The Instigator
qopel
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Is televsion a waste of time?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,476 times Debate No: 30465
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

qopel

Pro

Reality shows and commercials are dumbing down America. Even the news is mostly entertainment geared towards ratings. The internet is a much better source of news and information.
imabench

Con

Even though television can make people start to lose faith in humanity, there are still very reliable sources of information that television can present us in a way that the internet cant. You also have TV shows which are fantastic entertainment and some of them actually carry subtle lessons that can make people be better people. TV shows that present information in a classy way or are entertaining in a good way include:

The Walking Dead
Falling Skies
Game of Thrones
The Newsroom
The X factor
The Big Bang Theory
60 minutes
ABC World News
Family Guy
The Simpsons
Seinfeld
Law and Order (Any of them)
CSI (Any of them)
NCIS
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
ESPN
Cops
The Office (when it was good)
Breaking Bad
Homeland
Modern Family
Nashville
Spartacus
Dexter
Sons of Anarchy
Parks and Recreation
Boardwalk Empire
Community
30 Rock
Justified
And theres a ton more that im probably missing too.

And then you have channels like the History Channel, National Geographic, Smithsonian, the military channel, and Discovery that bring you informational shows like:
Shark Week
Engineering Disasters
Modern Marvels
Mythbusters
The Universe
and a ton of other smaller shows which give information about just about anything you could think of!

==========================================================================

There are some TV shows that make me lose faith in Humanity (Honey Boo Boo, anything with Nicki Minaj, etc), but there are still TV shows and Channels that give straightforward information, good and witty entertainment, or sometimes even both. Just because its entertaining it doesnt make it a waste of time, but if you dont believe that then you still must concede that there are still very informative tv shows and channels which make watching television NOT a waste of time.
Debate Round No. 1
qopel

Pro

My worthy opponent has listed many TV shows that he claims are not a waste of time and "some of them actually carry subtle lessons that can make people be better people."

I'd like to respond by saying that subtle lessons are not guaranteed to be learned. The amount of time it takes to actually benefit, or learn, one of these subtle lessons is not worth the time, considering they can be learn elsewhere with more efficiency.

The same can be said about information gained from "educational" programs. The internet and books are far more efficient. Instead of learning random things that appear on a screen, a person can zero in on the specific information they seek in much less time, and then be able to follow up on any unanswered questions the may still have, unlike with a TV show.
A person is also subjected to TV commercials that also waste valuable time that could be used to do real research.

Keep in mind, that I did not ever say that television is completely useless. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. However, it would be a waste of time to stare at a broken clock until it showed the correct time. It is also a waste of time to stare at a television until you finally got the information you wanted or needed.

I'm interested in finding out how my worthy opponent will respond to my arguments.
imabench

Con

"I'd like to respond by saying that subtle lessons are not guaranteed to be learned. The amount of time it takes to actually benefit, or learn, one of these subtle lessons is not worth the time, considering they can be learn elsewhere with more efficiency."

Thats just your own opinion though... Life isnt about trying to be as efficient as possible or about learning everything you can in the shortest amount of time, there isnt even a universal agreement on what the meaning of life even is. plus its an unsubstantiated claim that you can learn these lessons elsewhere more efficiently, and anyone who has ever watched a movie based off of a book knows what Im talking about. It takes weeks and weeks to read a pretty long book that can be summarized in a movie that lasts two hours.... And theres a reason that kids watch movies based off of stories like "Romeo and Juliet" rather then just read the story, because they notice a lot more details in the movie then they do reading the book.

Basically, its not true that television isnt as effective as books or the internet in helping someone learn, and life isnt even about trying to learn as much as you can.

"The same can be said about information gained from "educational" programs. The internet and books are far more efficient"

See above argument about how kids frequently look to movies based on books rather then read the books themselves in order to get a better idea of what is going on....

"Instead of learning random things that appear on a screen, a person can zero in on the specific information they seek in much less time, and then be able to follow up on any unanswered questions the may still have, unlike with a TV show."

If you want to look up something specific then tv shows wont do you much good, but that doesnt mean there still isnt value in random facts you learn while watching TV.... Shows like Jeopardy and Millionaire are built on trivia questions that range massively in topic, but they can teach you about so much stuff in 30 minutes then reading a book or wikipedia article on one subject ever could.... Meaning that TV is still valuable and not a waste of time.

"A person is also subjected to TV commercials that also waste valuable time that could be used to do real research."

Geez dude life isnt all about researching stuff and commercials barely last 2 minutes anyways. Also anyone who is forced to use internet explorer knows how a commercial break on TV lasts a hell of a lot shorter then waiting for your computer to turn on and the internet to load....

And then for the search engine to load....

And then the results for the search engine to load.....

And then the actual webpage of the link you click on to load....

By then the commercial break would have ended 5 minutes ago (depending on how slow your internet maybe)

"Keep in mind, that I did not ever say that television is completely useless"

The resolution is that you believe television is a waste of time, which is pretty damn close to saying its completely useless...

" It is also a waste of time to stare at a television until you finally got the information you wanted or needed."

Holy crap... People dont watch television only for information about a specific thing.... People can watch it for just about anything, entertainment purposes being the most popular reason. Entertainment of course is something that television can provide a hell of a lot better then just any old book....

Television might be pretty inefficient if you want to know something about a very specific subject right away, but that doesnt make television a waste of time because the simple fact is: People dont often watch television to learn about something right away. People watch television to be entertained which once in a while can come in the form of learning about something you didnt set out on trying to learn about in the first place.... Entertainment is not a waste of time and television can present information better in some scenarios then books or the internet can..... Meaning that television is not a waste of time.
Debate Round No. 2
qopel

Pro

My opponent has accused me of using my own opinion as fact.
I believe my opponent is being hypocritical.
My opponent used his opinion on many occasion; for example:
1 "...life isnt even about trying to learn as much as you can.""
2 "Entertainment of course is something that television can provide a hell of a lot better then just any old book....""
3 "Entertainment is not a waste of time""

I respectfully disagree with my opponent's opinions.
1. Everything we experience is learned. A person is made up of what he or she has learned. That's what life is about.
2. If you ask any random person, I'm sure most of them will agree that a book is much better than a movie of the same story. Books stimulate the imagination and can provide much more detail than any movie can.
3. Entertainment isn't productive. Anything non-productive is a waste of time.

My opponent was trying to use the amount of time it takes to boot up a computer as some kind of proof that the internet itself is a waste of time. That's like saying the amount of time it takes to turn on a TV and turn the channel makes TV itself a waste of time. Everything takes time, even going to a library and opening a book. That has nothing to do with how valuable the book itself is.

"there are still very reliable sources of information that television can present us in a way that the internet cant.""

The above statement by my opponent just isn't true. The very fact that you can stream live video over the internet proves that the internet can present anything television can; and a lot more.

My opponent said, "that doesn't mean there still isn't value in random facts""

There is value in almost anything. Like I mentioned before, I am not trying to prove that television doesn't have any value at all. I'm trying to prove that it is a waste of time. They are not the same thing. I believe my clock analogy was a perfect example of that. Is a broken clock valueless? No! The two times it is right per day gives it value. Is it a waste of time watching it the rest of the time? Yes. Considering the amount of value you get from TV compared to the amount of time you waste not getting that value makes television a waste of time.
imabench

Con

"My opponent has accused me of using my own opinion as fact. I believe my opponent is being hypocritical."
"1 "...life isnt even about trying to learn as much as you can."""

There isnt a universal definition about what the meaning of life even is, and since pro didnt give us any kind of source saying otherwise, then this statement that life isnt about trying to learn as much as you can is true.

"2 "Entertainment of course is something that television can provide a hell of a lot better then just any old book....""

Once again Pro hasnt given any evidence suggesting that this is false, so its fair for me to assume it is true. Millions and millions of people watched the Superbowl this year, now how many of them would find it more entertaining to read a book about it? The same goes for any individual tv episode out of any individual tv series as well.

"3 "Entertainment is not a waste of time""

The burden of proof is on you to prove that entertainment is indeed a waste of time if thats how you feel about it. If you dont then all I have to do is deny it, show how entertainment is indeed valuable, and then prove your argument wrong.

"If you ask any random person, I'm sure most of them will agree that a book is much better than a movie of the same story"

1) We're talking about television in general, not just movies
2) If you google "People like movies better then books", 1.04 BILLION results come up
If you google "People like books better then movies", only 428 MILLION results come up, thats less then half.

So this is just another opinion of yours that doesnt have any scientific backing....

"Books stimulate the imagination and can provide much more detail than any movie can."

Add that to the list of other opinions the pro is basing his argument on.

"3. Entertainment isn't productive. Anything non-productive is a waste of time."

Why though? Why is entertainment not considered productive and why is anything that isnt productive a waste of time? Saying that they are doesnt make them true pro, you have to actually prove that what your saying is the truth and not your own opinion.

"My opponent was trying to use the amount of time it takes to boot up a computer as some kind of proof that the internet itself is a waste of time"

Good lord you COMPLETELY missed the point of that one.... You made a ludicrous argument that people are subjected to commercials means that television is a waste of time, I pointed out how waiting for your computer to turn on and not freeze is wasted time that people are also subjected to.... This argument was meant to show how silly your argument was.

"The very fact that you can stream live video over the internet proves that the internet can present anything television can; and a lot more."

But not everything you find on TV is something you can find on the internet because not every single thing on tv is live streamed on the internet.... Also it doesnt take 5 minutes for a Tv show to buffer halfway through the episode unlike what happens on the internet...

Things television can do that the internet cant:
1 - Bring us breaking news of actual live footage of events happening anywhere in the world as they actually happen
2 - Change between different channels at rapid pace (on the internet you have to start your search over completely, and you might not even be able to find what you want to watch)
3 - Record whatever live thing youre watching (cant do that with most of the internet)

"Like I mentioned before, I am not trying to prove that television doesn't have any value at all. I'm trying to prove that it is a waste of time."

But you havent 'proven' anything, all your basing your arguments off of is your own world view...

"Is a broken clock valueless? No! The two times it is right per day gives it value. Is it a waste of time watching it the rest of the time? Yes. Considering the amount of value you get from TV compared to the amount of time you waste not getting that value makes television a waste of time."

This is still wrong though because this is all based off of your opinion and your really messed up idea of what is 'valuable'... There are people who believe that the meaning of life is to make as much money as you can and that if youre not making money then youre wasting time.... And their worldview is exactly like the pro's worldview.... Nothing more then an opinion.

==========================================================================

No matter what you think the meaning of life is or what is or isnt considered valuable, there are still some fundamental facts about television that make TV not a waste of time

1) They can be informative, and if you look in the right place, can actually be very informative
2) Trivia shows allow people to learn about a lot of random facts much faster then any book or the internet can
3) It is the most efficient way to spread information as it happens (live news)
4) They have entertainment value to them, and entertainment is not time that is wasted.
5) Television can in some scenarios provide information better then books or the internet

Television is not a waste of time, no matter what your worldview is
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by muzebreak 4 years ago
muzebreak
Obvious vb is obvious Malcolm. But I also found imabench's arguments more convincing.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by malcolmxy 4 years ago
malcolmxy
qopelimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: unvoted
Vote Placed by muzebreak 4 years ago
muzebreak
qopelimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Rfd in comments.
Vote Placed by THEVIRUS 4 years ago
THEVIRUS
qopelimabenchTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Imabench argued the topic, TV is a waste of time, by saying that SOME TV wasn't a time waster, but pro didn't refute that. Pro kept saying it was a slower source, but in some cases it takes forever to find what you want on the internet.