Kelly Rose Bradford Journalist and broadcaster London, GB
I think not. We recently got a subscription to an on-demand internet TV service - I say 'we' - actually it was ME, but I have watched one programme on it, my son having commandeered it, set up his own profile, and is now swiftly working his way through the entire Fawlty Towers collection...and I'm not entirely happy about it.
During my childhood, TV was something the family enjoyed together; we would watch Corrie (back in the days when it was only on twice a week), the Muppet Show on Sunday night, sometimes a western on a Saturday afternoon. But the 'box' wasn't on every day, and we certainly were not allowed to just sit in front of it mindlessly – it would be switched off when the programme we had tuned in for ended.
Until we got Netflix, my son – now 10 – had never really shown any interest in television beyond Dr Who, but I think because he has discovered it 'on the web' it has suddenly become more interesting.
And this worries me. It is yet ANOTHER reason for him to be staring at his computer for hours on end. Obviously I am closely monitoring what he is watching (his current penchant is for vintage comedies), but I would rather he watched it on a television set than his computer.
To me, watching a TV programme should be about relaxation and downtime – and sitting at a desk in front of the computer, or with the iPad on his lap, doesn't seem much like chilling out in my opinion.
I do actually have a cable to connect the iPad to the TV, but I am still hesitant – I would much rather my son just flopped on the sofa and vegged out in front of the box every now and then. Like generations of kids before him.