The Importance of Television


Believe it or not, TV can be traced back to the late 1800s when numerous scientists ushered in what has become known as the “Mechanical Television Era.” By the turn of the century, scientists were working on the next generation of television. Electronic television was perfected from 1935 to 1941, but the cost prevented many people from owning a TV.

Following World War II, television became a must-have item. With TV production resuming and families having the funds to purchase a set of their own, television found its way into the home of Americans. Despite the accessibility and popularity of computers and smart-phones, people continue to purchase TV sets. As of 2011, for example, the average household in North America owns 2.8 televisions, and about 48 million TVs have been sold.

Clearly, people remain attached to television. While some of it may have to do with a reluctance to part ways with something so embedded in our daily lives, we like to think that it’s really because of television’s importance.


Entertainment is perhaps TVs most important function. Watching our favorite shows, movies, and sports teams is one of the greatest ways to distract yourself from your worries and the problems of life. While TV won’t solve any issues that reality has in store for you, it’s an easy way to escape for a bit or to give you a good laugh, or cry, when you need it.

Gaining Information

While new technology feeds us up-to-date and endless information, TV has been the main source of information for people for decades. People still rely on TV for local and world news, the weather, sporting events, or even informational programming.

Education Value

Despite what critics have stated throughout the years, TV doesn’t exactly make children less smart. Watching quality programs like Sesame Street have improved children’s cognitive abilities. Besides being more than just a babysitter for kids, TVs can be used in the classroom as an aid to benefit in instruction, or to give a teacher a break. But children aren’t the only one who can benefit from the educational potential of TV. Adults can watch a documentary or historical program to enhance their own knowledge.

Connecting to People

Television has for years been a great way to connect people to each other. Whether it’s discussing a show with co-workers at the water-cooler, watching a program during family time, or sharing your thoughts with people from across the world on message boards or social media. As a matter of fact, a 2012 survey in Australia found that 36% called or texted family and friends and 41% posted on Facebook while watching TV.


Yeah, we hate advertising, too, but you can’t escape it on the net either. Regardless, companies have to make cash, as well,and TV has been a consistent medium for advertisers to push a product or service onto viewers. Advertising also informs the public on new products. Unfortunately, it’s just an evil that we have to live with.


Image Source: Episodio Piloto

Leave a Comment