...as society lets it.
As a kid, I watched Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. As an older kid, I watched Nickelodeon. As a young teenager, I watched MTV. Through high school, I watched Frasier and Seinfeld, Friends, and some random cartoons.
Was it GOOD for me? Not particularly. I haven't watched TV in months. I watch movies at my friends' houses, I watch movies at my own house. But channel surfing is a waste of my time.
I digress slightly. Television wasn't good for me. When I stopped watching it, stopped reading the girl magazines my friends had, and started living my own life, I had a lot more self esteem. Through college, I have felt far better about my own body. I haven't been comparing myself to the shit MTV puts on and calls "sexy bodies" or the model-like actresses on Friends or Ally McBeal.
Of course television can have a good, educational use. For fifteen minutes at a time, between commercial breaks. The commercial breaks disgust me as much as irritate me. Commercials selling me fashions I don't want, beauty products I don't want and cars I can't afford. Wasting my time.
Not mentioning my attention span is quite a lot longer than fifteen minutes. When I am interrupted by commercial breaks from a show I am interested in, odds are I will just leave. The commercials are disgusting, the show was probably not that fantastic, and I probably have something better to be doing.
This is beginning to sound somewhat rant-like, I'm sorry.
My point, simply, is that television can be a very very powerful media. Those who watch it tend to be younger, more impressionable. As a female watching television, I am bombarded with images of what society thinks I ought to look like. Due to this, I no longer watch television and think that TV watching is a phase. I went through it. My friends went through it. I have better things to do than watch images float by and voices insinuate what I ought to look like/be like.
In the same way the television destroys teenage girls' sense of self by bombarding them with model images, it can also serve as a terrific learning tool and educational device. But let's be realistic. The majority of television-watchers use it for entertainment. While some of the entertainment is entirely innocent, some of it can be very hurtful to impressionable viewers.
An hour of surfing television now will leave me feeling depressed that I'm nothing even close to what society thinks I, as a 20-year-old female, should be, angry that I've wasted an hour, and even more angry that I feel depressed because I'm nothing close to what society thinks I should be.
Enough out of me, happy Monday, peace out,