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JLeslie's avatar

Are you ever embarrased to admit you love watching television? Do you feel that society judges this pastime?

Asked by JLeslie (62564points) July 13th, 2009
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37 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Watching television isn’t something people are ashamed to admit. I think it would depend on the show, really. You should be embarrassed about watching “Daisy Of Love”. You should not be embarrassed about watching “Arrested Development”.

And society will judge a pastime that is out of the norm for that particular society.

Facade's avatar

I don’t know or care if society judges how much tv I watch, and I watch about 15 hours of it daily :)

J0E's avatar

@boots is right, people judge you by what you watch not how much.

Jeruba's avatar

And how do people judge you if you watch nothing?

Aethelwine's avatar

Hi! I’m jonsblond and I love watching television.

It’s one of the many things that I love to do and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

I have been hooked on Y&R since I was twelve (thanks older sister!). Notice that I am whispering? My favorite shows are on the History Channel and Science Channel. Nice mix, eh?

kenmc's avatar


I’d judge that person in a positive way. But that’s just me…

cyn's avatar

T.V. is educational..whatever it is….I always learn something new…so my answer is no, iIm not embarras of watching T.V.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

TV is fantastic, and I watch a lot of it. Go ahead and judge me now.

kenmc's avatar

@cyndihugs T.V. is educational..whatever it is….I always learn something new…so my answer is no, iIm not embarras of watching T.V.

Have you ever watched The Hills? Most of TV is the opposite of educational… It takes away knowledge and stuffs your brain full of garbage.

hug_of_war's avatar

People definitely judge you for it. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard contempt in the voices of those who don’t watch it, as if they are better than me because I like to chill to some tv. I like to watch educational shows on national geographic and the history channel, popular culture and pure entertainment shows on bravo and abc, etc, and I see nothing wrong with this. There is nothing wrong with leisure activities.

Aethelwine's avatar

@boots You could say the same about the Internet. It’s all about what you choose to stuff your brain with.

cyn's avatar

@boots Never seen it. However, even if it’s about running away from the least you’re learning what’s the best way to run away from the cops.

MacBean's avatar

@cyndihugs: Actually, those shows are a better portrayal of what not to do if you want to evade the cops.

kenmc's avatar

@jonsblond I completely agree, and said the same thing somewhat in my first comment.

Aethelwine's avatar

@MacBean lol

@boots Arrested Development was one of the best sitcoms ever. imo!

kenmc's avatar

@cyndihugs Have you ever seen that anti-pot commercial where the chick is melting and her friend says she’s been like that since she started smoking pot?

That’s what watching television shows like, “The Hills” will do to you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Darwin's avatar

I can’t say I watch a lot of television, although ours is on most of the day and half the night (it is my husband’s window to the world).

However, I must admit, ever since I dragged home a 42-inch HD plasma TV for him I have certainly enjoyed watching NatGeo on it. The waves looked as if we could almost get wet from them.

DominicX's avatar

I remember one of my first questions on was something like “have you noticed that people who don’t watch TV always have to let other people know about it?”

Personally, I’m not embarrassed of watching TV. I might be embarrassed if it was all I ever did, but I’m proud to say I watch The Simpsons, Family Guy, Unsolved Mysteries, Lost, Reno 911!, Cold Case Files, American Justice, and the occasional Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, or History Channel program or special that I find interesting. Besides, if I never let people know I watched TV, how would anyone know that there are people out there who are intelligent and watch TV? ;)

rooeytoo's avatar

I am not embarrassed to say I watch a bit of telly now and again, but I would be embarrassed to tell you what I watch, it is so mundane!!!

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t watch television.

@DominicX Perhaps some people who don’t watch T.V. never hesitate to say that they don’t watch. Perhaps some brag about how they don’t watch. But I don’t think it’s fair to make sweeping generalizations.

But keep in mind that with so many conversations about different television programs going on each day, there’s not much a non-viewer can say other than “I don’t watch tv.”

I have watched a lot of television in my life. Before I stopped watching, there was an element of embarrassment to it. It wasn’t exactly that I was embarrassed to admit that I loved watching TV, because it wasn‘t something I loved, just something I enjoyed. What I was embarrassed about was the amount of time I spent watching it. On weekdays I would spend about 2 hours watching the tube, and slightly more on weekends. When part of a conversation where viewing time was being discussed, I remember lying about how much I watched, because it seemed like a lot to me. (16+ hours every week is a lot.)

A lot of people, if you ask them about how much T.V. they watch, will say, with a hint of embarrassment “I don’t watch much tv.” (At least that’s been my experience.) A lot of the people who say this, (as I used to,) actually watch quite a bit of TV, (as I used to.)

I don’t think society judges this pastime. Not negatively anyway. There is a fringe group that looks at television viewing critically, but television is a way of life for most Americans.

Not everyone shares this embarrassment, but some do. Nearly everyone has heard the statistics ( 99% of households have a television; in the average household the television is on for 6+ hours daily; etc.) The statistics are frightening. 49 percent of Americans say they watch too much TV- it makes sense that if someone thinks they watch too much tv they would be embarrassed about it.

If you sit down and calculate how much time you spend watching television, and then ask yourself if you might be doing something more valuable with that time, you may start to feel embarrassed about your TV habits. I certainly did.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m not embarrassed to admit I like watching television and I’m even less embarrassed to state that the quality of television that I watch is very high, in my mind anyway. Much of my viewing is made up of intellectual material which I find on Discovery, The History Channel, A&E, Biography, The Learning Channel, and PBS. When I take a break from those programs, I like shows such as Law & Order: SVU, Cold Case, NCIS, CSI:Vegas, and others in this genre.

I think television does present itself as a pastime that is open to scrutinization and criticism from all walks of life because there are so many divergent views on just how good or bad it is for you, if at all. Speaking for myself, I feel that basing opinions on people by how many hours of television they watch and/or what they watch on it is simply absurd.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

no, but sometimes people try to make me feel embarrassed that i don’t love watching television.
i seem to have a conversation every day that goes:
friend: blah blah blah – insert actress’ name – blah blah?
me: who is that?
friend: from – insert show’s name -!
me: that a movie?
friend: ejgterugidfjbgkd!
me: wait, no! ohhh! it’s one of john and kate’s spawns, am i right?
friend: >:( no

Jack_Haas's avatar

I’m always ticked off when people go through contortions to explain why they watch reality shows that they supposedly despise and hate. If I like it I watch it, if I don’t like it I don’t watch it, and I don’t see any reason to lie about it. It’s just matters of taste that shouldn’t be up for debate so there’s no reason to lie or feel ashamed.

This being said, TV is the everyman’s main form of entertainment, so it naturally incites a snotty dismissiveness in some quarters. Generally speaking, while TV programs are considered appropriate watercooler conversations, people tend to shy away from the topic at social.gatherings, as if it would be an intellectually inferior, low-brow subject. It’s like an unspoken rule. People don’t feel ashamed but they don’t want be the one to be looked at funny when another guest changes subject and starts talking about his art collection, his month-long stay among the guys who have plates in their lips in the Amazon or the last existentialist book he read. At dinner parties, whenever someone starts talking about a TV show it’s usually the start of the long rambling about how society is going to the dogs.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I do see what you mean and I think society does look down it’s nose on people who spend a lot of time in front of the TV. Parents are often criticised for letting their children spend to long in front of the telly instead of playing in the fresh air etc. I don’t watch much TV anyway but if I do enjoy something then I am not afraid to say I watch it. It’s no worse to spending hours on the computer/internet in my opinion which I will happily admit that I probably spend too much time doing.

cookieman's avatar

I’m not embarrased. Seems silly to be. Television is a passtime like many other things. Sometimes educational, sometimes entertaining, sometimes stupid. So long as it’s taken in moderation, most passtimes are fine – maybe even good for you.

Many historical events are captured by television. Things that can be digested as a culture like no other media can deliver.

All media has its’ good, bad and ugly. It’s short-sighted to villify the whole thing.

We watch about two hours a night (M-F). I say “we” because my wife, daughter and I always watch together (we only have one TV).

Food TV, Some network shows (Eli Stone, Samantha Who), Some reality (So You Think You Can Dance), a little Disney and PBS, and one soap (Y&R).

All thRough the magic of DVR.

ubersiren's avatar

Sometimes, yes. I do feel that I’m judged. Especially for allowing my son to watch tv. He’s been watching Sesame Street from 9 mo, he’s now 2. He’s fascinated by it and I attribute his enormous vocabulary, ability to count to 20, and knowing his ABCs partly to that show. It’s just another tool we use to stimulate him. And me, too! I knew the answer to a Jeopardy question yesterday because of Sesame Street!

I do think that what programming you watch says a lot about you. I’m not saying we all don’t have our guilty pleasures, but if all you watch is crap, I will judge you.

Supacase's avatar

I definitely think people are judged for watching television. Usually by the amount of television. A particular show could be embarrassing to admit, but saying you watch 10 hours of tv per day would make most people gasp and give you the look. I know, I get it a lot. The tv here is usually on most of the day even if we are in and out of the room.

The other thing is that other parents will try to shame you to death if you let your child watch more than 30 minutes of tv per day – if that much. I hate being around those mothers. Do what you will with your own child, but do not condescend to me because I let my daughter watch Dora and The Backyardigans.

JLeslie's avatar

Great answers, thank you all for responding. I think people are judged. TV is my relax time. Of all “addictions” you can have to check out and forget your troubles from the stress of the day, I think TV is the safest and most productive. I love that there are so many wonderful informative chanels as mentioned by many above, History, Discovery, etc. I also enjoy watching with my husband, its a form of entertainment, and something we can connect on whether it be a learning show or a comedy.

I have a couple of friends who watch very little tv, go for days without it, and they are a little removed from things. But, this has more to do with their overall personality than not watching tv. They kind of want to be out of touch, which I can understand, sometimes I purposely go a week without news, because it gets me all wound up. But, if you have tv on in the background, even half paying attention you get information you otherwise would not get. Like on Oprah or the international news you might hear about topics you would never search for on the internet or read about in a book.

When I was very young I didn’t have many hobbies, and they ask you your hobbies on so many forms. I once put television, and I was told, “you can’t put TV as a hobbie.” Made me feel bad at the time.

Also, DVR changes your life! I think I watch fewer hours with DVR, and only what I really care to see.

Some of my favorite shows are: Big Bang Theory, Fringe, The View, In Plain Sight, Larry King, Two and a Half Men, Raising The Bar, Meet The Press, George Stephanopolis, 60 minutes, Rescue Me, Medium, The Adventures of Old Christine, and if the TV is on in the Morning it is usually on Morning Joe. The only realty I watch consistently is Big Brother. I don’t care at all about the life of an actor. I really miss Bostom Legal, one of the best shows of all time.

casheroo's avatar

I’m not embarrassed to admit it…I see nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t consume my life, so who cares?

Darwin's avatar

I spend a lot more time on Fluther than I ever do watching television. However, I did enjoy watching the episode of Hooked that was on last week about mapping the Congo River to try to determine why it was a hot bed of new species development. I found out that parts of it are 700+ feet deep. The episode about giant freshwater stingrays in Thailand wasn’t as good.

The only thing I watch from the traditional “Big Three” networks is the various incarnations of CSI. However, I generally catch them at odd times on Spike.

Otherwise, I find Dr. G, Medical Examiner worth watching, and I look forward to new episodes of Bizarre Foods.

Compared to most Americans, I really don’t watch much television. In fact, we didn’t even own one until 1966, when my dad broke down and got one so we could all watch Star Trek.

DominicX's avatar

I also think parents who let their kids watch TV get judged plenty. I’ve had a TV in my room since I was 11, same with my sister. But I spend more time in front of the computer than I do in front of the TV. Same with my brother, who also has a TV in his room. He listens to music (on his computer) much more than he watches TV. He also plays his guitar and his drumset. It’s not like just because we have a TV in our rooms that that’s all we ever do. Neither one of us (my siblings and I) are even close to being overweight; we’re plenty active.

wundayatta's avatar

I used to watch television. Maybe fifteen hours a week. Then I got mentally ill, and now I don’t watch at all. Except I’m watching the Tour de France, and the occasional Phillies game. And the Eagles—in the fall. Other than that, nothing. I considered trying to watch Hung, but I haven’t bothered to even figure out when it’s on.

I wonder if that mean I still haven’t fully recovered?

Oh, wait. I’m watching the TdF mostly on the internet. Does that count as television?

cak's avatar

I watch tv, not a lot, but I watch it. Please, it’s the lesser of the evils out there for me to do. I don’t even particularly care what people think about my tv viewing, either.

cyn's avatar

@boots much lurve….but it’s for people that can’t handle being up there….
if you know what I mean….

kenmc's avatar

@cyndihugs Thank you! :D

mattbrowne's avatar

No, because I carefully select.

girlofscience's avatar

I love many television shows a great deal, and I am not afraid to admit this. My favorites are the shows of HBO and Showtime. And Lost and Seinfeld. I love talking about all of these shows. If I meet a new person, one of my favorite topic of conversation is television. I like to remember episodes and laugh about them or analyze the actions of particular characters. One of my facebook interests is “people who watch a lot of tv.”

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