Why turn OFF your Television?
The media can wreak great harm on the family when it offers an inadequate or even distorted vision of life, of the family itself and of religion and morality. ~Pope John Paul II
I wish there was a knob on the TV so you could turn up the intelligence. They got one marked “brightness” but it don’t work, does it? ~Leo Anthony Gallagher
If you came and you found a strange man… teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you’d kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don’t think twice about it. ~Jerome Singer
I could have been a doctor, but there were too many good shows on TV. ~Jason Love
In Beverley Hills, they don’t throw their garbage away – they make it into television shows. ~Woody Allen
If you read a lot of books, you’re considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well-viewed. ~Lily Tomlin
The triumph of machine over people. ~Fred Allen, about television
The Stranger – Author unknown
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up – while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places – and go to her room read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house – not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name? We always called him TV.
American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV. ~The Kaiser Family Foundation
Children cannot learn to read by watching television. Television is just background noise and a distraction. ~(Former First Lady) Laura Bush during the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, July 2000
The TV is my shepherd I shall not want,
It makes me to lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the faith,
It destroys my soul.
It leads me to the path of sex and violence for the advertiser’s sake.
Even though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption, for the TV is with me.
Its cable and remote control, they comfort me
It prepares a commercial for me in the midst of my worldliness
And anoints my head with secular humanism and consumerism.
My covetousness runs over;
Surely ignorance and laziness shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of wretchedness watching TV forever.
(Courtesy of Fr. Tommy Lane who heard it from a homily broadcasted on EWTN on March 18 2002)
All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching? ~Nicholas Johnson
Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other. ~Ann Landers
I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. ~Groucho Marx
Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object. ~Author Unknown
Today, watching television often means fighting, violence and foul language – and that’s just deciding who gets to hold the remote control. ~Donna Gephart
The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little. ~Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun
Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home. ~David Frost
Television is simply automated day-dreaming. ~Lee Lovinger
Everything is for the eye these days – TV, Life, Look, the movies. Nothing is just for the mind. The next generation will have eyeballs as big as cantaloupes and no brain at all. ~Fred Allen
Television: chewing gum for the eyes. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it. ~Alfred Hitchcock
The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television. ~Andrew Ross
If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all. ~Joey Adams
I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision, we shall discover a new and unbearable disturbance of the modern peace, or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television – of that I am quite sure. ~E.B. White
When television came roaring in after the war (World War II) they did a little school survey asking children which they preferred and why – television or radio. And there was this 7-year-old boy who said he preferred radio “because the pictures were better.” ~Alistair Cooke
Television, with its captivating programs and channels, has become an integral part of modern life. However, the impact of television on individuals and families has been a subject of debate for decades. From Pope John Paul II’s concerns about distorted values to comedians like Groucho Marx finding solace in books over the TV, the quotes below shed light on the various perspectives surrounding this ubiquitous electronic device.
Pope John Paul II: The Media’s Influence on Family
“The media can wreak great harm on the family when it offers an inadequate or even distorted vision of life, of the family itself and of religion and morality.” – Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II’s quote emphasizes the significant role of media, including television, in shaping our values and perceptions. It warns of the potential harm when the media presents an incomplete or distorted view of life, family, religion, and morality. This quote underscores the importance of being mindful of the content we consume on television.
Leo Anthony Gallagher: Yearning for Intelligent TV
“I wish there was a knob on the TV so you could turn up the intelligence. They got one marked ‘brightness,’ but it don’t work, does it?” – Leo Anthony Gallagher
Comedian Leo Anthony Gallagher humorously points out a common frustration many viewers experience with television: the desire for more intellectually stimulating content. While we can adjust the brightness of our screens, the quote humorously suggests that increasing the intelligence of TV programming is a more challenging task.
Jerome Singer: Television’s Intrusion on Family Life
“If you came and you found a strange man… teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you’d kick him right out of the house, but here you are; you come in, and the TV is on, and you don’t think twice about it.” – Jerome Singer
Jerome Singer’s quote draws a thought-provoking parallel between a stranger’s negative influence on children and the potential harm of television content. It serves as a reminder to be discerning about what enters our homes through the TV and to consider its impact on family dynamics.
Jason Love: The Allure of Television
“I could have been a doctor, but there were too many good shows on TV.” – Jason Love
Jason Love’s humorous quote playfully highlights the addictive nature of television. It touches on the idea that the sheer variety of entertaining programs can divert our attention from other pursuits, sometimes to our detriment.
Woody Allen: Turning Trash into Television
“In Beverley Hills, they don’t throw their garbage away – they make it into television shows.” – Woody Allen
Woody Allen’s quote takes a satirical look at the culture of celebrity and reality TV. It suggests that in certain circles, what others might discard as trivial or even undesirable becomes the foundation for television content. This humorous observation prompts us to consider the quality and value of the shows we watch.
Lily Tomlin: The Perception of Reading vs. Watching
“If you read a lot of books, you’re considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well-viewed.” – Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin’s witty quote highlights the difference in societal perception between reading and watching television. It questions the value society places on these two forms of consumption. While reading is often associated with intellectual growth, Tomlin humorously suggests that watching TV may not receive the same recognition.
Fred Allen: The Triumph of Television Over People
“The triumph of machine over people.” – Fred Allen, about television
Fred Allen’s concise quote captures the transformative power of television in society. It alludes to the idea that television technology has gained significant influence over people’s lives, sometimes to the detriment of human interaction and connection.
Nicholas Johnson: The Educational Potential of Television
“All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?” – Nicholas Johnson
Nicholas Johnson’s quote challenges the notion that all television content is purely for entertainment. Instead, it highlights the educational potential of television and raises the critical question of what values and lessons TV programs convey. This quote encourages viewers to be discerning about the content they consume.
Ann Landers: Television’s Impact on Relationships
“Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.” – Ann Landers
Ann Landers’ quote humorously underscores the distraction that television can pose to interpersonal relationships. It suggests that people often turn to television as a substitute for meaningful interactions with one another, highlighting the need for balance in our media consumption.
Groucho Marx: Television as a Motivator
“I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx’s playful quote suggests that television can serve as a motivator to engage in other activities, such as reading. While he humorously implies that TV may not be the most intellectually stimulating choice, it reminds us that we have the power to decide how we allocate our time.
Author Unknown: Television’s Impact on Children
“Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.” – Author Unknown
This anonymous quote humorously portrays the transformation of children from active and dynamic individuals to passive and sedentary viewers in the presence of television. It serves as a humorous reminder of the influence TV can have on young minds and the importance of monitoring screen time.
Donna Gephart: The Dark Side of Modern Television
“Today, watching television often means fighting, violence, and foul language – and that’s just deciding who gets to hold the remote control.” – Donna Gephart
Donna Gephart’s quote humorously addresses the potential conflicts that arise within households when it comes to controlling the TV remote. Beyond the humor, it also touches on the concern that television content sometimes promotes negative behaviors and values.
Ray Bradbury: Television as a Medusa
“The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.” – Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun
Ray Bradbury’s poetic quote characterizes television as a seductive yet ultimately unfulfilling medium. It likens TV to the mythical Medusa, whose gaze turns people to stone, suggesting that too much exposure to television can leave individuals emotionally and intellectually stunted.
David Frost: Television as an Uninvited Guest
“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.” – David Frost
David Frost’s humorous quote presents television as a means of entertainment without the inconvenience of hosting guests. It points out the paradox that we invite television personalities into our homes while we might not necessarily welcome the same people in person.
Lee Lovinger: Television as Automated Day-Dreaming
“Television is simply automated day-dreaming.” – Lee Lovinger
Lee Lovinger’s concise quote equates television to automated daydreams. It suggests that television can transport viewers to different worlds and scenarios, allowing them to escape reality temporarily. This perspective highlights the escapist nature of television.
Fred Allen: The Dominance of the Eye
“Everything is for the eye these days – TV, Life, Look, the movies. Nothing is just for the mind. The next generation will have eyeballs as big as cantaloupes and no brain at all.” – Fred Allen
Fred Allen’s humorous quote comments on the visual-centric nature of contemporary media. It playfully predicts that future generations may prioritize visual stimulation to the detriment of intellectual development. While exaggerated, the quote raises questions about the balance between visual and intellectual pursuits.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Television as Eye Candy
“Television: chewing gum for the eyes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright’s quote likens television to a form of visual indulgence or “chewing gum for the eyes.” It characterizes TV as a source of passive entertainment that may not necessarily contribute to intellectual or personal growth.
Alfred Hitchcock: Television’s Influence on Psychiatry
“Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.” – Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock’s quote humorously acknowledges the role of television in popularizing psychiatry and, at the same time, highlighting the challenges and stressors that arise from consuming TV content. It suggests that TV can both inform and contribute to the need for mental health support.
Andrew Ross: The Richness of Books vs. Television
“The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.” – Andrew Ross
Andrew Ross’s quote draws a sharp contrast between the wealth of ideas found in books and the limitations of television. It encourages us to appreciate the depth and diversity of knowledge that books offer, emphasizing the value of reading as a means of intellectual enrichment.
Joey Adams: Television and Physical Activity
“If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.” – Joey Adams
Joey Adams’ humorous quote humorously highlights the role of television in promoting a sedentary lifestyle. It suggests that the physical distance between the TV and the refrigerator is the only reason some individuals get any exercise, emphasizing the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
Television is undeniably a powerful medium that has reshaped our lives in numerous ways. These quotes, ranging from insightful to humorous, provide a window into the diverse perspectives on television’s impact on society, family life, intellectual development, and more. Whether you view television as an educational tool, a source of entertainment, or even a potential source of harm, it’s essential to consider the content we consume and its influence on our lives. Ultimately, the decision to turn off the television or use it mindfully rests in our hands, and these quotes offer a spectrum of viewpoints to inform our choices.