I made a post of Facebook asking what I should do tonight instead of watch television and one friend actually asked me, “You want to quit TV for a week?”. That got me thinking about how important TV is to people, myself included. Television is able to distract you from the real problems (in your life, in the world) by either presenting you with irrelevant and superficial problems that will divert your focus, or by providing enough instant gratification to make you forget about your drab and wretched life. (Not that my life is drab or wretched, but I’m talking in general terms here.) Someone on television tells you that two guys in San Francisco want to get married, and you are so distracted by this attack on your ideals (again, just in general, I’m all for gay marriage) that you conveniently forget that there is a war, in which many innocent people are dying. Or you spend your evenings watching attractive people doing exciting things, and this escapism prevents you from facing reality and making positive changes in your own life. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with seeking entertainment, but television creates a routine of dependency that inadvertently results in a state of false complacency).
It’s ridiculous to think about how obsessed our society has become with television. I myself had a ton of shows on DVR that I need to watch weekly or I get antsy. I complain regularly about not having a life and not doing anything fun and entertaining but instead of getting off my ass and doing something about it, I sit in front of the TV and lose myself in the 70’s or Bon Temps, LA.
This is only my first day without television. I’m sure I’ll be changing my tune as the week goes on. Or, just maybe, I’ll have weaned myself off the boob tube completely by next Friday.