“So why do we keep on watching [Television]? ” challenges Barbara Ehrenreich in, The Worst Years of Our Lives. Ehrenreich alleges that television “has transformed the American people into root vegetables” (2-3). Television as we know it is a way to escape the troubles of the real world and enter into a sense of fantasy. People sit for hours watching television which is harmful and may brainwash people to believe what they are told. Television was never invented to exemplify the real world; it was merely a distraction in the path of our trajectory.
However Ehrenreich classifies modern Americans as couch potatoes simply because they do not accomplish anything that is displayed on television. I disagree with Ehrenreich’s assertions about television because she assumes everything portrayed in television is danger and thrills. Much of what is advertised on television is informative and important in society. Television allows us to get information much quicker than ever before. Television has been one of our greatest innovations and has transformed society, and made our lives much more enjoyable.
Television was never created to imitate real world complications. I, myself do not watch television for more than an hour, but when I do, it is usually to watch a baseball game, which is the sport I play. All athletes around the world watch television whether its sports or just a comedic movie. Ehrenreich is wrong to say that all people who watch television do nothing other than watch and bulge their eyes out, “But modern people, i. e. , couch potatoes, do nothing that is ever shown on television (because it is either dangerous or would involve getting up from the couch).
And what they do do-watch television-is far too boring to be televised for more than a fraction of a second” (22-27), a person who watches television is not necessarily a couch potato they could be a celebrity, professional athlete, or a doctor. Not all “real” people spend their days watching television “hour after hour, the way real people do” (17). People may argue that television brainwashes people, they also say it is a needless item that wastes valuable time which could be spent studying or being active. However, elevision is not the item to blame; People are the ultimate decision makers in their lives. Television can be productive, it could be spent learning about the planet or current events, channels such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, and The Military Channel are created to inform people. Television has also been known to bring family together, for example, my family gathers frequently to watch a baseball or football game. Television can also be used to understand different cultures, especially now that our country is becoming more diverse every day.
Too much television can impact a pupil in a negative manner and can create complications, but out of the entire population of people who watch television the majority of the population can say, it was beneficial to watch television. Many of the people who watch are not couch potatoes. Therefore I disagree with Ehrenreich’s assertions on television, and believe television can be used as a vital learning tool which can progress our lives. We watch because we want to get away from the dreadful lives we all endure throughout the day, be entertained and learn more about ourselves.