After reading this post on Brian's blog Waystation One, I wrote this post.
Don't write me off when you read this post. This subject is important to me. Sharing my thoughts here are just that: My way of thinking. No preaching or advising in any way.
It has been almost eight years since I switched off the television. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. At the time that I made the decision to stop watching television, I had a large plasma TV on the wall with surround sound and all the bells and whistles. I got rid of all the equipment and never regretted it. Raising my kids revolved around television much of the time. Each time we moved, the decision on where the TV would be placed was the first decision before picking our bedrooms. The importance of everything to do with the television climbed as the years passed until there was little time for family visiting and talking and playing games.
All the hours spent in front of a television screen being bombarded with other peoples opinions instead of actual news are now my hours to do with as I want. I am well informed of world news with all the online news sites available.
No longer am I influenced by in-my-face ads. I don't feel the need to purchase things I don't really want. I don't feel compelled to keep up with the neighbors or participate in things that are a waste of time and money. I don't rush to the phone to order the pizza tempting me on the TV screen. I am free to make wise decisions based on my particular circumstances.
It is amazing how people I talk with do not "get it" that I really do not watch any television. I do not have access to it, no cable or satellite. In fact, there is not a television in my house since I stopped watching DVDs from Netflix and only use their streaming service and watch on my large computer screen. I watch movies and sometimes past TV series on Netflix. Commercial free. Works for me!
As much as people get to know me, the conversations still revolve around television. "Did you see such and such last night?" is a perfect example. It amazes me how much enthusiasm that question can set in motion. For people like me, the non TV people, it is like watching hypnotized zombies. No offense, remember, this is just me voicing my opinion. What is still surprising to me is that it does not register in other peoples minds that I would not have a clue about the shows they watch, even when I remind them that I don't have television, a few minutes later the conversation is again about a particular TV show. It goes to show the shortness of the concentration span of the average television viewer. From my vantage point, it looks like so many people do not have a real life. What did people do prior to television? Sit around glassy eyed with nothing intelligent to say?
I can't tell you how many hundreds of times I have been told that someone wouldn't know what to do if they didn't watch television. And they are serious. I am not out to change the world. As I see it, it is too late for that anyway. We all make our own choices. I choose to have a fulfilling, interesting life. For me, that means not watching the mind numbing stuff on television. People understand the concept of "you are what you eat"; why then, can they not see that "you are what you watch". What you allow into your being is more than just food.