I've a column in the Sydney Morning Herald today, 'We interrupt this program for an important message on relating'.
Figures suggest that Australians regularly have the television on during dinner. I'm asking why, and suggesting what might be lost. A sample:
The dinner table, for all its archaism, is one of the last asylums for regular communication; to share impressions, air complaints, squabble and laugh. This sounds trivial but for busy couples and families it is increasingly rare. Problems go unsolved, successes unnoticed, discoveries uncelebrated. We can become familiar strangers: sharing money and rooms but not the tangle and tumble of life.
Television is no science-fiction villain. This is a human problem, with human solutions, and the TV is simply one more player in the daily competition for attention.
But the stakes of this contest are high: greater intimacy, and the contentment, health and resilience it can afford. Along with computers and smartphones, the idiot box has the upper hand.(Image: SMH)