How has TV changed society?

Is TV watching antisocial?

Some believe that binge watching is an antisocial act in today’s society, which doesn’t seem too farfetched. Binging is often an independent act, taking time away from the time that you could be spending with other people. After conducting interviews for my audio documentary, I gained some people’s opinions about binge watching. One reply said that they never binge watch with other people, because either they watch ahead or someone else does, and they wouldn’t even share this with their boyfriend. 

Watching TV alone is a completely different experience to watching with others, because the social aspect is removed and you’re watching it to simply enjoy the show, rather than any of your friends interacting with it. If other people are present, they’re often talking and you’re more likely to miss what’s going on. TV can also be considered antisocial because it’s not as common now to talk about what you watched on TV last night, you’re more likely to talk about what you watched on Netflix. 

Alternately, television could be considered a crucial part of today’s society, with it being central to conversations in the workplace, at school, within families, or even through social media. It’s enjoyable to have something in common with other people, so watching a show together is a great time for bonding, or creating something you have in common with other people. 

Social media is also seen as interacting now, so this is a great way for people to discuss live what’s happening while they watch, as well as when they see others are enjoying a show that they have already watched. Interacting with others via social media arguably makes the act of isolated watching more social, because people are talking to each other, although it isn’t in person.

Aside from simply discussing what you’ve watched, TV is social because watching TV with people you like reinforces the friendships you have with the people that you watch it with. Inside jokes can be with each other, and you can discuss what you’ve seen in the show – it creates a pack vibe between people watching. 

During one of my interviews, my Grandad mentioned that he doesn’t believe that TV is more important in society now than it was before the internet, because only important events were aired 50 years ago, such as the news.

TV watching can be turned into an event itself. One event that I can remember watching with others every year, is The Queen’s Speech when it’s aired on Christmas Day. There hasn’t been a year that my family miss watching this together, and I believe that watching can truly be social. We all gather together again after Christmas dinner to watch the speech and then we will talk about the events mentioned after it’s over.

Television is a way to bring people together, whether that is whilst watching, or afterwards for discussions, so how can it be totally anti-social?


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