Are you a committed slave to the TV? Can you imagine your life without it?
A TV set – not television altogether – is becoming redundant. Or so I thought, until my friends started noticing that whenever they come along my TV is off and demanded that I turn it on.
Apparently, their TVs were always on when they were at home; if only for the sound and voices in the background to keep them at bay.
And I realized that I’m the strange one; the exception, not the rule. A city Thoreau. People still watch TV in the Internet and social media age! The Simpsons made their point, but didn’t prevent it from happening in the new century.
Normally it got me thinking as to the whys and hows and whats.
Why watch television when you have everything online? Why choose a pre-set program when you can be in control of what you’re watching?
Why waste time in subconsciously sinking in banal talk-shows, adverts that make you want and buy things, and whatever it is that they show on TV nowadays. For even passive watching/listening gets absorbed and stored.
Surely, if you wish to listen to music, you’ll do that; if you want to see a specific movie, you can do that; if you’d rather educate yourself with a science discovery watch a documentary. You get the idea.
In a time of information-abundance, an overflow in fact, if you’re not being careful what you choose, you’ll end up filling up your mind with useless bits and pieces, taking up valuable brain space.
Why would anyone choose being served without ordering? It’s like going to a restaurant and getting whatever the waiters bring you.
I’ve never been much of a TV person. Even when I worked in media monitoring and TV news was my life, I felt it’s something I’ll give up altogether at a given opportunity. Because even the positive aspects of television, such as entertainment and education, are outweighed by the control and manipulative psychological effects it imposes.
One negative result of the information profusion is people’s apparently shorter attention spans. I find this alarming. Seriously, if you can’t bring yourself to read anything longer than a 400-500 word article, then isn’t it a sign of a mind mesh, filled archives with all the latest ‘breaking news’?
Why all the preoccupation of being updated to the minute? What will happen if you find out a little later? There’s no way to miss finding out that Thatcher died, that there’s a potential war danger with North Korea, or that Apple is releasing a new product.
It will be greatly talked about, and being a pioneer in hearing about it will not make you any wiser or more informed than the rest. It’s big news that’ll spread all over the world in a matter of minutes.
Instead of subscribing to the latest news notification services, try letting go of the anxiety and find your own pace of accepting new info.
I’m not propagating an anti-TV revolution – demonstratively throwing TV sets on the street – but there are new ways and modes of being educated, entertained and informed.
You’re in control. What do you feel like: a film from the ’30s, learning about space; a comedy? It’s a condensed quality time with yourself and your interests.
What is your opinion on television today? Is it becoming redundant?