Does TV kill community?

Jan 26, 2007

This true story was told to a Jesus Fellowship member late one night on an outreach coach in London:

A man from Mauritius came onto the coach. While drinking his tea, he told us how he came from a village where people used to be very happy. They loved to go together down to a river nearby, to sing, wash their clothes and enjoy themselves. The river was a focus of their community life.

One day someone brought a TV to a house in the centre of the village. People then started to watch it; more people began to get them. They were fascinated and became absorbed in the ‘western lifestyle’. People began leaving, to get to Britain and the west. Some died on the journey and some arrived, but were still homeless, unable to get a job.

Now no-one goes to the river, anymore.

Perhaps it speaks for itself. Does our western lifestyle with its technological wizardry and media saturation give us a better life? If so, why are stress, depression, and relationship breakdown on the increase in the UK?

The Jesus Fellowship majors on brotherhood and real friendship. That’s one reason why in our community houses (in which a quarter of Jesus Army members live together) we don’t have TV.

Sure, we keep in touch with what’s happening (newspapers and news websites help). But we want to have time ‘to be’ – and to be together. How about you?