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Self-Introspection

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Power of an Idiot Box

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Voice Of Bengal::Politics
S Mitra
writer

Power of an Idiot Box

 

 It was 70s when Doordarshan started in kolkata and not many households even had any TV at home. I remember going to neighbor's house to see cricket or football match. That time kolkata was known for its "para" culture and we used to know each other or activity in the community through the "adda" on the side of the pavements. Some used to despise this culture and probably rightfully as it is where PNPC started and created lazy egoist Bengalis who failed in entrepreneurship or anything constructive. We saw Marwaris, Gujratis, and Punjabis come and started their business and succeeded in building an empire today while Bengalis took a "job" or "chakri" in those organization. But on the other side of it, we at least met other people and whether we like it or not, we had some human interaction.

Time has changed now. TV (the idiot box) drives every aspect of our life now. With so many TV channels on the cable, soap operas and reality shows simply have taken away our time to interact with each other. Nowadays if you go to someone's house, you better ask in advance where host is busy with some soap box time or not otherwise you will be just an irritant to them. It is true TV channels (if used properly) can provide a lot of information to all and also provide real time news which are very helpful. It also provides employment to a lot of young people whether journalists, actors, or news readers or anchors. But it has become an addiction to all. The kids today lost their childhood and basic playtime to grow up, they fantasize the actors in the movies and soap operas (some of which are never ending too). A kid today spends hours watching TV or TV shows on their mobile devices and are not interested to go to a field to play. This already has a social and health impact on the society as diseases which are based on inactivity like diabetes are on the rise among them.

I know, with time everything will change and we need to accept it for good. Technology has a big impact on our lifestyle and so TV and its shows on mobile devices are just evolutions into delivery mechanism. Today SMART TV can check what people are watching at home and send that information to advertisers to earn money. We are willing to sacrifice privacy (knowingly or unknowingly) and move away from CRT TV to LCD or LED or 3D TV to maintain social status. We don't mind watching worthless reality shows which deliver hardly any entertainment values or information. This makes us self-absorbed, socially isolated, and unhealthy. But we still cling onto it more and more. Alas, technology created a monster (in some form), which made us unsocial and unsympathetic to others and that surely is not good for us.







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