Writing, Among Other Things

Does TV kill Creativity?

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When I was a child, I did not watch a lot of TV. In fact, TV was not even interesting as only a few channels were available, and these were mostly boring.  So, naturally, kids in our time did the next best thing – they read!

These days, however, TV has become interesting. There is something for everyone and, therefore, it is no wonder that everyone is watching more TV than ever before.  I am no exception.

But, with the increase in my TV viewing time, I couldn’t help wondering: Does watching TV  TV kill creativity?

I did a Google search using the string “Does TV kill creativity?” and got 17,700,000 results. I am sure that among these results there must have been links to researches that prove it does, and there must be other links to researches that prove it doesn’t, and there must be links to still other researches that prove TV does not affect creativity at all.

I, therefore, decided to do a little thinking for myself, and share my thoughts on the subject with you.

When I felt that I was spending more time watching TV – and less time reading – I initially tried to justify that by telling myself that watching TV was the same as reading, only at a much faster speed. While it took me about 5-6 hours to read a book, I could watch a similar story on TV in less than an hour. This reasoning, however, did not hold for long as I begin to have a gnawing feeling that there was something wrong with it.

TV kills imagination, and Imagination is an important part of creativity.

For example, when you read, “It was a beautiful morning,” your mind immediately begins to draw a picture of a beautiful morning for you. This picture will definitely be different for different readers.

But, every reader draws a picture.

On the other hand, when you are watching a beautiful morning on TV, you get the picture drawn for you, and this picture is the same for every viewer.  So, TV does not leave any room for you to exercise the power of your imagination. You simply become a passive recipient of someone else’s imagination. This can’t be good for your creativity.

Moreover, TV is a huge time sink. It keeps you indoors, and on your couch. Thus, you miss out on the exercise and the experiences that you would have got if you had not stayed indoors. Exercise and new experiences, as we all know, are well known enhancers of creativity. Watching TV keeps you away from them.

So, I feel that TV definitely kills your creativity, and even if it does not kill creativity, TV does not let you be more creative than you already are. Wouldn’t you agree?

(Image courtesy: svilen001 from

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  1. i go with this article, and its a big time consuming device..kills our time and adds i hate them..

  2. Interesting perspective, and I appreciate reading it.

    I think I’d add further that our (that’s collectively, not necessarily a finger pointing at you or I) choice to be constantly inundated with technology is leading us to become a giant society of stupid, Attention Deficit Disorder individuals.
    In addition to the many forms of passive entertainment at our proverbial fingertips (social media, like Facebook, etc; video games, that are increasingly becoming more “realistic” and stimulating; in addition to all of the easy answers we have via technology (GPS, Wikipedia, aforementioned video games…), I don’t think many people (even myself) are as alive as we used to be even
    5 years ago. (In their book “So Sexy So Soon”, Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne describe this as a “Problem Solving Deficit” … and that was written about 5 years ago! Hell, look where I’m discussing this … in cyberspace, instead of face to face with a group of friends and/or intellectuals)

    Sorry for the rant. 🙂

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