So I thought the essay "Television: The plug in drug" was pretty interesting. I have seen in so many families the TV kind of take over daily routines and rituals. I too remember as a child having many family gathering for holidays, and the children running around the house crazily playing off the wall games that we made up as we went along, while the adults sat around the living room talking and laughing, having a few drinks here and there. I can also remember however, all the grandchildren cuddling up in my grandmothers bed to watch Rugrats once we were all worn out. TV has been in my family for as long as I can remember and I don't seem to agree that it ruins the quality of family time, at least not in all families.
I have a three year old who loves to watch TV. I only let him watch disney movies, and educational programs that air on TV. I admit that I use the TV a lot when it comes to trying to get things done around the house. If I have homework to do, i'll turn the TV on and let him watch his shows while I do my work. I also make it a point though to turn it off when I'm finished and make him sit with me and read books or work on his numbers or letters. TV can be a great tool in that aspect, but I think the real problem is parents being lazy. Either not wanting to take the time to work on those things cause they're just too tired, or letting their children watch too much tv simply because they want to watch their own program in another room and letting the kids watch TV allows the parents to do that. We have four televisions in my house, all with DVR cable boxes. I love my TV shows don't get me wrong. I just choose to make my TV time at night after my son has gone to bed and use the time I do have with him to make each day as productive as I possible can with his learning.
I think that the TV is only as damaging as you let it be to your family life. My family is pretty big on sports. We get together to watch sporting events making enough food to last days as we sit and watch big games. If we aren't all at one house watching something, the phone rings off the hook during games as we discuss what's going on. In this sense I think that this is just one more thing that makes my family as special as I think it is. So all in all I have to say that I don't necassarily agree with Winn's essay.