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You and the all-pervasive television set

The period was the late-19th and early-20th century. A bunch of brainy scientists came up with an exceptional and promising device that could transmit transient images of fixed or moving objects along with accompanying sound.

An evolved and refined version of that device is the modern-day television. It is so ubiquitous today that even the most dilapidated houses that are barely held up by wimpy walls and rusty tents sport those flashy dish antennae on the roof top, and have TVs that are no less advanced than LCD sets.

Television has completely changed our lives, at least that of the average person. It is hard to even imagine our living rooms today without TV.

Consider this experience. I had to stay in a house for three days without TV. My doctor sister’s house doesn’t have one. It was very rare indeed! She practises medicine in Bengaluru.

All the relatives had gathered there for three days. They were in Bengaluru to shop for an upcoming family marriage function and were in the house because of its proximity to the commercial areas of the city. They would go shopping all day, and the nights were marked by long hours of chitchat and all sorts of fun. Each one of us witnessed different hues and aspects persona of one another. Indeed we got closer to one another over those days.

Every moment of it felt so very special, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than this for my ultimate vacation fantasy.

Some days later, back in our own TV-equipped house, I wondered why those three days were so special and why those different hues and colours of our relatives were not easily recognisable over here. Also, I recalled having the same special feelings together with them during power cuts in our homes. Thus I found my answer in the presence or absence of a television set.

I would not ever want to jump into that perpetual debate about whether TV is a boon or a bane. But I strongly feel that it is depriving us of our own core values and feelings and we are moving farther and farther away from the essence of togetherness — and I bet watching TV together is not one of them.

The happiness we used to enjoy in each other’s company, we are trying to find that in TV, and surprisingly, we do feel satisfied. But actually we miss out something that distinguishes us from almost all other things.

No, I am not urging you to not watch more television, at all. I am urging you to draw a fine line between TV and yourself that stops you from breaching a certain limit and helps you to enjoy some valuable time with your family and friends.

In this fast-paced world, where you don’t have time to even lend some to yourselves, do you think you should be watching a creepy horror show or a tear-jerking soap on TV when your younger brother is around struggling with his science project? Do you think you should be watching a senseless show that guides you through the ups and downs of a superstar’s life while your son is having a hard time building his career. Any number of instances could be recounted.

Well, there’s a popular app which is kind of a TV in your mobile phone. Its tagline goes, ‘Go Solo’. I would just like to adapt it and say, ‘Go Solo when you’re Solo.’

sh8254@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 12:00:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/You-and-the-all-pervasive-television-set/article14005395.ece

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