Television raised me


By Michael Ramey

Let me start off by saying that I have two great parents and this is no way to say they were incapable of raising me. This article is to point out that many of us grew up with television as not only entertainment, but a learning tool. This thought came up after I read an article by a mother saying television is melting children’s minds, this is my rebuttal. Television doesn’t melt young minds, it molds them.

When we were younger, we didn’t realize the things our parents were preaching to us were for the most part true. We wouldn’t listen to them, but we would however listen to people we looked up to, the Will Smiths of the world. Our father may have taught us lessons about women, jobs and responsibilities, but when Dr. Cliff Huxtable said it, he would drive it home and embed it into our young impressionable minds (I understand the controversy with this, but at the time no one knew of what was going on behind the scenes).

It all really started with The Power Rangers. That was the first time I learned about good vs. evil; the same could be said about wrestling. It was my first time seeing a hero conquering evil. The Bugs Bunny and Tweedy Show was one of my first experiences with comedy and taught me the art of the comeback.


Friends was a game changer for me, it was by far the most influential show for me as a kid. Hell I can remember walking through stores with my hands in my pockets trying to mimic Chandler Bing saying stuff like “Could these aisles BE any longer?” I learned something from every single character on that show. Chandler brought out my sense of humor, Pheobe taught me to embrace my unique qualities, Monica made me a bit of neat freak and taught me organizational skills, Rachel taught me money isn’t everything, Ross taught me it is ok to geek out about things and to fight for the girl of your dreams. As for Joey, I’d like to say he taught me how to charm women, but really he taught me to never give up on my dreams. Altogether Friends taught me the power of friendship, how to be a good friend and that you don’t have to be blood to be family.


Fresh Prince Of Bel Air taught me not only a lot about black history, but also the fact that no matter who you are, if you work hard enough you can accomplish whatever you want to. It also taught me to be myself and how important family is. If society expects nothing of you, you can exceed those expectations.

Boy Meets World was not only the staple of my TGIF growing up, but it was my first crush when it came to Topanga. Growing up is hard and Corey went through everything we went through going up like your first kiss, first date, high school, college and so much more. It opened up eyes to issues some us may have been unfamiliar with at that time like death and love. Don’t get me started on Mr. Feeney; he was the teacher we all wished for and I know was a big influence on many people growing up.

M*A*S*H taught me that having my own opinion on something is not only okay, but it is okay to voice that opinion and to be heard. M*A*S*H was also my first look at war and politics. The scene between Hawkeye and Father Mulcahy mid surgery has always stuck with me after all these year. It went like this:

Hawkeye: “War isn’t Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.”
Father Mulcahy: “How do you figure, Hawkeye?”
Hawkeye: “Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?”
Father Mulcahy: “Sinners I believe.”
Hawkeye: “Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them – little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.”

Seinfeld taught me some very ridiculous rules that I still live by despite some of them being wrong. I know now that I should always return library books or they’ll find me even 10+ years later. I keep it simple when ordering anything, especially soup. Anything under seven dates, it is ok to break up with them over the phone. It also taught me many more things, especially the fact that everyone has that one friend who is exactly like Bania.

That ‘70s Show showed me what my parent’s generation was like at my age and that we had similar problems. They were doing the same things we were doing with our friends today. It also had a huge musical influence on me, they introduced me to bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith & Cheap Trick.

Those are just a few examples, I didn’t even bring up what I learned from shows like The Simpsons, Home Improvement, Saved By The Bell, Full House and Saturday Night Live. So to the parents saying that television is bad for kids, maybe take these examples into account and think back to what you learned from television because a kid who watched television is much better prepared to face the world than one who has been deprived of it.

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