Learning To Watch What We Watch | Darling Magazine

From thrillers to comedies, from documentaries to reality TV, the options we have available to access on our screens anytime, anywhere is virtually limitless. Many praise these technological advances and marvel at the immediate gratification available to each of us with a click of a button. While there are many benefits to this digital age, is it possible that we are getting more than we bargained for? With so many options available to us at all times, there are many reasons to guard our hearts and minds by watching what we watch.

Most of us can probably recall our first PG-13 or R-rated movie if we reach back through our adolescent memories. This is likely not because the movie was particularly memorable (no offense to Titanic), but rather because of the “shock factor.” Whether it was because we were watching a film or show forbidden by our parents or because the content was riskier or racier than we had experienced before, there was likely an element of shock associated with the experience. As time goes on, we are less impacted by what would have shocked us back then. The more we watch, the more we become desensitized. Thus, it is important that we choose what we watch carefully in order to avoid this addictive shock that can lead to viewing downright destructive scenes on the screen.

Stunted Creativity
Not only is it important to censor the content of what we watch, but we must also be careful about the amount of time we spend staring at the screen. While there is nothing wrong with unwinding with our favorite flick or series, we might be surprised at what we lose if we spend too much time in front of the TV. Each of us only has 24 hours in the day and spending too much time watching other stories play out, keeps us from living our own creative story. When we are overly engrossed in the stories on the screen, we may be missing out on crucial opportunities in our own life story.

A Depressed Well-Being
Just like the company we keep, we cannot help but be impacted mentally and emotionally by what we take in. TV and film tend to depict dysfunctional events and relationships in ways that can leave us feeling slimed and down. While engaging in noteworthy films and series can be an enjoyable hobby, too much of a good thing does not always leave us feeling good.

Promotes Isolation
Too much time zoned out in front of the screen can keep us from engaging in the relationships that matter most…the ones in real life! Even if we are watching a movie or show in a group or with our significant other, too much time in front of the screen keeps us from enjoying dynamic conversation with our loved ones. Thus it is best to reserve our screen time with others for times when we can make the movie or TV show a social event, whether it be a gathering with girlfriends or having a movie night with your significant other. Don’t forget the snacks and games so there are plenty of opportunities to engage in conversation!

A Poor Model
Media rarely gives us healthy models to follow when it comes to relationships. A lack of censorship when it comes to what we watch and how much time we spend watching those movies and shows can impact the way we treat people in our own lives. While we are all aware of how to deal with conflict and approach relationships healthfully, these strategies will be difficult to recall in the moment if we surround ourselves with constant models for destructive interaction.

Television and movies can be a thrilling and relaxing pastime and offer a fun way to engage with our friends in family in intriguing conversation. This article certainly does not seek to label TV as “all bad” or “all good,” but merely aims to encourage each of us to look inward and discern our limits when it comes to what we choose to fill our minds and hearts with and take a look at how we might spend our time in a more balanced way.


  1. I love this post. I have a friend that says, “DO life. It’s much better than watching other people do theirs.” It’s led me to a Facebook-less and cable-free existence and I have to say, my days are more connected to people, good books and music as a result. Thank you for the encouragement to stay on track!

  2. What a coincidence that this article is posted just as my husband and I decided to go TV/Cable free this week! We completely rearranged our living room with no television. Quality time, creativity, and reading have gone up in our home and I couldn’t be happier!

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