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Weather we realize it or not, TV plays a very important part in our lives. It is essential for us to decide weather it is good or bad.

In the first place, television is not only a convenient source of entertainment, but also a comparatively cheap one. For a family of four, for example, it is more convenient as well as cheaper to sit comfortably at home than to go out. There is no transport to arrange. They do not have to find a baby-sitter. They do not have to pay for expensive seats at the theatre, the cinema, the opera or the ballet. All they have to do is turn a knob, and they can see plays, films, operas of every kind, not to mention political discussions and the latest exciting football match. Some people, however, say that this is just where the danger lies. The television viewer needs do nothing. He does not even use his legs. He takes no initiative. He makes no choice. He is completely passive and has everything presented to him.

Television, people often say, is the main source of information because it informs one about current events, the latest development in science and politics, and presents an endless series of programmers which are both instructive and stimulating. The most faraway countries and the strangest customs are brought into one's living-room. It is the window on the world which gives us an opportunity to "travel" all over the world, to "meet" different people and to learn about their customs and traditions.

TV has the power to educate and broaden our minds. It helps us to relax after a hard day's work and escape from reality.

People can say that the radio does this just as well; but on television everything is much more living, much more real. Yet here again there is a danger. We get to dominate our lives. A friend of mine told me the other day that his television set had broken down and that he and his family had suddenly found that they had much more time to do things, and that they could really talk to each other again. It makes one think, doesn't it?

There is always a great variety of programmers on TV: news and sports programmers, talk shows and TV games, documentaries and feature films, concerts and theatre performances...

Of course, not all programmes are good. But many of them are made in good taste and with great professional skill.

There are many arguments for and against television and some people say that television is a terrible waste of time. It makes us lazier. We read less. We think less. We even talk less.

It is true that some TV addicts spend hours in front of the "box" watching whatever is on from second-rate Mexican soap operas to silly commercials.

The trick is to learn to control television and use it intelligently. The idea is to turn on the TV-set only when there's a really interesting programme.

Violence on TV is another problem that worries people not less. As George Mikes once said, TV teaches us "how to kill, to rob, to shoot and to poison". But the same can be said about computer games and many films and books. And if you don't like a certain programme, why watch it?

Generally, the poor quality of TV programmes is often criticized. I think we must understand that television in itself is neither good nor bad. Television is as good or as bad as we make it.

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