By Debbie Magids, Ph.D.
TV or no TV? That is the question — and what a loaded question it is.
Society has very mixed views about television in general, regardless of where it is in the house. But for most people, the big debate comes down to television in the bedroom.
For most, the bedroom is a sanctuary: a place to go to retire and wind down from a chaotic day. The bedroom is where you slumber, where you are intimate with your loved one and where you begin to ease into a restful night’s sleep. Some people prefer to wind down with a nightly dose of talk shows, while others prefer a good book. Whatever side of the issue you take, the real answers lay in understanding what purpose
the TV is serving (or not serving) for you.
Some people really love their television. They may be TiVo junkies, reality-show obsessed, or just can’t fall asleep without their fix of current events. Whatever the case, turning on the boob tube is synonymous with relaxing, being entertained and/or informed. In a busy world where people are always running and heads are always spinning, a little mindless escape comes in very handy, especially when it’s time to turn in for the evening. Bedtime is when you can “turn off” before you have to wake up and “turn on” for the next day.
Now, on the opposite end, there are those who strongly oppose TV in the bedroom. They believe the bedroom is supposed to be reserved for unwinding and quiet reflection, reading, meditating, spending time with a spouse, or simply sleeping. Some feel that television in the bedroom is a distraction, especially when it comes time to being intimate.
It’s important to understand what part the television plays in your bedtime ritual. Take a minute to assess your situation.
Could it be that the TV is merely serving as background noise so you won’t feel alone? Or are you using the TV to avoid the other person in your bed? Sometimes, excessive television in the bedroom is a surefire sign that there are problems in a marriage. Think about the time you spend watching TV and the time you spend together with your partner — who gets you more, time-wise? Are you having a healthy sex life? Are you feeling close and connected, or distant and removed? The television may be interfering with your intimate relationships or your ability to understand yourself.
However, TV may very well be a relationship enhancer. Couples have bonded over favorite shows they watch together, every night or every week — no matter what! It’s a chance to snuggle up in bed and make a pact to have alone time: the phone doesn’t get answered and the emails pile up on the computer in the next room. Couples look forward to their shows and the flirtatious banter coupled with interesting conversation it elicits afterwards.
The bottom line is that TV in the bedroom is a personal choice, but try to be honest with yourself. If your bedroom TV functions purely as a source of entertainment for you, keep on flipping. However, if television is helping you to avoid any of the issues in your life, then you need to shut down immediately.
Visit Debbie Magids, Ph.D. at www.drdebbiemagids.com.