What a storm followed the BBC decision to stop TV licences for older viewers, and all criticism written perhaps by TV addicts themselves who saw the gratis viewing as compensation for the greying of their locks.
|Look away ... It's far from easy for humans not to monitor a television, it seems, free licence or not. Photo by Ali Pazani on Unsplash|
And I wonder if the Beeb wasn't, isn't, actually doing humans a favour. I mean, is it really such a bad decision?
Look at the average oldie in the high street as they totter to their cars, and pant and shuffle around a supermarket.
An enormous favour?
Perhaps it's an enormous favour, for without the goggle box to oggle over, most might actually go out beyond their front doors and do a spot of exercising as they experience the real world.
True, these thoughts come from one who might certainly like to write for television but has absolutely no wish to watch.
Just the notion of sitting in front of a tv screen and staring seems akin to taking up a do-it-yourself course in losing it.
I'm about to type the question, why would anyone want to give up countless hours of their time, their reality, to stare at the box?
Of course, I can guess the answer. Passing the time, and not caring for their view of reality.
Until I asked Uncle Google, I confess I didn't know licences were so expensive - £154.50 a year, apparently.
The price of a TV
That encouraged me to discover the price of a TV. The search engine offered five examples, varying from £1,349 to £375. That was much more than I expected, too.
|Not exactly cheap ... Google offered these five prices for a television.|
One who obviously spent a considerable amount on a near Imax replica, admits to watching for about an hour in the morning, perhaps a little time after lunch, and three hours or so in the evening.
But this good lady spends much more time out in her garden, and the neatness of it and the food it provides for the table proves that's no exaggeration.
Another, who gets a free licence, doesn't monitor his quite large screen only when the bathroom or bedroom calls.
His food is 'brought in', so he doesn't need to even totter to the kitchen, and he has long given up an old distraction, newspapers.
Hardly able to walk now
I won't need to tell you that he can hardly walk now. Both of his destinations are less than twenty steps away. Even so, they represent a real struggle these days, even with a walking stick.
Perhaps when paperbacks first appeared, great numbers spent hours reading. But there is one very big difference between reading and goggle-boxing. Reading requires an active brain.