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Published on August 15th, 2015 | by Discussion Questions

How do you handle inappropriate public content?





MEGAN WRITES: What should we do when inappropriate content is playing on a public television (like in a restaurant)? My family averts our eyes, but it’s often difficult when there are numerous televisions in all directions! Is it inappropriate for us to approach someone ask them to please change the channel? We realize we aren’t in any place of authority in the circumstance, but we also don’t want dirty thoughts in our minds! What should we do?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • Audrey French

    This is definitely a hard thing to deal with! It seems like when there’s something bad playing on a public tv, you’re typically surrounded by them!! One thing that helps me is to focus on whomever I’m with. Another helpful thing for our family is to avoid restaurants with tv’s. In-n-Out typically doesn’t have tvs. We typically get take out wherever we go, and then we can decide what we watch on our home tv.

    • I take it you’re from California, since you mention In-n-Out? πŸ˜‰

      • Audrey French

        Nope, but you’re close!

        • Nevada?

          • Audrey French

            Nope, AZ :-)

          • That was actually going to be my third guess. Actually it was going to be my second guess except my friend didn’t think they had In-n-Out in AZ, but said they had it in Nevada, so that is why I went with that one. πŸ˜‰
            I friends in AZ. Some day I hope to visit them there and I want to see the Grand Canyon.

          • Audrey French

            Don’t come during the summer :-) It’s like over 110 degrees outside right now. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon.

          • Yikes! Yeah, that is hot! Although, I hear it is a much dryer heat there, which some say is easier to endure. I grew up in NC, which gets in the high 90s, but is also very humid, so one begins to sweat as soon as one walks out the door. πŸ˜‰

          • I think the farthest east In-n-Out goes is in near Dallas, TX – that’s the only one I’ve been to.

          • Oh, cool! I didn’t realize they had it way out there. πŸ˜‰

    • We used to do take out places a LOT, but what I didn’t mention in my question is that we live in Zambia!! No fast food here… πŸ˜‰

  • BR!ANNAH

    You should pray for God to keep your thoughts pure despite what your seeing. If you ask Him that whole-heartily He will and what you are seeing wont affect you. :)

  • Anonymous

    Good question, my family tries to always avert our eyes as well but it is hard. A few times though we’ve asked to change the channel when something was on that the 5-year-olds didn’t need to be staring at, sometimes we do need to do that and it’s okay if it’s something that’s really distracting and inappropriate for you and your family, God tell us to guard our eyes and hearts (Proverbs 4:23-27), sometimes that means just doing what you gotta do, even if it means just up and leaving.

  • If it really is inappropriate, chances are that you are not the only customers there that don’t want to see it. I would just ask politely if they could change the channel. Though where I am usually what’s on TV in restaurants is sports or news, so I don’t really have a lot of experience with this.

    • Most of the time the resaurant we go to has news or sports as well…AND we sit where the TV is out of view…..but this time, every table was full and we got placed RIGHT in vision of all 3 TV’S and it was playing horrid music videos…. =P Thanks for your advice! =D

  • In that case, unless you know the owner well, I wouldn’t ask that. It can be a little rude.

    Than at that point I would think that you could either avert your eyes and focus on something else like your food, or if you cannot, just don’t go to that restaurant.

    That’s what I would do.

  • I honestly don’t see anything wrong with asking them to change the channel. The TV’s supposed to be for you, you’re the ones giving them money, so why not?

    I mean, it might be a little embarrassing, but the power’s where the $$$ is. (haha…i’m so mercenary.)

    • We’ve done this many times before! :)

    • Emma Grace

      Haha that’s awesome lol

    • Guitar with Arms

      ‘Zactly! lol

    • I very much like your logic!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the advice and your supporting reasons! πŸ˜‰

    • MimeforJesus

      Mercenary, or business-minded?

  • Honestly, people have already answered this one and I don’t see how there can be a lot of controversial answers. If you’re at a restaurant and there are TVs in all directions, initiate conversation with your family, focus on something else, witness to your waiter, something that keeps your eyes off of the offensive content. You’ve got the choice to not keep your eyes glued in that direction, so just don’t do it. :)

  • Danny

    maybe find a different restaurant that doesn’t have TVs? I hate restaurants with TVs because I find they distract from conversations — my little cousin was at a restaurant with us earlier this week, and because there was a (around 72 in. flatscreen) on the wall opposite him, he simply couldn’t hold a coherent conversation — didn’t even know what we were talking about. So I simply try to sit in a) a place where I can’t even see the TV, or b) ask them to change the channel — or I’ve just sometimes gone and turned it off (but that wasn’t at a restaurant… different story. ;)). Hope my rambling was somewhat helpful!

  • Kate

    Personally, I hate the idea of having TV’s in restaurants. I work in one and it’s highly distracting having the TV on. People are supposed to have conversations and fellowship over food, not watch TV!! *ends rant*
    Try to get a booth or table where it blocks the view of the screen, if you can’t, ask your waiter if changing the channel or turning off the TV is possible, if it isn’t, talk to the people at your table, or your family and say “Hey, lets not watch TV and instead talk to eachother.”

  • PJ Gerber

    I honestly think that asking to change the channel isn’t rude, just ask them to put it on the sports channel or something. I think that would be ok, unless the sports is the inappropriate channel than go to something else.

  • Gabrielle

    Pray. Focus on talking to whomever you’re with. Try to sit where there’s no tv in your face….

  • Still on the wheel

    As a food service person my self, restaurants are trying to appeal to a certain clientele. Sometimes, but infrequently, there is no choice, you need food and this is the only restaurant in town. Sometimes your friend has suggested this as a meeting place and you get there and find yourself stuck. Servers are trapped too. They don’t feel they can do anything unless someone asks. Always be polite and respectful, “Could you please change that set to _________, or perhaps turn it off.” You never know what can happen until you try. Obviously, if you are in a place with 40 sets you are in the wrong place, unless you want to spend your time watching. Usually the servers are more than happy to oblige. They didn’t like the content any more than you, but they need an impetus to make a change. Then if they get called on it, they can say it was at a patrons request. We live in a world hostile to our values. They don’t see what can be wrong with “The King of Queens”, let’s say. If they ask, you have an opportunity to reach out to them in love. Try not to live in judgement, say something kind and true. “Well, we are trying to enjoy a meal together and the script for that actor keeps having him use profanity we wouldn’t allow at my/ our home.” Or, “We would rather not have to think about how little those people are wearing as we eat our meal.” As a rule, if you can, it is always better to suggest an alternative. Otherwise they may choose a different channel that is just as bad and now you are condemning them if it is too bad and you feel you have to say something. Of course off is always an option and I have used that successfully in the past when my section didn’t have many customers. If you get ‘push back’, ask to see the manager. Explain why you chose their restaurant and ask kindly if there is anything they can do. If they say no, “my way or the highway”, then you have a choice. You can take your food to go, or even get up and leave your food at the table. Food is a small percentage of the cost of operating a restaurant and it is their responsibility to meet your expectations. I wouldn’t feel obligated to pay for a meal I couldn’t enjoy and the server or manager was rude to me about.

    • WOW!! THanks! THis is GREAT! And very helpful!!

    • MimeforJesus

      You’ve worked food… would you recommend it? Really off topic but I’m thinking about getting a job as a waitress.

      • Still on the wheel

        Food service is where many hurting people go. Most of the work is at night. When I was in chef school, I was the only believer at first. The rest of the students were having serious parties on the weekends. They worshiped the false god of self indulgence. There is a lot of pressure to be immoral, but you can have a great impact as long as you are well connected in your church and have a good support group. Remember the Lord spoke about how people want darkness to cover their deeds. It is a good learning experience as long as you can manage the pressure.

        • MimeforJesus

          Thank you! :)

  • tmselden

    Unfortunately, restaurants are not the only public places where our consciences are assaulted. It is impossible to go out in society nowadays and not see or be around sinful behavior. I would endeavor to frequent places where there is a quieter atmosphere or order my food to go, if it is not possible to avoid it. These are difficult days and society seems to be going from bad to worse. Sad to say, but it won’t be getting any better.

    God will take care of you. Trust Him to guide you in all His ways.

    Sincerely in Him,
    Jean

  • Louis Gervais

    Alright! First step is: you take a brick (authentic bricks are preferred, but those cheap synthetic bricks will do) then, you throw it THROUGH the television set. Thereafter you sue the restaurant for affronting your 28th Amendment rights, and then you–oh, wait; this is a joke.

    • Guitar with Arms

      *snickers* I see what ya did there with that whole “28th amendment” thing lol. πŸ˜‰

      • MimeforJesus

        There isn’t one, right?

        • Guitar with Arms

          ‘Zactly. ;P

          • Louis Gervais

            Well… not yet, anyway =v)

    • Haha, yes! Yes!!

    • Haylie

      Lol πŸ˜›

    • BAHAHAHA!!! This totally made my day!!!!

    • MimeforJesus

      Hahaha!!! I thought this was real until I got to, “THROUGH the television set.”

    • Hmm no, just bring along a universal remote or a smartphone with infrared. Use it to turn off the TV. πŸ˜€

    • Jasmine

      Hahahaha!!!

  • Guitar with Arms

    My family ate at Chili’s once (yes, the place with the little tablet things on the tables that are slowly but surely replacing waiters ;P) and there was a famous Civil War movie playing. It wasn’t like a bad bad movie, but the guy got injured and it was kinda gory. And so my mom flagged the waiter, and was like “hey can you change the channel? I really don’t wanna see this guy bleeding while I’m eating” lol. And the waiter took one look at the screen, grimaced, said “eww” and then got a remote and changed the channel. So it’s not like the waiter’s gonna be like NO WAY JOSE!!!!

    And who cares if it’s a little bit awkward??? I’d rather have a few moments of awkwardness than a meal full of seeing something inappropriate, ya know? =)

    OPTION B: Don’t go to that restaurant. =P

    • Yay, we’re not the only ones who say “no way Jose”!!! πŸ˜›

      • Haha! My family says it too! πŸ˜›

      • Guitar with Arms

        Yay, you’re still on Disqus!! lol, Revive had a mini-heart attack after you deleted your account…people’s notifs inboxes were messing up for days, no joke. =P Sam’s got it under control now though. =)

        • *cue dramatic music* Duh-duh-duh!! It’s me!! πŸ˜‰
          Oh dear! Doesn’t sound good! Glad it’s handled, though. :)

          • MimeforJesus

            Samwise tried manually deleting your account and some pieces of it goofed up.

          • Haha, yeah he had to, cause when I deleted it, I could still get back in. He was being good and closed it for me. :)

          • MimeforJesus

            Okay, makes sense. :) We miss ya over there!

          • Jasmine

            Lord of the Rings reference??? XD Sorry this is totally off topic but I just had to point it out lol

          • MimeforJesus

            Yeah, well @programguy:disqus is named Sam, and he’s wise, so once I was reading LOTR and I thought, “that’s so Sam S!” And the rest is history…

          • We have the same personality type apparently: ISFJ.

          • MimeforJesus

            What is this list of letters describing personality type? I’ve seen it before…

          • Uh yeah, it’s one of those.

          • MimeforJesus

            Oh ok. What test is it, if you remember?

          • This thing is the Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorIndicator. I took the test at 16personalities.com and it never gave me the right result. I must be bad a answering those questions. But then Leah on Revive said that I might be an ISFJ and I’m pretty sure I am. It’s cool.

          • MimeforJesus

            Thanks, I’ll see what I am… :)

          • MimeforJesus

            Ok I just got ENFJ…

          • Does the little description thingy seem to describe you?

          • MimeforJesus

            I’m not sure yet, still reading through it. You know, we are really off topic, I’ll answer trough Revive ok?

          • Huh, that’s cool. I just got INFP-T. Apparently I’m really introverted…?

          • Huh. I don’t know. Haha. You might be?

          • Lol. It’s funny to randomly decide to read a post, only to find out that people are talking about me in the comments section. That’s happened to me a few times now. O.o

          • MimeforJesus

            I bet that’s weird…

          • MimeforJesus

            You’re just someone that everyone knows. :)

          • Haha well I think you are too. :)

          • MimeforJesus

            I’m in good company then, aren’t I?

          • I am, anyway. I don’t know about you. πŸ˜€

          • MimeforJesus

            Yeah I am.

          • Jasmine

            That’s so cool!!! Samwise is a really good character.

          • MimeforJesus

            Yes. My favorite of all time!

          • Jasmine

            Also Aragorn and Faramir are really great too.

          • MimeforJesus

            Yes. Aragorn and Faramir are both great characters too! I was so mad at how they changed Faramir in the movie. Eomer and Eowyn are also among my favorite literary characters.

          • Jasmine

            Oh yes Eomer and Eowyn they were awesome!!!!! Yeah they did change Faramir but he was only like that for a little while. He changed after that. And then they made him the way he was. =) I liked Frodo a lot though they kinda made him seem a little wimpier than he really was in the book.

          • MimeforJesus

            Yeah I don’t know what to think of Frodo in the movies. I mean, he’s good… but when he tells Sam to go home, I am reminded of something Sam said to Faramir. Something like, “if Sauron could see you now he’d be quite pleased. Think he’d found a new friend, he would.” But most of the time I really like him. It’s just when he’s under the influence of the ring that I don’t like him so much. :/

          • Jasmine

            I don’t think anybody likes anyone from the movie that’s being influenced by the ring lol. I don’t think that Frodo told Sam to go home in the book….? Yeah I do too. He’s pretty cool. Elijah Wood did an amazing job playing Frodo. He was like 17 or 18 I think in the first movie…

          • MimeforJesus

            Yeah you’re right. :) No, Frodo never would have told Sam to go home in the book. He only told him that he couldn’t help with the ring. IKR? Elijah Wood was sooo good, especially for a guy who hadn’t had experience!

          • Jasmine

            True!!!! I liked him a lot. And Legolas was so good too. His bow and arrow shooting… XD he was good in the Hobbit Trilogy as well.

          • MimeforJesus

            I love how he uses his arrows… :) I love the interaction between him and Gimli!

          • Jasmine

            YES!!!!! And Merry and Pippin they were so funny!!!

          • MimeforJesus

            Yesss!!! I love their swordfight/wrestling match with Boromir and Aragorn!

          • Jasmine

            Yes!!!! It was awesome!!!! I loved the part where Pippin saves Faramir. And when Frodo collapsed in the spider cave and Galadriel came and then that’s the moment when Frodo decided to keep going. Two of my favorite parts of the trilogy.

          • MimeforJesus

            Oh yeah! My favorites are when Sam says, “I can’t carry it for you, Mister Frodo. But I can carry you!” And Eowyn killing the black rider, and when they’re all in front of the Black Gate. (Especially, “how about side by side with a friend?”)

          • Jasmine

            Yessssss all of them are great parts!!!! I almost cried when Sam said that. It was so good. I loved it also when Frodo said “you left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the brave. I want to know more about Sam. Frodo wouldn’t have gotten far without Sam.” That whole conversation was so awesome.

          • MimeforJesus

            That conversation was the best way possible to end the movie. Just… awesome. Ooh, and there is when Eowyn and Faramir meet/talk for the first time. Awwwww!!!

          • Jasmine

            oh my word of course I LOVED that part!!!! They’re awesome!!!!! awwww it was sweet!!! And agreed!!!! Frodo is actually a courageous little hobbit and so is Sam.

          • MimeforJesus

            Yes!!! πŸ˜€

          • Elijah

            Legalos’ arrows are digital. He has a toy bow that he pulls back and they add arrows in the editing room. I was so disapointed when I found that out.

          • Jasmine

            I didn’t expect that Orlando Bloom would know how to shoot a bow and arrow…. So yeah it kinda makes sense. =)

          • MimeforJesus

            Whaaat?! My mental image of Legolas is shattered.

          • Jasmine

            Yeah… but he’s still cool though!!! =) XD

          • MimeforJesus

            Yes he’s really cool! My sister says he’s too perpetually neat and clean, but I like him. :)

          • Jasmine

            Haha yeah same here…. his character is pretty awesome.

            Even though Boromir died, I still liked him a lot.

          • MimeforJesus

            I don’t like Boromir all that much, actually. I guess he was just too weak, no inner strength. Although I’m comparing him to guys like Aragorn and Legolas, so he was set up for failure…

          • Jasmine

            True, true. I liked it that he pretty much gave his life for the hobbits. That’s why I liked him. and also that he wanted to make things right with Frodo, but he just didn’t get to.

          • MimeforJesus

            True, him giving his life for the hobbits makes up for it.
            Oh, another favorite scene is when Sam walks out into the water following Frodo! Such a good view of his character, all in one scene.

          • Jasmine

            Oh yes every time I watch that part I feel like I want to cry I mean for real. Have you seen the extended editions?

          • MimeforJesus

            Extended edition is the best way to watch! I haven’t even seen normal edition of Return of the King or Fellowship of the Ring. :) hbu?

          • Jasmine

            The first time I saw them I saw the Fellowship of the Ring (extended) The Two Towers (not extended) and The Return of the King (not extended). After watching them I slowly but surely watched all the extended versions. =D It was awesome!

          • Haylie

            Oh yes, extended edition all the way! πŸ˜€

          • Yeah, it was really all my fault. Haha. I did something kinda stupid. But yeah it should be all fixed now and I don’t think I’ll make the same mistake next time someone decides to leave. Hehe.

          • MimeforJesus

            Hehe it was fun though! Notifs not loading… if you’d left it like that Revive might have gotten quieter. πŸ˜‰

          • Amen! Haha I thought about leaving it for a while.

          • MimeforJesus

            You could have…
            Sent you a message in Revive, btw. Dont feel like you have to answer soon, or at all necessarily. :)

          • Oh you mean the one I replied to? πŸ˜‰

          • MimeforJesus

            Yeah… :)

          • I *seriously* doubt you did something stupid…

          • Well, this mistake didn’t have long-lasting consequences like some other ones I’ve made have. So yeah, this was nothing. Haha.

      • MimeforJesus

        Nope, my dad says it too!

  • THANK YOU all for the help!!! This has been really excellent! Thank you all for taking the time and consideration to answer for me! I REALLY appreciate it!!!!

  • Grace M.

    I experienced this once with a group of friends in a restaurant–it was a really bad scene and we all just tried to look away. I would say that the first step, like many others have said, is just to try and choose a restaurant that doesn’t have the TVs. I think I’ll try to get my friends to go to a different one in the future, because that one is really distracting in addition to the inappropriate content.
    The most important thing is NOT to just allow yourself to see it. Do whatever it takes not to see it. Fight against it! If that means asking the waiter to turn it off, then do that. We can’t be embarrassed when it comes to standing up for our beliefs.

  • MimeforJesus

    This doesn’t exactly match your situation, but with like movie ads in theaters, last month I went to watch a movie in theaters with my brother and sister. This ad came on for a movie that was rated for… ahem… bedroom scenes, so we all looked at each other or at the floor. All except my brother, who pulled up the Bible app on his phone and read that until that ad was over. So, I don’t know if this helps anybody, but I thought it was a really good way to handle it.

    • Ooh, I like the idea of reading the Bible app instead…

      • MimeforJesus

        Ikr? I thought that was really cool.

    • That’s an EXCELLENT idea!! Thank you!!! I have lots of brothers (one reason I was so concerned about this issue) so having a Bible or letting them use our phones or just having an engaging book is a GREAT idea!!!

      • MimeforJesus

        :)

    • Haylie

      I LOVE this. Reading off a Bible app is pure genius!

    • A L

      That is a really great idea! My family usually looks at each other during the previews, but reading the Bible would be even better!

  • Jasmine

    Just try to avert your eyes from all that stuff as best you can. Yes the temptation is strong, just ask God to give you the strength to resist it. =)

  • Simple, don’t go there.

  • Elijah

    Hey, we’re all rebelutionaries here. I mean come on this sounds like a “hard thing.” Maybe we can change it. Talking to the manager of the restaurant, or the theater about only showing age appropriate content might actually help.

  • Kate

    We were at a restaurant that was playing a football game but there were many innapropriate commercials but they said no to changing the channel cause it was the football game. We just asked to be moved to a table were we couldn’t see the t.v. They were more than happy to do that. Good backup plan

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