According to the Globe and Mail, Canadians watched an average of 30 hours of TV in 2017. Not surprising considering we are in the ‘golden age of TV’. But is all that TV watching good for us? Well, like most things, it’s all about balance. But in case you were feeling bad about your TV binge-watching, let us alleviate some of your concerns. Watching TV can actually be quite beneficial! Here are 13 reasons why.
TV has many educational benefits for children and adults. TV can be used as a learning tool both at home and in the classroom. With the wide range of TV channels, we offer you can certainly find the perfect mix of educational programming for your children or for yourself. Examples include: Book television, the Science Channel or the Discovery channel
2. Stay Current
TV is a source of news. Tuning in to local news allows civilians to stay informed with what is happening in their city. International news shows keep you up-to-date with breaking news around the world. As well, in the wake of global warming, the weather channel is vitally important because it gives us information about tornado warnings, hurricanes and more.
3. Get Cultured
TV can provide a cheap escape instead of travelling. Exposing yourself to the cultures of the world can be easily done from behind a TV screen. Turn on a new season of BBC’s Planet Earth and unwind to the beautiful images on the screen.
4. Crazy Fandoms are Fun
TV can make you feel like you are part of a group and let you participate in a subculture. As TV shows have improved in quality, we have gotten better at watching. We pay attention to more details and showrunners become more creative with subtle details they include as they create plot twists and turns. People gather in fandoms to discuss their favourite TV shows and create their own subculture centred around appreciating their favourite shows and characters. An article in the New York Times by David Carr states “The vast wasteland of television has been replaced by an excess of excellence”. At times it can be hard to keep up with all the awesome shows available.
5. Feel the Connection
TV can make you feel less lonely. In some ways watching TV can act as a filler for spending time with friends and family. In a study from the journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that while watching a favourite TV show people reported feeling less lonely. As well, if a certain show, news item or sports game has enough cultural weight it has the ability to bring people together to root for a common goal. The best recent example of this is the 2019 Raptors victory!
6. Family Bonding
Family bonding is a great benefit of watching TV. Spending time together as a family watching a television program provides a chance for everyone to connect and unwind. Bonding over a favourite TV show provides opportunity for lifelong memories.
7. Learn a Language
Expose yourself to new languages you want to learn. A great way to help learn a new language is to watch TV shows in the foreign language you are interested in learning. Many people all over the world learn English through American TV shows. Listening and reading subtitles is an great way to passively learn.
8. Mental Health
There are many health benefits to watching TV. If a certain show makes you laugh there are health benefits to that. Laughter is the best medicine! If you decide to watch TV while you are exercising, this can provide a distraction allowing you to do cardio for a longer period of time. A study from the University of Rochester found that people are more energetic after watching nature scenes.
9. Save Money
TV provides a cheap form of entertainment. If you compare it to going out to the movies or to a live show, it is certainly the economical choice!
10. Fight Temptation
TV can improve your self control. An interesting study by the University of Buffalo found that watching TV regularly can help maintain our ability to fight temptation. The research psychologist that made this study found that watching a “familiar fictional world” helps people to control their impulses. The social nature of watching your favourite TV show provides comfort which contributes to your ability to control your impulses.
11. Relieve Stress
TV can relieve your stress. According to a study done at the University of California found that watching more TV can reduce your cortisol levels. Cortisol is nick-named the “stress hormone”. It is a cause for concern because it can increase weight gain, cholesterol and depression. So if watching your favourite shows reduces this in anyway then its time to tune in to prime time TV.
12. Get Inspired
TV can inspire you or your kids to try new things or pick up a new hobby. If kids, see their favourite characters engaged in activities they have never tried before they are more likely to want to try those things too! This can create more “unplugged” learning. The same situation can happen for you, if your watching your favourite HGTV show about home renovations perhaps this will encourage you’re to crack open a can of paint and upgrade your home! Shows on HGTV can provide many different ideas to boost your home décor creativity. TV also provides an opportunity to learn about different occupations and can help inspire kids and adults to pursue new career avenues.
13. Watch TV to Read More?
TV can motivate you to read more books! If you see a show that you really enjoyed and investigate a little further sometimes you can discover that it was based on a book. For example: Game of Thrones, the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin, The Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood or Big Little Lies by David E. Kelley. TV can provide some visuals to help you picture the words when you read these books.
These benefits certainly opened our eyes and made us feel good about our decision to binge-watch the latest season of Letterkenny on Crave. If you are interested in our TV services check out our TV page to learn more and find the channels that are right for you and your family!