TV gives us an escape – from creative activities!

Watching the box is too easy
Watching the box is too easy
Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Just when you think reality TV can’t get any more ridiculous, they go and make a rubbish TV programme about people watching rubbish TV programmes.

I don’t watch a lot of TV – but after enduring 7.5 minutes of Gogglebox with my mouth literally agog at its unadulterated terribleness, I remembered why. It’s mostly a load of old rubbish.

TV acts as an escape after long and tiring days – sometimes we want something that requires little effort or thought. But do we really need to be lulled into a coma by TV producers?

You know they must be struggling for inspiration when all they can think to do is film people sat on their sofa!

Coincidently, the next programme I came across was How TV Ruined Your Life (it had certainly ruined the last eight minutes of mine).

The following day there was a news report about how as a society we no longer know how to be bored.

Well, that’s a good thing isn’t it? Being bored is well, boring.

Somehow it doesn’t feel quite right sitting around twiddling our thumbs. It feels wrong, lazy, a waste of time.

But artist Grayson Perry described boredom as a ‘creative state’, while author Meera Syal suggested that a lack of things to do spurred her to talk to people and try activities she wouldn’t have experienced under other circumstances.

The article suggested that instead of working on our innate ability to create our own entertainment, we have developed an expectation to be constantly occupied and stimulated. We and our children alike are way too quick to jump online or demand Demand TV.

It’s true. When my son grumbles ‘I’m bored’ when he has a room full of toys and a cupboard full of books, puzzles and colouring pads, it makes me scream quietly inside that he needs to be entertained constantly by something or someone.

I recently took TV away for a week (not because of that article, but because he had been very, very naughty!)

After a couple of days of whining, I woke to find him sat at the table penning an award-winning short story (okay, perhaps it’s not going to be revered throughout time for its creative overuse of the word ‘and’, but it was very sweet and he had even stapled it together to make a book!)

It just goes to show that we do have the ability to create our own entertainment, but it’s as easy to procrastinate creativity as it is everything else, so we do anything – even watching really naff TV – to avoid having time to just sit, stare, and think.

Though maybe bad TV could eventually be counter- counterproductive?

Maybe it will become so dull that we will get bored of watching all that drivel. Maybe we will actually go do that thing we’ve always wanted to do.

I might even write that children’s book I’ve been planning for the last decade! After I’ve watched this re-run of Grand Designs anyway.