The first time I learned that TV can be seen as a bad thing was in college. An article by Noam Chomsky discussed the ill effects of television. It destroys creativity, brain cells, promotes obesity, his list went on and on. I never thought of it that way. Sure certain TV shows have no redeeming value such as most reality TV but really, all those scathing words for a simple glass screen in the family room?
I grew up not watching much TV, as I got older I watched a few shows here and there but nothing regular. Since adulthood I’ve never really thought about my TV habits. I consider it filler for when I’m folding laundry or doing dishes, a chance to take a mental vacation when I come home from a busy day, besides, some shows are funny and interesting, I like them……
But lately I’ve been thinking about TV again. Particularly after all the comments on my post two down about how a lot of you don’t even watch TV (Although I do believe internet addiction is a very real thing too… TV isnt the only culprit turning us into a nation of passive potatoes). Baraka expressed on her blog her views on television and passed on this interesting link on the ill effects of television. Mansoor also sent me this article that I find fascinating discussing the adictive nature of television….
TV’s biggest vice is how it steals your time away. Time is precious, its your life. I could be studying and I’ll catch a rerun of King of Queens. Which will lead to another, and then why not watch The Office while I’m at it? Then I began thinking about how I use it as filler when I fold clothes, or load the dishwasher. What would my mind be thinking about if the TV wasn’t on? When I’m 80 will I look back and reminisce about the wonderful shows I watched? I guess about as much time as I’ll spend reminising about the laundry I folded and the dishwasher I loaded. Hm. So this line of logic doesnt help!
Then I look beyond my own life and look at the world around me. When Omarosa from The Apprentice, got offered a commercial, so many people threatned to boycott that the company withdrew the offer to her. There are entire channels devoted to the people who dance before us on television to tell us what they’re wearing, who they’re dating. We discuss it as though we know them. The energy that could be spent doing things productive are instead being sapped sitting infront of a television. It doesnt take a huge stretch of the imagination to see we are very close to A Brave New World.
I want to watch less television. But easier said than done. Billions of dollars have gone into ensuring that people like me keep our eyes on the screen and our bottoms on the couch. And its hard when other people tend to watch television as well (though thankfully most of it is sports viewing which I despise)
So here is my question. What are your views on television? If you don’t watch any, like some of you say, is it how its always been? Did something happen to make you not want to watch anymore? How did you wean yourself away? How ironic a post after just a few posts ago the favorite TV shows, ah well! 🙂