Friday, April 06, 2007

A little over a year ago K- and I decided to get rid of cable TV. It was a difficult decision to make, neither one of us realized how addictive television can be.

The first week I would come home from work and stare at our blank set- not knowing what do with myself. TV, of course, isn’t good or bad its just a thing but my viewing habits had become disturbing. E Entertainment and Access Hollywood run non-stop information on the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Brad Pitt etc. and, this is where it gets disturbing, I would watch. I’d put off going to bed so I could view how the rich and famous were living their lives. Celebrity news is like crack, just a little bit more and I’ll be satiated, but more is always needed. Standing in line at the check out counter, People and Us magazine turned upside downs and mixed with the other groceries in hopes of disguising my reading habits. I bought Entertainment magazines with the same shame that I bought condoms as a teenager. Britney, Paris, Lindsey, Brad and Angelina, my news didn’t need to mention their last names, I knew them by their first names only, just as I knew my friends.

I have a theory that this type of news drains the soul. It is designed to have us live vicariously through other people- it slowly teaches us that they are interesting and we are not, they are rich and we are not, they are beautiful and we are not, They are everything and we are nothing. There is a withdrawal period when you stop watching entertainment news but slowly you begin to see through the haze. You pick up a book or you take a walk with a loved one. You begin to realize that you were continuously feeding on candy with no nutritional value and that instead of rotting your teeth it was rotting your mind.

Other than movies we rent, the TV generally stays off. Paris, Britney, Lindsey, Brad and Angelina will need to live their lives without my participation. I’m sure we will all be fine (except Britney, I’m worried sick about her).


After I posted this on Sunday Scribbles it seemed vaguely familiar. I worried that I read a similiar post from another blogger and accidently rehashed it on my own blog. After researching it I found that I had written a similiar post 4 months ago- I am a walking example of why people shouldn't drink to excess.

18 comments:

Susan Abraham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Abraham said...

A truly enriching post.
I second everything you said. I've always thought celebrity news and gossip shallow because at the end of the day they're people - same as us - all capable of falling from grace.
You put it in a grand way when you said draining the soul.

Good luck on your journey of life.

Self Taught Artist said...

the candy and nutritional analogy was right on

Amber said...

Oh my gosh, you are SO right! And I am guilty of these empty calories, myself.
I. Must. Stop.
I stopped reading beauty mags for the same reasons, along time ago. But now TV is just as bad. Maybe even worse.

:)

Kamsin said...

It is disturbing the number of young people who allegedly aspire to be "celebrities", having grown up on a diet of the stuff. Anyway, great post. I've lived without telly but have one again now, and most of the time have learnt to be a bit more selective. But I agree there is an awful lot of mind numbing rubbish!

Bohemian Mom said...

I can really relate to this.
I said goodbye to cable in the midst of the "Anna Nicole Smith" drama-fest!
I found I was addicted to re-runs of "Friends" too.
omg - there has GOT to be something more ambitious for me to do.
These past couple weeks have been much more productive for me.
Now I spend far too much time on the internet!
Love the pic!

Penelope said...

It's totally okay. You're a good enough writer that even recycled material is a fun read. And hey, even the best TV shows have re-runs. You remember TV, right?

megan said...

Loved this post. I'm not much of an evangelist, but I quietly cheer when I hear about someone unplugging from the programming. Yeah you!

paris parfait said...

You're so right - celebrity news or "infotainment" has taken over, at the expense of information we need to make informed decisions about things that actually matter. Clever take on the prompt.

Deb G said...

I love writing my response to the Sunday Scribbliblings prompt and then reading everyone elses. It' so amazing how many directions people's minds go and how often they go to the same place.

I really like your response. I haven't had a television for a very long time. Sometimes I feel very discontected from popular culture...but I don't miss it.

Vicky said...

Great post! I too got rid of cable a few months ago. Bad TV shows were too tempting. I would be mesmorized by those entertainment shows. Don't even get me started with the E channel. Now I just get my Desperate Housewives fix off of abc.com. It's hard to go cold turkey!

gautami tripathy said...

I for one seldom watch TV unless it is watch some old classic movie or National Geographic Channel. I prefer newspaper for my news.

You post made me think.

colleen said...

There are days when I think all reading and other input is like ingesting second hand information. I think a steady diet of it may be detrimental to our health. The news as a spectator sport is an interesting take to think about. And who decides what is news and not? We are being spoon fed a lot of sugar before we get to the meat.

lissa said...

I'm also trying to watch less tv that involves celebrities and also try to watch less tv altogether. Celebrities are just everywhere these days.

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

Very interesting. What would people talk about in the office, though? Without the latest headlines, would our conversations actually be about each other's lives? Hhhhhmmmm . . .

Mine is posted.

Jennifer said...

You are so right. Gossip hidden in the guise of Entertainment can be harmful to the mind.

Patois said...

We've been doing "TV Out Week" with the kids, and I've got to say it's been enjoyable not having the TV there. A better life.

Unfolding Rose said...

Tv can so easily become a terrible time-devourer...I also find it quite troubling how much inane stuff there is out there to choose from! After a year with no television at all (mainly because my flat was so small!), I'm now a very selective viewer.

A interesting read, which got me thinking!