"I don't think TV or PC's have anything to do with it. Any declines in family life are mostly to do with the 'modern' lifestyle."
TV and PC's (as well as cars) are part of the modern lifestyle. In fact people have been worried about modern communications and the effects it has on people since the time of radio. Harold Innis saw this coming down the pipe in the mid part of the century. Not only is the message important. The media on which that message is passed is crucial. The average Canadian watches 3 hours of TV per day. That is an eighth of our day. If you extrapolate these figures a person spends roughly 10 years (24 hours a day) of their life watching the boob. This doesn't factor in internet time. People (especially kids) seem to be so divorced from reality and need to unplug. This ties into the obesity problem we are having.
In terms of family life. Children are being raised thinking that all the information they need is on TV/PC. 70% of Americans get 100% of their information from TV. The credibility of these sources are often quite questionable.
Studies have shown that memory and attention span are adversely affected by television (including PC). There seems to be a rise in ADHD children. When a person is constantly being entertained by flashing lights and sounds it is difficult to have the attention span to read a book. We are living in a environment of hightened stimulation. Library attendence is at an all time low. We are creating a generation (which I am part of) of people who are severely dependent on the media and enjoyment derived from watching TV and surfing the net. I don't know what to do with myself when the power goes out and it depresses me. I'm from NW Ontario in the heart of the outdoors country and I'm so divorced from the outdoors it is shocking. So are almost everybody under the age of 25 I know. The outdoors have turned into a thing for hobbyists.
I don't even want to start in on commecials and the effects on people being bombarded by messages like "you are nobody if you don't wear this" or "get this, it will make you feel better", etc.
In some hyper developed nations like Japan there is a longing for a simpler life without TV,PC, cars, etc. They feel their lives are inauthentic. That's part of the reason they love Anne of Green Gables so much.
I'm not saying it is the apocalypse. I just think people are in denial about the adverse effects on TV/PC. Maybe because it strikes at their modern "reality" of survivor, cop shows, chat rooms, xbox, etc. I agree that moderation is the key but can people actually regulate themselves when it comes to "innocent" pleasure. As it stands it seems many people can't. I just think it is wrong that we are dying because of obesity (arguably caused by our lifestyle of TV/PC, cars and food) and across the globe people are starving to death.
Sorry about the random nature of my post. My mind is all over the place. I'm probably not making much sense. Somewhere within the aforementioned there should be some form of argument.
PS any thought on the cultural aspect of this? We are essentially swamped in American culture. Most magazines, TV series, movies, etc that canadians watch and read are American. Have we been colonized?