I will agree in a heartbeat that quality family time is not best spent around the television.  Yet, some wonderful memories of childhood did involve a gathering of the whole family around the tube for some show or movie that would be but a memory if not seen the one time it was on.  This was so particularly around the holidays, when classic animated specials aired for the one and only time.  A Charlie Brown Christmas and several others come to mind as quiet, stop everything viewings before the family’s one television set. 

Similarly, when a great movie came to Television, the whole family would gather around for a night or two, and as this happened a generational torch was passed  Whether it was Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, or Ben Hur, we enjoyed the time together, and these premiers were special events.  Although I would not compare TV time for family time on vacation, at the beach, camping, or even talking around the dinner table, these were still special times in their own way.

Then, came the VCR, the DVD, and now instant, on-demand downloads.  Now we can watch anytime, anyplace, and there is nothing special about it.  There is no reason to gather up the family as one.  It was perhaps nicer back in the day to make time for a special event before all media became so recordable, fungible, replaceable, and re-playable.

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