Reading vs TV, Movies etc.

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tazarooni89
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From a young age, why are we always taught by parents, teachers etc. that reading (specifically, fiction) is a really good habit, but other forms of consuming fiction (e.g. TV, movies, video games etc.) should be restricted or avoided? Is it not basically the same thing, but just in a different format?

The way I see it, they're all good things to do in moderation, but can be unhealthy in excess. It can be nice and fun to escape into a fictional world for entertainment from time to time, but not so much that it comes at the expense of time spend on our personal development in the real world.
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Dragolien
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The main advantage of reading good fiction is that it helps you improve your own reading and writing skills in the long term. Usually you will pick up on the techniques employed by the author, and this will lead to a higher sophistication of your understanding of the English language.

While fiction can be consumed via TV and video games, there isn't usually anything useful to pick up on regarding English skills. Because their formats are much more visual, often the language used is much more informal and concise. This helps you to understand the basic topic that they are talking about, but there is no technique to copy from them. I suppose that if you spent a lot of time watching orators, then your speaking would improve as a result, but this is not a common case.
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tazarooni89
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(Original post by Dragolien)
The main advantage of reading good fiction is that it helps you improve your own reading and writing skills in the long term. Usually you will pick up on the techniques employed by the author, and this will lead to a higher sophistication of your understanding of the English language.

While fiction can be consumed via TV and video games, there isn't usually anything useful to pick up on regarding English skills. Because their formats are much more visual, often the language used is much more informal and concise. This helps you to understand the basic topic that they are talking about, but there is no technique to copy from them. I suppose that if you spent a lot of time watching orators, then your speaking would improve as a result, but this is not a common case.
I would agree that reading high quality material can help a person improve their own written communication skills. But then I'd also argue that listening, speaking and body language are also important aspects of communication that a child should develop as well, including concise, informal communication. These skills could be applied in a social context or may even be crucial for success in certain careers. Why can styles and techniques not be absorbed from screen personalities in the same way? (Of course, this will all depend on the quality and appropriateness of the content).

I would also say that there's a big difference in the writing styles used in fiction versus non-fiction, and that it's actually the non-fiction style that a person is going to need in their day to day lives as well as for most careers.
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Dragolien
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(Original post by tazarooni89)
I would agree that reading high quality material can help a person improve their own written communication skills. But then I'd also argue that listening, speaking and body language are also important aspects of communication that a child should develop as well, including concise, informal communication. These skills could be applied in a social context or may even be crucial for success in certain careers. Why can styles and techniques not be absorbed from screen personalities in the same way? (Of course, this will all depend on the quality and appropriateness of the content).

I would also say that there's a big difference in the writing styles used in fiction versus non-fiction, and that it's actually the non-fiction style that a person is going to need in their day to day lives as well as for most careers.
Non-fiction certainly does help when it comes to explanations, summarisations, and evaluations. But fiction has a huge role in how one writes formally, persuasively, and for entertainment purposes. The rhetoric and technique commonly used in fiction texts aren't seen in a great depth in many non-fiction texts, which instead focus on trying to convey the concepts that they are trying to teach.

I can concede the point that some TV shows realistically depict society, although they are few and far between. Often they are instead exaggerations or parodies of the social area that they portray.
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