The television has become such an essential part of the modern household that we can’t imagine our lives without it. People of all ages spend a great amount of time in front of the TV. Except for entertaining purposes, TV is also a valuable resource of news, advertising and different types of programs — TV shows, television series and shows. A lot it’s been said and written about it but the truth is the TV has not always been what we know it today.

The invention of the television was the work of many individuals in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It went through a lot of different forms until it reaches what we know and use today. The basic technologies and ideas that laid the foundation for the invention of television are a result of different experiments by various people, in the field of electricity and radio.

Once invented it spreads rapidly in the households and became an important part of the modern life. For example, in 1947 once a few thousand households in USA had a TV sets, but by the late 90s’ almost 98% of the households owned a TV.

Who still watches TV?

You may have many friends who say they don’t watch TV and sometimes you may ask yourself who is still watching TV — and the answer may surprise you. Almost everyone is still watching TV!

But if you’re still thinking that TV is something old-fashioned in the Internet era, you are quite mistaken. Recent studies show that 90% of the US population are still experiencing TV’s as coming home from work and just going the sofa and fall asleep in front of the TV. We are not talking about the youngsters, hipsters or only older people! This is the mainstream population for whom the TV is still the most important in-house entertainment.

How often people watch TV?

An average american will spend 9 years watching TV. In addition, in every american household there is average 2.24 TV Sets. It’s not a miracle that half of U.S. internet homes now own a connected TV device to their TV. And it’s not only the Americans! The average Briton now settles down to watch a little more than four hours of the TV a day — an almost half-hour increase on 2006 viewing habits.

Is just for entertaining?

But maybe the main question should be not who watches TV but why people watch it.

It’s clear that we all watch TV without asking ourselves why but if we go deeper into the question there are some interesting findings there. Scientifically researchers in the area found six main reasons that people watch television: to unwind, for comfort, to connect, for an experience, to escape, or to indulge.

Of course, the primary mission of most TV makers is to inform, educate and entertain. And it seems right to us but when studies go deeper into the reason for watching TV, it turns out that it is largely about our social and emotional needs as people.

It’s all about our social and emotional needs!

Big part of the most watched TV programs are usually the news. This represent the TVs mission to inform. But why do we feel need to watch the news? The truth is that people are interested in finding out what is happening in their world. This may represent our need for a sense of connection and our wish to be a part of the society. But on the other side it might also suggest our natural-born curiosity.

One of the most popular TV programs nowadays are the TV series. There are hundreds of them — from drama through crimes to Game of Thrones. What makes us watch TV series over and over? It’s the emotional engagement. Of course, we are smart human-beings and we clearly understand that the actors are not with us in the living room and their stories aren’t real. But the psychological response we have to see a familiar actor on the TV is the same as when we see a friend in the real life. The same areas of the brain are activated.

We are what we watch

Television offers a great variety of programs and it’s usually hard to choose what to watch from hundreds of channels to watch. So how we choose what to watch? Research study gives a really good answer to this question — we are what we watch: we watch what we are. Viewers use a mixture of media to satisfy their information and entertainment needs — not only TV shows or TV series.

Is the TV really unhealthy habit?

Many people consider watching TV as an unhealthy habit especially for kids. But it that true? Television watching doesn’t have to be a passive activity. It can ask questions, kindle curiosity, or teach activities to pursue when the set is off. Through media, kids can explore places, animals, or things that they couldn’t see otherwise. On the other side, good role models and examples on TV can positively influence kids.

No one can deny that TV has become a great part of our live and it will continue to be one of the main entertaining resources. Love it or hate it, we believe it will be there for a long time for good or bad reasons.

We would love to hear why do you watch TV and which are your favorite TV shows? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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