The Instigator
mbrownie
Pro (for)
The Contender
sboss18
Con (against)

Are books better than TV?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2016 Category: TV
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 835 times Debate No: 97613
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

mbrownie

Pro

I believe that books are better than TV. You see, TV rots kids, adults, seniors, teens, and everyone's brains, where books transport them to a wonderful new place that could have happened eighty years ago, or about someone important, instead of watching a TV documentary about them, you can easily open a book and be transported there. Forget about commercials, and all you need is a good spot to read and a book you were planning on reading.
Books are for the future, and even though TV is more technological than books, you could possibly be addicting, where books it is easily set down with a nice bookmark inside of it.
TV, as I mentioned earlier, rots people brains. You also don't know what you are watching. If you randomly flip a channel, there could be inappropriate things, such as blood, gore, or even going as far as sex. Watching too much television is bad for your health, could brainwash you into consumerism, makes you antisocial if you watch too much, and even goes as far as turning you shallow.
Whereas, books are a wonderful, magical journey that everyone should do, instead of TV. Talk to your grandparents. How did they do it back then when there wasn't TV?
sboss18

Con

I thank my opponent for creating this debate, and wish them the best of luck in the coming rounds! I will be arguing against the resolution, namely, that television is better than books. I will begin my defining a few important terms that Pro used in their post.

book: a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers (i.e. a physical paper book as opposed to an electronic one).

TV: a system for transmitting visual images and sound that are reproduced on screens, chiefly used to broadcast programs for entertainment, information, and education.

Since they presented their openings statements in their Round 1 post I will, in kind, begin with mine. I will not respond to any of Pro's Round 1 arguments as I feel that would be unfair since I also have the final say in the last round. My argument will be broken down into four main claims: Books are dangerous, TV reaches a wider audience, Books are more time consuming, and TV is better for the economy.


[C1] Books are dangerous.


Based on our definition of "book," it's easy to see that the constant turning of pages in a book could potentially create very dangerous situations where one could receive multiple papercuts throughout the reading. Papercuts don't sound that dangerous on paper (pun intended), but research shows because you have much more nerve endings in your fingertips (which is where you're most likely to experience a papercut), they are in fact quite painful [1].


As one writer puts it: "The nerve endings are in the dermis layer, so the cuts get right into those and causes all that pain. And yet, they don't go deep enough to get to the blood vessels just below. Which is why these cuts never bleed all that much. In a way, that almost adds to the pain. Since blood is full of wound-healing chemicals that activate cells to get the blood to clot and get cells to migrate to heal, there’s a whole cascade of chemicals with a job to do when you bleed. Paper cuts, on the other hand, are relatively superficial and don’t bleed much, and therefore may not heal as quickly. [1]"


I've also heard stories about teachers who had students who would experience papercuts in other places like their eyeball. Can you imagine how painful and permanently scarring the damage would be? Normal viewing experiences with a television would decimate the problem of papercuts as there is no paper involved.



[C2] TV reaches a wider audience.


Approximately 14% of the American public, or 32 million citizens, are unable to read [2]. Worldwide, this number rises to a staggering 775 million, over 10% of the entire world population. This illiteracy makes it basically impossible for a large number of people to enjoy reading a book. On the other hand, these same people can have a much more pleasurable experience watching television, as even if you are not 100% proficient in a language, the accompanying graphics and pictures and video makes it much easier to comprehend. I am currently living in Japan, for example, and my Japanese proficiency is very low. Despite this, I am still able to watch Japanese television and have a basic understanding of what is happening on screen.



[C3] Books are more time consuming.


People these days are more busy and stressed than ever. A Stress in America study concluded that 35% of adults surveyed since 2007 said they felt more stressed the current year than in the previous one [3]. Everyone is busy, and everyone needs time to unwind and relax. For many people, that relaxation time manifests in the form of watching television, which is arguably a more passive experience (in some cases) than reading a book. That's not to say watching television doesn't have education value, but it's easy to see most people would find TV more of a de-stresser than a book.


Also, it takes considerably more time to read a book than watch a television show or the book's movie equivalent [4].



[C4] TV is better for the economy.


Television opens many doors in the world of employment. You have advertisers, directors, producers, actors, agents, editors, videographers, etc. Whereas in the world of books, you mostly just have writers, publishers, and advertisers. Television stimulates the economy and creates many more jobs than books.



In conclusion, while some may argue books stimulate the imagination moreso than television, is that really what's important in our world? Television provides so many opportunities for enjoyment in so many peoples' lives; it's hard to overlook this. I am looking forward to Pro's response, and again wish them the best of luck in their rebuttal. Thank you.




Source[s]:


[1] http://www.menshealth.com...


[2] http://www.statisticbrain.com...


[3] http://healthland.time.com...


[4] http://www.shortlist.com...


Debate Round No. 1
mbrownie

Pro

I thank my opponent for joining this debate and I also wish them luck.

You see, as my opponent previously mentioned before, a book could be dangerous. But even though one writer states things about the dermis layer and things like that, who would have a paper-cut in their eyeball? What kind of chances would you have to even get a paper-cut from reading a book? But then, to get a cut in the eyeball? To put it kindly, and to give no offense, the idea is sort of ludicrous. The meaning of ludicrous could be taken offensively, but I do not mean it that way. But the idea of someone getting a paper-cut in their eye. I would like to ask my opponent for some real evidence of that and not just from "hearing stories".

As an actual Japanese version, I do understand how hard it is to understand Japanese, but if you learn reading Japanese, you could get better and better and better. For example, my mother does teach Japanese, where you learn to speak, read, and write in Japanese.

According to reel run down.com, "Some people take television too seriously. One study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships showed that viewers experienced the same negative reactions to the loss of an imaginary friendship with a character on television as they did when their real social relationships ended." Wouldn't this be a bad thing? Not only does TV cause obesity, it also is a waste of time. You could be performing a musical instrument, or singing, or even working on some hobbies like art, or building, or even studying to become something the world can use, like a lawyer or a doctor.
"It's a waste of time. Watching television fills the time a person might have spent doing important, enriching things like interacting socially with other human beings, being physically active, discovering the outdoors, reading, using one's own imagination, or accomplishing other things like working or doing homework or chores, or spending time with enriching hobbies." Says reel run down.com.

Books are unique. With our imaginations, when we read a book, we think up of the scenery, what the characters really look like, where in TV, everything is already thought up and in motion. So your brain functions less when you watch TV than when you actually read a book.

Studies have shown that you can start more conversations with other people, and you make friends easier if you have read the same book. But if you compare TV, then you have a problem. There could be some re-runs, where if you want a re-run in a book, you just re-read it. But in TV, you have to check and see if the show you wanted to watch is something you have already seen before.

TV shows are never supposed to end. Even though there are time limits to a show, TV companies and studios keep writing and creating new stories even though the plot gets worse and worse- or better and better. The companies want more money, and if they put out more shows, they get paid more.

Sources:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com...
https://reelrundown.com...
sboss18

Con

(I apologize for the formatting of my Round 2 argument. DDO is not very user-friendly when it comes to that kind of stuff.)
Again, in the interest of fairness, I will attack both Pro's Round 1 and Round 2 arguments in my rebuttal. I will save my defense (and possibly further rebuttals since there is no official format for this debate) for Round 3.
Round 1 Attack:

"You see, TV rots kids, adults, seniors, teens, and everyone's brains..."

Yes, this is a very common phrase that gets thrown around very loosely. And many people believe TV will make children and adults more antisocial, more depressed, and other negative factors. However, believe it or not, this is actually a post hoc fallacy. The studies conducted that were trying to find a link between amount of TV watched and negative behaviors didn't take heredity into account. as R. Douglas Fields points out in his article on Scientific American's website titled, "Does TV Rot Your Brain?":

"[A new study on television watching habits] included more than 3,000 sibling pairs (that is, half-siblings, full siblings, and identical and nonidentical twins). The correlation between nearly all the negative behavior and time spent watching TV vanished after the researchers statistically accounted for relatedness. Genetics...shapes brain behavior, which in turn has wide-ranging consequences, including how many hours of TV individual children tend to watch and how their brains respond to it."

As this article mentions, TV watching is a result of poor brain activity due to genetics and heredity, not the other way around. When proper factors are taken into account, the results change dramatically.


"...books transport them to a wonderful new place that could have happened eighty years ago, or about someone important..."

This is not unique to books, as this is also true for television.

"Books are for the future, and even though TV is more technological than books, you could possibly be addicting, where books it is easily set down with a nice bookmark inside of it."

These statements are all over the place, and it all lacks evidence. You can just as easily pause a television show as you can stop reading a book and pick back up where you left off.

"You also don't know what you are watching. If you randomly flip a channel, there could be inappropriate things, such as blood, gore, or even going as far as sex."

This is an ethical issue and is entirely subjective, as what is considered "appropriate material" varies from person to person. In fact, I would argue the same could be true for reading material. You could easily accidentally flip through pornographic material and be subjected to adult content unwillingly. Fifty Shades of Grey is basically a pornographic novel, but the cover could mislead people into thinking otherwise.


"Talk to your grandparents. How did they do it back then when there wasn't TV?"

They also didn't have the Internet, cell phones, or Amazon. This is a non-argument.

Round 2 Attack:

"I would like to ask my opponent for some real evidence of [people getting papercuts in their eyeballs] and not just from "hearing stories"."

Yes, my story was anecdotal. But surely you can understand this has happened to people in the past. And even if it didn't, at the very least, it's entirely plausible. If you must see for yourself, please check source [2] below.


"Wouldn't [feeling emotional attachment to an imaginary person and feel sad when they die] be a bad thing?"

No? What's wrong with that? Wouldn't books give you the same level of emotional attachment to their characters? If not, then wouldn't it be a bad book if you didn't care about the characters at all?

"[Watching TV] it also is a waste of time. You could be performing a musical instrument, or singing, or even working on some hobbies like art, or building, or even studying to become something the world can use, like a lawyer or a doctor."

And this doesn't apply to books because...? It seems to me TV and books have very similar disadvantages. Also, who's to say you can't watch educational television programs to further your career or improve your skills/hobbies?

"Books are unique. With our imaginations, when we read a book, we think up of the scenery, what the characters really look like, where in TV, everything is already thought up and in motion."

For this, I extend my argument in my conclusion paragraph in Round 1. I would say there are many more important things to worry about than imagination. Also, Pro has failed to argue why having a visual representation of something (as opposed to purely imaginary) is a bad thing.

"Studies have shown that you can start more conversations with other people, and you make friends easier if you have read the same book. But if you compare TV, then you have a problem."

I legitimately don't understand what point you're trying to make here. How would you have a problem when discussing television shows as opposed to books with people?

"But in TV, you have to check and see if the show you wanted to watch is something you have already seen before."

Maybe in the nineties. In the age of the Internet, you can watch shows using streaming services like Netflix. Or you could just watch it online through the hundreds of video sharing platforms.

"TV shows are never supposed to end. Even though there are time limits to a show, TV companies and studios keep writing and creating new stories even though the plot gets worse and worse- or better and better."

Again, I have a hard time seeing your point, as it doesn't really make sense. Also, the idea that shows only get worse (or better apparently, which I also fail to see why that's a negative?) lacks any kind of verifiable evidence. And once again, the same logic can apply to books. Writers have sequels to books as well, which can also become worse in quality over time.

One final point I would like to make is your first source from Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble is a bookseller, and so they obviously will have a bias towards books over television. B&N is not an authority over deciding which entertainment medium is objectively better. And if you actually read the article, you would see it's incredibly informal in nature, and is essentially a Buzzfeed article when it comes to scientific merit.

In conclusion, virtually all of Pro's points fail to hold up under scrutiny. Vote Con.

Source(s):

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com...

[2] http://www.mumsnet.com...

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by mbrownie 1 year ago
mbrownie
@sboss I've just been very busy and haven't been on for a while
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
Damn, this was a good debate too. Now it's forever glitched.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
If you are going to forfeit this round, please do so by posting a blank argument so we don't get stuck in debate limbo. This website routinely will never resolve the "your opponent has forfeited" stage. It's a bug that, rightfully so, bugs me. I've been in multiple arguments that just get stuck and never finish.
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