7 Social and Emotional Benefits of Watching TV

When people talk about watching TV, they usually do so in a self-deprecating way.  They joke about being couch potatoes and complain about how much time everyone seems to spend watching TV. There seems to be a negative connotation unfairly associated with watching television.

However, did you know that there are actually several benefits of watching TV? Of course, this list of benefits doesn’t mean that you should sit in your living room for hours at a time, watching all your favorite channels. Everything should be in moderation, after all!

With that said, there are many surprising social and emotional benefits that you can get out of your television experience. Here are the seven best benefits of watching TV:

Benefit #1: Watching TV aids in relaxation

This benefit of watching TV is probably the one that most people identify with the most. There is something so relaxing about returning home after a long day of work, turning on the television, and enjoying your favourite programs. For an even more relaxing experience, some people invest in sleek TV storage units so that they could fully immerse themselves in their environments.

Now, watching TV to escape the real world isn’t usually a good thing. We don’t want to zone out and forget our responsibilities, after all (…well, maybe we do but it isn’t always the healthiest course of inaction). However, TV is great for helping us unwind and relax so that we can actually be useful for tackling a list of chores or some tedious phone calls.

There’s a fine line to walk between relaxing in front of the TV and becoming totally immersed in different shows (to the point where you don’t care about anything else). But we know you can find that line – and walk it with pride!

Benefit #2: TV provides a great source of entertainment

Now, you might be prone to scoff at this benefit and wonder if it’s even a benefit at all. Entertainment? Isn’t there already too much entertainment in this world? Shouldn’t we be more focused on educating and enlightening ourselves instead? Well…you’re half right. All play and no work can make for some very dull days.

In appropriate amounts, entertainment is actually a good thing. It gives your mind a chance to brush off its cares and concerns and be, well, entertained. It’s important to give your mind a fun, creative outlet – and TV can provide exactly that.

Benefit #3: TV is an educational tool

Television shouldn’t be the first place you turn if you want to learn something new (at least not most of the time). Between the news channels and the different documentaries and informative shows that are airing on TV these days, you can actually learn quite a bit through television.

We do have to be careful to take what we see with a grain of salt but there are genuinely good, interesting, truthful things we can learn through the TV. Don’t discount them!

Benefit #4: Watching TV gives us a chance to grow closer

This tip is especially true if you have a family of your own (whether it’s just you and your spouse or you have some kids) but it can also hold true for extended family, friends, or even acquaintances.

Watching TV together can be a time for bonding, interaction, and fun. If you’re struggling to connect with someone close to you, why not turn on the TV? You can talk about the shows in a friendly, no pressure environment and learn something about each other’s tastes and interests at the same time.

Benefit #5. TV can be a great source of motivation

As we watch TV, we can often be motivated to do great things. Whether it’s a newscast of a natural disaster in some third world country (or even locally) or a special about some profession you’d like to get involved with, TV can truly inspire and motivate us to reach for our dreams, work toward our goals, and help others.

Not everything on TV is cliched reality shows and entertainment for kids (though there’s really nothing wrong with either). TV can be a motivational vehicle like few others.

Benefit #6: TV can help you learn a second language

If you’re interested in learning a different language, why not turn on the TV and turn to a channel that is exclusively in a different language? (Often French, if you live in Canada.) Becoming immersed in a language through the entertaining medium of TV is often a great way to begin learning a language.

Of course, you’ll probably want to supplement this with books and/or online language courses, but foreign language channels are an excellent way to start becoming familiar with a new language.

Benefit #7: Watching TV can help lift that lonely feeling

Small disclaimer: if you are experiencing regular feelings of loneliness (with no apparent cause) then TV is only going to be a short term solution for those feelings. You should arrange to speak with someone you trust (or a professional) to diagnose these feelings of loneliness.

However, if you’re lonely because you’ve had to stay home from a party because of sickness or because your family has left for vacation and you’ve been left behind (for whatever reason), TV can help stave off those feelings of loneliness. It’s not a good long term solution, but it can tide you over during those snatches of aloneness.

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