Television killed the conversation

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend lately and I don’t think I’m very happy about it. I have noticed that when the tv is turned on while people are talking, the conversations are dull and there are pauses every few minutes while someone takes a peek at whatever is playing. Don’t get me wrong, I watch tv. I watch several programs on tv. I like to record it and fast forward through most of the commercials when I watch the show – this saves me a ton of time and I still get to see the show (and this comes from a person known to watch more commercials that actual shows). But that is a whole other topic.

It seems like tv is everywhere. You go out to a semi-nice restaurant and there is a tv. You go to the mall and there are lots of tvs (ok those are for sale, but they are still there).  There are tvs in almost every room of almost every house. I’ve even seen a few tvs in bathrooms (it will be a cold day in h*ll before the tv shows up in any of our bathrooms). I keep waiting for tvs to show up in my favorite bookstore or the local museums. They are always on, even when nobody is watching them, and they are always distracting.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal, but it seems like they have replaced talking. People don’t really talk when the tv is on. They have these semi-conversations that pause and never seem to get very interesting. Now, there are times when a tv can spark a real conversation or two, but this is the exception rather than the rule. The tv isn’t just background noise like music, it is a truly distracting object that is bigger than almost anything else going on in the room.

The television itself isn’t the problem, it is the fact that it is left on while people are trying to have a conversation. I wouldn’t even bring it up here, but it is happening more and more frequently. We go out to dinner with friends and everyone starts watching one of the many tv sets that are strategically placed around a restaurant. We go over to any number of our friends houses and the tv is on (not all of our friends do this – our best friends don’t, but more do than don’t). Seriously people – turn the tv off for a couple of hours! Have a real conversation!

I’d love to see in the comments if everyone else feels the same way or if I am just completely off my rocker. Do you turn your tv off when you have company? Do you think every restaurant should have a tv? Do you have a tv in your bathroom?

One Response to “Television killed the conversation”

  1. First tv killed the radio star and now conversation? It should be arrested.

    Whether or not the tv is on when company is at our house depends on the company and what’s on tv. (If the company were there for say the Superbowl, it’d be odd not to have the tv on. Although I’d enjoy it much better.)

    We do not allow the tv on during dinner, except during special circumstances (that hardly ever happens–thanks to the power of tivo).

    And I promise you, if you ever come to my house again, we will turn the tv off while you are there!