What is a rebuttal for the statement: "TV is an opportunity to procrastinate, and many are distracted by it"? 

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I would argue that, as an object that can be controlled and used critically by the human mind, TV is not an inherently negative medium as the statement seems to imply. Through the flows of news it offers, TV can update us on recent events and world trends. Thus it can be a way to keep in touch with what's happening in the world, even in areas which are far away from where we live. Used in this way, TV can be a means for reflection and even stimulating critical thinking. I suggest that you read the first link below which takes you to the Television entry of the Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. The entry argues for the power of TV to elicit responses against genocides and atrocities:

The existence of Cable News Network (CNN) and other global television news networks dedicated to instantaneous coverage means that concerned nongovernmental groups and the public at large are often exposed to international news events at the same time as governments. This exposure to international news allows the public to formulate opinions and influence government policy. The broad international reach and the speed of modern television news coverage thereby create pressure on governments to respond quickly to international crises. This phenomenon whereby aggressive television news coverage of live events indirectly shapes the course of those events is known as the CNN Effect or the CNN Factor.

In this case, immediate action rather than procrastination seems to be the immediate effect of TV. At the same time, the entry points out the manipulating potential of TV and the dangers for the victims of genocide to be re-traumatized by news coverage if journalists are not sensitive enough. Once again we are reminded the the TV medium is not an autonomous entity, good or bad on its own terms, but always has people with their own different agendas behind as well as in front of it.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Television is potentially a great medium for education and entertainment, but it has become a garbage can because of commercial exploitation. Trying to watch any program except on PBS is being subjected to almost five minutes of insane and volume-enhanced commercials for every five minutes of programming. Even the prime-time news shows have about fifteen minutes of commercials for fifteen minutes of news--with the exception of the excellent News Hour on PBS. A movie that should run for about an hour and a half is stretched out to around two and a half hours with all the commercial breaks. It is espeicially annoying to see a really good movie like The Godfather constantly interrupted by a flurry of commercials, many of which are repeats. And, as everybody knows, the breaks get longer and more frequent as the story gets closer to the climax. I think exposure to this kind of grab-bag of discursive  information-entertainment-hype-sports-talk shows-weather reports-political propaganda-do you need money?-get out of debt-lose weight-gain weight-Presidents Sale-Labor Day Sale-back to school special-pills-bills-thrills-etc. must be bad for the human mind because it affects the ability to concentrate. I would find it hard to write a rebuttal to the statement quoted in your question except to say that televisioncould be very good for people of all ages.

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flprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The statement provided assumes that television is being used to avoid other responsibilities, however, this is not necessarily the case. Properly used, television provides opportunities for learning, entertainment and relaxation.   Learning programs cover topics such as current events, history, home repair, cooking, fashion, and more.  Entertainment can be found in offferings as diverse as world-class symphony orchestras and NASCAR races. 

It can be argued that television is passive when compared to other mediums, such as reading, but relaxation is not inherently bad nor necessarily an indication of procrastination.  

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