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Unsatisfied, or The Plug in Drug

July 22, 2008

Everyone who knows me knows I don’t watch TV.  I would like to say I don’t have a TV, but I do.  What I don’t have is cable service, a satellite service, or rabbit ears.  My TV picks up no channels, and I don’t watch television shows.

I gave up watching television when I went to college.  I knew that I had a bad TV habit, and if I took one with me, I knew I would watch TV instead of studying, writing papers, or sleeping.  When I graduated and moved into my first house, I resisted getting a TV.  I have never regretted it.

I decided I wanted to have real experiences, I wanted real memories. So much of my childhood is memories of the shows I watched, not the things I did.  I remember some characters and storylines better than friends I had in elementary school.

Televisions are pervasive, and what they teach is threaded throughout every aspect of our lives.  TV teaches you that your house is dirty, and to small, and just not good enough.  TV says your clothes are out of date, your milk is the wrong kind, and for sure, you are too fat and ugly.  TV teaches all the time, directly and indirectly.  When you watch TV, your brain goes into a passive absorbing state.  Mostly, TV teaches you that your entire life is just not good enough and there is something you have to buy to make your life better.  Well, I reject that message.  I think the best way to appreciate the life you have is to live the life you have, and stop giving your attention to a flickering box.

TV Free America has some great information if you want all the statistics.  The one that stood out the most to me is that on average, a TV is on six hours and forty seven minutes a day.  That’s just the average which means in a lot of homes, it is on seven, eight, nine hours a day.  What could a person do with that time?  One of the biggest complaints of most people is that they don’t have enough time to get everything done that they want or need to do.  What if they just turned off the TV?  How many hours could they reclaim if they eradicated this addiction?

How long can you go without watching TV?

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