No, really, it's relevant -- we are finally getting rid of cable this week!
I don't have much against TV shows; I enjoy watching gratuitous violence, jerks, nudity, and just plain stupidity just as much as any other person. I even like educational shows like So You Think You Can Dance. I'm just kidding, I like watching Pawn Stars for my education. No, seriously, I'm saying I watch Mythbusters for
Really, I do watch Nova.
I digress. We live with "Grandpa" who has a bit of a TV addiction. Hey, if I was laid off and single, I'd probably had a bit of a TV addiction, too. I certainly did as a teenager. All day: TV. It was depressing, but it was easy to ignore the horrible sinking feeling as long as the shows and commercials did a good enough job of keeping my attention on them rather than my own thoughts.
Now that I'm a "grown up," I have experienced time without watching TV. Wow, the world is so different when you don't have a little life-sucker in every room of your house. And I have kids. Have you ever looked at a kid's face while they watch TV? Staring, mouth gaping. They don't even know the difference between the shows and the commercials until they are at least 7.
Even though I'm being a little hard on TV, I think TV shows can be nice, helpful, and worth it to watch. That's what the internet is for, now. Or DVDs. Or friends' houses.
I think the key to keeping what you watch helpful to you -- whether to relax for a bit, or to learn something, or for whatever other reasons people watch -- rather than detrimental is this: MODERATION. Everything in moderation, guys. The average American spends HALF of their leisure time in front of the tube. They would essentially have twice as much time to do stuff if they got rid of TV. I guess some people could call that moderation...
When you turn the TV on, do you turn it off after an hour? Or do you leave it on when you're done and find it sucking you back in? How often do you intend to just watch something short, but before you know it, it's midnight and you've watched 6 different shows across 4 different channels?
I'm still being a bit harsh. I guess I've got a chip on my shoulder. And I'm not factoring in TiVo or anything.
But I think it's important to -- when you're going to watch something -- first of all, have the intent to watch it. Second of all, when it's over, it's over. You're done; open the door and go outside. Why not go for a run? That's what we were born to do, not sit in front of an idiot box.
Without further ado, here is an excerpt from How TV Ruined Your Life that was brought to my attention by The Moneyless Man, who I first heard of by randomly finding a site he started (I believe, don't quote me on this) JustForTheLoveOfIt.org. I think it's a 15 minutes well-spent. =)
Here's links to the books mentioned in the post: