As parents, it seems like we do a lot of flip-flopping when it comes to our children and the amount of television they watch on a daily basis. One moment a little educational cartoon time is good for them before we decide that it’s bad again and we shut it off completely. Well, before you turn off that television completely, did you ever think that reality television might actually SAVE your child’s life? Oh yes, you read that right!
ABC news is reporting this morning that Nicholas Joy, 17, of Medford, Mass., was found at 9 a.m. Tuesday, three days after he disappeared from Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Maine on Sunday afternoon. The adventurous teen was found on the Caribou Pond Road snowmobile trail, on the west side of the mountain, by Warwick, Mass., fire captain Joel Paul. Joy was about four miles from a road and two miles from Sugarloaf Mountain.
“He was hungry. I gave him some peanuts and crackers I had in my snowmobile,” Paul told ABC News affiliate WCVB. “He said he watched a survival show on TV and basically took branches and snow and made himself a shelter and slept under the shelter.”
So does this mean that watching endless marathons of Survivor and Amazing Race might actually be good for us? I’m watching reality television in healthy doses might not be so bad for us in the long run, as after all, we are watching unscripted television and picking up a few tips along the way (as well as learning from their mistakes, too). After all, watching an episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey might just make you want to call your relatives and give your siblings a big, gracious hug (because no matter what, your situation might not be THAT dysfunctional). Hey, an episode of Top Chef did teach me how to make awesome Crème brulee just like watching five minutes of Teen Mom might make your 17-year-old rethink their lifestyle choices, too. And only a few simple minutes of Dance Moms does remind me that I never want to be that kind of stage mom…. ever. And yes, Dora and Boots might help your children develop those necessary life and navigational skills with all of their map exercises (while you get that song stuck in your head in the meantime).
So after receiving a bad rap after all these years, it looks like reality television (and their stars) might be beneficial to our society after all. But the question of “How much television is too much television” still remains, just like “How many seasons of Dancing with the Stars is too many seasons of Dancing with the Stars.”
So tell us, Babble readers, do you think screen time is good for our kids after all? Or do you prefer to have your children learn the old fashioned way by developing people skills in the great outdoors (i.e. the playground). Thoughts?