In Defense of Eating Dinner in Front of the TV

published May 21, 2015
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(Image credit: Alliance)

Shopping and cooking are hard enough to do every night, even before you consider setting the table and decide where to sit down and eat. Yes, connecting to family or roommates is important on a daily basis. But should dinner have to be that moment every day? Is it possible to rework these essentials into other parts of our day? I personally think it can be done.

So if you, like me, find a little joy in unwinding after work or school with a good TV show and dinner, here’s why I think dinner in front of the TV shouldn’t be looked down upon.

(Image credit: goodluz)

I’ve always been a little self-conscious of how and where I eat dinner. Growing up my family only ate dinner at the table on Thanksgiving and Easter, and on any other night we were usually on our own. Between all the extracurriculars my brothers and I were committed to, there just wasn’t a single night that all of us were home to eat together.

Was this a problem? I didn’t think so.

If the goal of eating dinner at the table with people is to connect with people, I can say that was never lacking in my childhood. My family and I were able to connect at other times in the day instead of dinner – long car rides to soccer games, weekends at our family cabin, and even after all of us had eaten. Dinner didn’t have to be one of those times for my family.

Eating in front of the TV, then, became my small act of daily hedonism. It’s a time when I can enjoy food and turn off my mind for a little bit. As an introvert, this is especially enjoyable because I’m able to unwind from talking to people all day.

I also like how in this article on TODAY, Joy Manning says that she isn’t just flipping through channels at random. She and her partner have a specific show they always watch together. It’s a purposeful act. My boyfriend and I have eaten our way through many a TV show (West Wing! Twin Peaks!), and it’s now a ritual I look forward to several nights a week.

Where do you stand on eating dinner, or really any meal, in front of the TV?