I’ve weaned myself off of television again, and overall am quite glad. I’m a news junkie, and there’s definitely such a thing as watching too much news. Having cable news on for six hours straight during the day really is a bit much. I’m lucky I don’t even have a TV right now, which certainly makes it easier to get off it. I’m sure I will most likely buy or acquire one sometime in the future.
You know, so I can watch a DVD occasionally.
But the weaning off ain’t easy. I went three years a while back without it. I did have a few stations, namely PBS and the networks. And I used an old-fashioned antenna-rig (you know, the hanger thing), to get the best picture I could. The picture would hardly come in but at least I could watch a program or two once in a while.
When the TV was in a good mood.
The main reason for my weaning off is that for its quite addicting. And to have to pay monthly to fill this jones seems impractical and just stupid to me really. But living alone and spending an awful lot of time alone, the TV is the “noise” in the house and feels like a way to connect with the outside world. And it’s a total excuse to spend time sprawled out on the couch- which is easier sometimes that keeping things going. So I don’t mind the psychological experience of going through withdrawal and twiddling my thumbs when I’m feeling idle. Or tired.
Takes some getting used to it.
I just got off two weeks without internet. That worked pretty well, although it was totally off-putting. I did check in regularly and spend some time where there was free wifi. But luckily that’s over. And I really have no problem being an internet addict as I’ve got things to do and a whole WORLD online! Maybe it’s just the addiction talking, but no matter.
I don’t care.
The TV is a little bit harder though. I wasn’t really much of a heavy TV watcher, I mean compared to lots of folks that I know. But I do come from a family where it was on all the time. I think in the sixties and seventies when I was growing up it was just a thing to do. But of course without a remote or cable back then it was pretty basic- only a few shows to choose from.
The continuous noise and drone of the TV can’t be healthy.
Other than the choice and quality of the programs nowadays, what’s worse are the commercials. For some reason they seem to be louder than the shows. And relentless! Droning on and on and on for this and for that- mostly ridiculous things really that are supposed to make everything in the world just fine: insurance, this drug and that, ambulance chasers, the food industry, toys and gadgets galore and more. And to say that commercials work subliminally is an understatement- only in that how many times do you have to have something drilled into your head without it having some impact on you? State Farm is there, right? It’s that “zone” one goes into when the TV is on, that hearing bits and pieces of it and the not hearing most of it. And it’s the sedentariness of it too. I mean I seriously could spend a whole day with it on, watching it on and off.
Even when I’m watching crap.
And crap I’ve watched. For some reason when I’m tired the “idiots” on TV, the shows that I consider a “guilty pleasure”, seem to fill some empty spot in me. I won’t go into the short list here as it’s quite embarrassing. It’s not something I consider public information. The ridiculous antics and things that come out of peoples’ mouths! It makes me laugh. And often feel good about who I am and where I am in life.
Why am I even telling you about this? Well, cause there’s no TV here!
And it’s been working out okay. I’ve spent quality time reading, online of course, taking walks, cleaning, listening to the radio and my music, working, cooking etc. I guess the stuff people do anyway, but just more of it. Then last night when my withdrawal felt like too much to take, I discovered how many programs are actually available online. I had some idea of this, but didn’t really know it. So last night I proceeded to happily watch a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, and then through in a King of Queens for good measure.
Repeats of course.