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How TV Makes the World More Accessible to People With Chronic Illness

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I’m going to say something that might be controversial… I don’t think watching TV is really so bad for us!

I’ve discovered so much about the world from watching documentaries on travel, nature, history, the arts, and social issues, been cheered up by comedy shows, and gained tips on love and relationships from reality TV shows. Though I don’t personally recommend watching too much news content due to its effect on the nervous system!

The TV screen has been a lifeline when I was too ill to leave my bed or my home. I love immersing myself in a storyline and becoming attached to the characters and their lives. It’s also made me feel included in world events like concerts, festivals, and political demonstrations I would have liked to attend. Without a doubt, TV makes the world more accessible for disabled, chronically ill and mentally ill people, and the elderly. Not to mention it helps visual learners who learn best from video plus audio.

Granted, no one feels great after a junk TV binge, but if your daily activities are interspersed with an hour or two of TV, like getting stuck in a good film, I honestly don’t see the problem. I know we were brought up to think we would get “square eyes” and indeed too much screen time is a problem today, but our phones and computers are to blame for that too.

It’s all about learning to be mindful of your use of screens and stopping before you overdo it. Easier said than done, I know! But if you remember to take a break, to move your body and reconnect with nature or a good book, have a conversation with a friend or a hot bath, a little TV can nourish you in a different way. It would be unrealistic for us to strive not to use technology at all in this day and age. It’s all about finding balance. If you can make screen time a part of your life without letting it dominate your life (e.g. turn off notifications, keep your phone on silent, and don’t let checking your phone be the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep) then you’re winning.

Getty image by Andrea Obzerova.

Originally published: June 13, 2022
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