We often hear about the dangers and pitfalls of watching television. The conditioning starts young in many cases, with children’s mothers scolding them for sitting too close to the television and swearing that it will cause blindness.

While it’s true that spending too much time in front of the tube can be detrimental, what about the positive aspects of television? Does catching your favorite shows confer any benefits?

In this article, we’ll try to restore balance to the TV conversation by discussing some of the often-overlooked gifts of television and how, in moderate amounts, TV actually makes our lives better.

Television as Education

Certainly, the airwaves carry their fair share of mindless entertainment – think Jersey Shore or Real Housewives of Wherever. However, TV can also be educational.

The following channels are mostly or totally dedicated to learning by exposing viewers — especially children and budding young adults — to new information and experiences:

  • The History Channel
  • Food Network
  • Discovery
  • National Geographic
  • PBS

TV can be a powerful augmentation to a standard education – providing visual references to supplement a textbook-based curriculum. As anyone who has taught in the classroom will confirm, adding engaging video – often sourced from prominent broadcasters – can supplement a child’s education substantially.

Staying Connected to the Local Community

Now more than ever, in the age of COVID-19 and economic shutdowns, television enables residents of local communities to stay on top of the latest developments in their areas.

PBS and other public channels, for example, frequently broadcast city council, education board, and other local government meetings, providing critical access for people who do not have internet connections or other ways to keep updated on what’s going on in their communities.

Extreme Weather Alert Systems

In addition to sirens and radio announcements, television is a primary method of issuing weather alerts in cases of extreme events like flooding, hurricanes, large fires, and other threats to public safety.

Having sufficient warning and acting decisively are keys to surviving natural disasters. Residents of affected areas who received a warning through the television of an impending extreme weather event and got out of harm’s way could very well credit the technology with saving their lives.

Family Time

Studies show that children who spend quality time with their parents exhibit better psychological development than families that do not set aside plenty of bonding time.

While a number of ways exist for families to get together, television could definitely be one way to achieve family time.

With all the viewing options available on Dish Network, finding programming that everyone in the family can be excited about is easier than ever.

Practicing a Foreign Language

Dish Network offers a nearly limitless supply of foreign-language viewing options, mostly designed for non-native Americans to keep up with what is happening in their home countries.

The foreign-language programming on Dish Network can also help people who are learning a new language. Turn the subtitles off for an even greater challenge and see if you can keep up with the dialogue.

Becoming an Informed Citizen

The contentious 2020 presidential election is just around the corner. Deciding who to vote for is one of the most important aspects of citizenship.

Ideally, voters would be well-informed on the news and politics of the day. Dish Network’s many news outlets offer the kind of education that could make for better, more informed voters.

Watching television can be an asset when viewed in moderate amounts. It can help connect families and communities, educate young people, and expose viewers to new worlds.