The TV Set – Your best friend. Really ??


Very often we see kids with sullen faces looking utterly bored. It’s ironical seeing the amount of time they spend before the screen, big or small. And this is true about most if not all. What is the other name for the small screen especially when we talk of it in disdain? Yes! Got it! Idiot Box. Why do people call it so? It is neither a box nor an idiot. It is so full of information on any topic you name. Still, the name seems to have stuck to it forever.

Yet there are forces like parents and teachers working against TV viewing relentlessly. And now scientists too have aligned with these forces. A study published by Centre for Science and Environment says that the screen time recommended for children is no more than one/two hours a day and children very often exceed this limit. According to new research ‘Excessive TV viewing puts children at the risk of victimization, social isolation and adapting aggressive and antisocial behavior towards your peers.’* So now TV has come to have earned another moniker ‘Impairment Tube’. Hmm… the research does explain why the entertainment box has failed to keep us happy and why most kids look bored.

This brings to my mind a poem titled – Jimmy Jet And His TV Set written by Shel Silverstein** an American poet. The poem is reproduced here for the benefit of those who haven’t read it or want to enjoy it once again or need a poetic reminder:

jimmy jet

I’ll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet-
And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
Almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
Till he grew pale and lean,
From ‘The Early show’ to ‘The Late Show’
And all the shows in between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial.
And antennae grew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes
And his face to a TV screen
And two knobs saying ‘vert.’ and ‘horiz.’
Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
We all sit round and watch him.

Then what should we do to keep boredom at bay? Let’s ask Uncle Shelby. Yes, that’s what Shel Silverstein liked to be called. The poet provides the answer in the poem:

Put Something In

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.

Do a loony-goony dance
Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.

Thanks, Uncle Shelby that’s super duper fantabulous!!!

*Source: Down to Earth
** Shel Silverstein, an iconic children’s author, lived in America in the last century. He was also a noted singer, songwriter, playwright, cartoonist. Oh, so many things!