What do we mean when we "watch" TV?

As someone who does not own a Television set and doesn’t watch many shows, I have a hard time thinking of content for this category.

However, I think that someone who has a lot of background information in this area might be better at discussing this topic I’ve had in the back of my mind.

What do we mean when we "watch" TV? Does TV rather, watch us? Not like the novel 1984, but rather with the idea in mind we sometimes leave it on all the time – or feel constantly drawn to turning it on – when other things are around to do.

When I was growing up, I had a TV in my bedroom and left it on all day unless I was sleeping. Even when I was gone for the day at school I had it turned on, only with the mute button.

What is it about the Television that is so intriguing we feel we must watch it? And how do we "watch" TV now? This topic could explore the modern version of netflix, laptops, or anything to do with the connotation of "watch" when it comes to TV.

  • TV could stand in as an almost literal window into what people desire (whether it is recognition, satisfaction, justice, etc.), hence why it's so difficult to shut off that world of TV entirely by what it may promise its "watchers?" And those desires depicted by TV can literally change to whatever is of the moment, maintaining the TV fascination throughout everyday life. – dsoumilas 8 years ago
  • I think that you can also take this in the direction of audience studies and question what it means to be an audience and what actions audiences/fans perform – DClarke 8 years ago

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