Re: Cohousing and Televison: a Classic Clash of Values
From: Charlotte Allen (
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 16:32:02 -0700 (MST)
Latest Scientific American has an interesting article on the addictive qualities
of television..... one researcher stduied a mountain community that had no
television until cable arrived. Some time after television arrived, both adults and
children in the town became less creative in problem solving, less able to
persevere at tasks, and less tolerant of unstructured time.

The article also reports that people experience typical drug withdrawal symptoms
when they cut back on television viewing.

I recommend reading it.

Charlotte Allen

Howard Landman wrote:
Michael wrote:
TV and cars don't cause a drop in social interaction.
People's choices do. If people were really committed to
community involvement, TV wouldn't draw them away, nor would
any of the activities that cars could take them to.

As long as we look outside ourselves for culprits, we miss the
point. People who really want to be in community act that way
no matter what distractions are available.

I don't often turn to the bible for wisdom, but in this case I'd
like to. In the story of David and Bathsheba, there's a line
saying that one should "flee from temptation". Not stand
around trying to resist it, but actively remove one's self from
the source.

I would like to suggest that TV represents a severe temptation.
The temptation to just turn it on, sit down, and veg out. If
one succumbs to this, hours fly by and nothing conducive to
community occurs.

Michael implies that everyone should just be strong enough to
resist the temptation. Some are, some aren't. Most children are not.

So while, in a perfect world with ideally self-controlled people,
Michael might be right, I think that as a practical matter his
approach simply doesn't work for most people. It makes for a much
simpler, calmer, and less stressful life to just not have a TV
in the first place. Or (as I do) to have a TV used only as a monitor
for watching tapes or DVDs. I don't want to constantly have to
fight temptation, whether my own or that of my children.

Howard A. Landman
River Rock Commons, Ft. Collins CO
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