, ignorance and fear of regressing to the days when it was not there.
It should also be noted that it is not logical to forego the benefits that television could bring to the community and this means that in addition to managing the timing, we should control the quality of its programs, but today we are not quite able to do so. Each of us can choose to watch less television, it is an individual problem, but to check its quality is a collective problem like it is the management of any instrument of cultural diffusion: newspapers, magazines, schools, universities; again the need of some form of organization appears. The modern instruments are very different from the direct talking with close friends or relatives and to manage them in a democratic way we need to change a little our strategies.

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