Article in Brief: the author talks about his experience through the fast developing media sector and the need for control and content monitoring.
A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a cartoon that made me smile and brought back some of my childhood memories. My 12 years old daughter was sitting next to me and noticed my smile. She immediately asked me why I was smiling. I showed her the cartoon, but looking at her facial expression, I knew that she didn’t understand the reasons behind my smile.
The cartoon showed two kids, one sitting near the TV in her living room and the other one was on the roof trying to rotate the TV antenna and asking the one in front of the TV if the screen was clear. Back in the old days, rotating the TV antenna was a manual process, and you would need to guide the person rotating it, and tell him when the desired TV channel is clear. In the 70’s and early 80’s there were two TV stations in the UAE, and only during summer months would we get the feed of the Saudi Arabian and Omani TV channels.
In those days, the TV channels used to operate from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm until 11 pm. Cartoon shows were limited to half an hour every day and after that we would have either news or educational programs.
My late grandfather used to call me “Abdulla the engineer”, as I was the only one who could tune his TV. I must admit that I did enjoy being the “engineer” and used my knowledge for blackmailing my sisters at certain times. At the end of the day, getting a free bag of chips and a soft drink was not a bad idea for TV tuning service.
Today, when I look back at those days it draws a big smile on my face. We were so simple and peaceful, and our parents were not as worried as we are today about our kids and the things they see on TV. Kids today have access to hundreds of channels either through the internet or satellite TV. They can watch any cartoon they like at any point in time.
TV time is no longer limited to half an hour every day, and if kids are left without monitoring they could spend the entire day going through different channels and programs.
Spending long hours in front of TV can affect children’s health because of their reduced physical activities in the outdoors. Therefore, it is very important for parents to monitor and control the shows their children watch on TV. TV time should also be restricted to certain hours during the day to avoid having the kids continuously watching TV. This may sound difficult to implement, but it is really necessary for the safety and security of our children.
Abdulla holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration. His abstract passion for history and literature with a hint of photography adds to his noble enduring quality. Abdulla enjoys visiting museums, art exhibitions and likes to spend his spare time in the outdoors. His column “Emirati Reflections” is a mixture of stories from the past and insights of the present, which blend together and formulate his understanding of the UAE’s culture.