Monday, May 6, 2013

Why I am saying a permanent goodbye to TV

A television is an object.  It contains no intelligence of its own.  It does not create its own programming nor determine what appears on the screen.  It is  a conduit by which we allow information to be piped into our homes, schools, and businesses.  Truth be told, though, the overwhelming majority of it adds nothing to the home, business, or school.  In fact, my opinion, many times it is pumping in the intellectual, moral, and spiritual equivalent of raw sewage into those homes, businesses, and schools.  We pay for the privilege to be done.

I was one of those who justify keeping TV for the few things that were something of worth.  But they kept getting further and fewer in between.  I didn't like all of the negativity getting pumped into my home and I saw the effect it was having on me.  It was making me angry, provoking negative emotions.  Where with music, print, and the internet, I have much more control over what I view and listen to; with TV (and radio for that matter) I was at the mercy of the media much more.It was time to shut off the valve.

First, I grew tired of what was being  presented.  News has turned into largely propaganda which seeks to bully the opposition.  Long gone are any pretenses toward debating issues; more often than not, we get shouting matches where both sides (even the one agree with) come across as pretentious jerks.  I grew tired of the cruelty and decadence of sitcoms and dramas.  We get it...he is a whore...she is a witch...he is stupid...blah  blah blah.  Comedy is used as back door bullying.  'I am only joking' has been the cover line for much hatred, bias, prejudice, and intolerance. I tired of my faith being continually vilified (yeah...we get it, the priest is obviously a gay man, a hypocrite, an unloving dolt, or a child molester and all Christians are rubes, fools, idiots, and hypocrites).  If those in charge of programming want to do that or go there, okay.  Just don't hand me a bill for your  mocking.

Of course, it has led to other things as well.  First, is has contributed to a sedentary lifestyle. While the TV cannot make me watch it, I make that choice, it is an almost completely passive form of entertainment.  It requires no movement on behalf of the individual, no use of imagination, no use of active thought at all.  It robs the person of the use of their minds, bodies, and souls.  Even the good entertainment requires little to no input from the watcher.  It does help in teaching how to think, only pumps in information to be passively ingested.  Some may ask how this differs from education.  In modern education, it really doesn't...sadly enough (bu that is a different rambling)..but if education is done well it requires the person to process information, think for themselves, be tested on what is being ingested,  and integrate the lessons into day to day life. Good education calls for active engagement, not merely passive watching.

I figure that I have wasted enough of my entirely too short life sitting passively by and watching others do.  Time to unplug and engage more.  I didn't like the influence TV was having on me.  I find myself much calmer in that my emotions are not being constantly evoke to envy, lust, wrath, greed, and gluttony.  Because I want better for myself, it is time to turn the TV off for good.  I can watch uplifting movies or educational shows at my leisure and while on my elliptical or recumbent bike.  I am currently watching a movie on St Bakhita, an African slave with a remarkable life story.  I watch it in 20-25 minutes snippets.  I am back in control of this and am better off for it.

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