Why do people pretend they don’t watch TV?

I went to Iceland for a few days with my sister recently. We had a really lovely time, made even lovelier by the fact that my sister is one of very few people apart from my children with whom I can watch TV.

What is it with people pretending they don’t like watching TV?

Is it just not FANCY enough? Do we want people to imagine we spend our evenings reading wholesome books or going for walks or learning to crochet or something? Because sure, I do do those things from time to time, (not the crochet), but mainly by the time it gets to the evening I just want to mix up a cheeky pina colada, sit on the sofa, and watch some TV.

(The pina colada bit is mainly just in this hot weather.)

how much TV do people watch

My living room. (Not really.)

I think part of the reason that I don’t tend to invite people round much in the evenings is that I know it means I will have to switch off the television and be expected to look right at the other person the WHOLE TIME, engaging them in interesting chit chat, when what I really want to be doing is bitching about the contestants on Love Island with Belle.

Watching TV doesn’t have to mean switching yourself off and staring blankly at a screen, I’m not suggesting I want to do that with all my friends, I would just sometimes like to have a bit of company while I watch my favourite shows. Belle and I don’t have a huge amount of crossover when it comes to television and one of the things I miss sometimes about being in a relationship is having someone to watch TV with and chat to about it.

I watch First Dates on my own, but you really need someone else to talk to about how adorable everyone is, or whether you think they’ll make it to a second date. I feel like it might be fun sometimes if someone said ‘Ooh, do you fancy coming round to watch the new series of The Apprentice so we can compare notes on who we think has the absolute worst business idea?’

Instead though we pretend that we’re not really interested in television, that if other people are there then we wouldn’t dream of insulting them by switching on the TV. And yet there we are left on our own, binge watching zombie shows on Netflix like the apocalypse may really be just around the corner.

There are so many things that we choose to do socially with other people – we’d happily go to the cinema and watch a film for instance – but somehow putting on the television at home feels like a huge taboo. Or maybe that’s just me. Perhaps everyone else is openly watching television with friends all the time and I’ve just accidentally outed myself as a weirdo.

What do you think? Would you have friends over and watch TV or do keep it as your dirty secret? 

Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash



  1. 11 July, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    One of my favourite things is to curl up with someone and watch a film or binge watch a tv series on Netflix , I also have mates over to watch tv or films, I do podcasts on movies with a friend as well , and quite often watch tv with my daughter when she stays even if it’s only reruns or only fools and horses. Personally my only problem with tv is I can’t stand reality tv it makes celebrities out of people that shouldn’t be on tv , I’m still trying to work out the reasons for the Kardashians. I am also an Essex boy born and bred , very proud of my counties rich heritage and history and find it embarrassing and insulting that a program like TOWIE exists and am constantly pointing out that not all Essex people are like that , tv does have its very down side too

  2. Angela May
    11 July, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    It not very often I get to watch tv! My house has been invaded by teenagers, watching stuff I don’t understand on YouTube on the ‘Big Telly’……. apparently it’s hilarious!….. not if you’re 44 and have absolutely no idea what the punch line is! On the rare occasion I gain control of the remote, I still end up lost because I have absolutely no idea what’s on, when or worth watching! Lol definitely invite your friends over to watch telly! You can pretend you’re on goggle box! (I know that programme!)

  3. Angeline Gregory
    11 July, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    I genuinely don’t ever watch the telly. We have a TV but the only time it goes on is if we watch a DVD which is once a week at the most. I really do spend my evenings reading – sometimes books, more often articles on the internet.

  4. Sarah
    12 July, 2018 / 10:37 am

    Watching actual TV, not so much. I do watch Netflix or Prime Video and I watch the odd thing on iPlayer, but sitting down of a night and watching actual telly? No.

  5. 12 July, 2018 / 10:37 am

    I don’t mind admitting that we watch quite a lot of telly. Well, we do once our sleep-resistant kids have finally gone to bed. I even tend to stay off social media in the evenings because I view it as our hard-earned telly time and don’t like it to be interrupted!

  6. 11 January, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    Here’s an idea…….have it on softly, like in the background, and if your visitor shows interest you can turn it up.
    We have the littlest Grandchild over most and she’ll walk in and demand Grandad turns off his ‘boring’ thing and put on Pepper pig/Ben & Holly/etc (and to be honest I often prefer her choice to his!!!)

  7. 17 September, 2020 / 4:55 pm

    Normal TV. The “old fashioned” channels? I stopped years ago. Maybe 5 minutes of news in the morning a couple of times a week, A few months ago there was a comedy series I watched each week called Brooklyn 99 but that was it.
    Sport on “Now TV” (internet streaming) and some Netflix. I watch Youtube videos and sometimes play video games so my time in front of a screen is about the same as it was years ago. But watching traditional TV. If I said an hour a week that would probably be pushing it.
    My wife watches loads of TV and doesn’t watch sport or play video games mind you. So…

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