Re: Cohousing and Televison: a Classic Clash of Values
From: Michael D (
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 22:34:05 -0700 (MST)
Interpreting the research that is reported as saying that TV
and community are in conflict is a misunderstanding of the
research.  What it says is that DEPENDENCE on TV is in
conflict with community.

Dependence on anything is in conflict with community.  All
addicts are anti-social because the object of their addiction
(dependence) is more important to them than are people.

Love addiction, for example, is in conflict with community
because the addict is totally focused on the object of his/her
"love."  (I'd debate about whether it's really love.)
However, no one would ever say that having a relationship is
contrary to community.

There's a lot of crap on TV.  There's also a lot that's of
great value.  The issue with TV, IMO, is being selective, not
discarding the TV.  The cliche "throwing the baby out with the
bathwater" comes to mind here.

Watching TV can be an opening to interaction just as much as
it can be a barrier.  Any shared experience is an opportunity
to discuss, explore, and deepen mutual understanding.  The
opportunity is lost when people watch and then never interact
about it.  However, watching something on TV and then
discussing the values, the ethics and morality, the message,
the relationships or lack of them, etc., is a
community-enhancing activity.

One of my favorite topics after watching something on TV is
"How would you rewrite that so that it's more in alignment
with your values?"  That kind of conversation definitely
promotes interaction and mutual understanding (provided that
the participants are committed to healthy communicating and to
honoring differences - 2 values of community).

If I didn't have a TV, my life would be much less rich than it
is.  Again, I'm not talking about sitting down and watching
whatever comes on.  But I believe that throwing the TV away is
as extreme as is watching everything that comes on.

ohanamd [at]
Heart Song Community
Santa Fe, NM

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