I’m one of those “freaks” that all of a sudden gets quiet when the discussion about what was on t.v. last night (last week, last month) starts.
I can’t participate. I haven’t watched t.v. in 4 years.
(No…….Actually! I really haven’t. We have a t.v. but it’s used strictly for movies. We don’t even have rabbit ears! And actually, while we’re at it…the t.v. was broken for months. We watched our movies on the laptop.)
The closest I’ve come is A) the day of t.v. we had in the hospital when I had Justice and B) getting hooked on The Big Bang Theory thanks to Nick’s DVD’s from the past seasons. That about covers it. And of course….the same goes for my family.
And back when I did watch t.v., it was just the basic stations. I haven’t had cable since I lived in my parents house. And you know what???
I survived! (Insert Gloria Gaynor’s voice here)
As a matter of fact, I happen to think that I am much better for it. Instead, I use my time creatively. Writing, reading, getting outside, spending quality family time, making barrettes, blogging….
I think that today’s society feels such a need for escape through fantasy, despite some of it being deceptively and blatantly referred to as “reality”, that people, as a whole (I’m being very general here), have forgotten that they have the capacity within themselves to entertain, distract, and provide relief from the stresses and pressures of daily life. People did it for centuries and centuries before television, cable, movies, video games, and the like; but I fear that people are losing that and that it’s not being passed on to younger generations. I think that in the not-too-distant-future people will no longer have the knowledge base, or rather creative base, to do these things anymore. People are becoming so dependent on technology to satisfy or enrich every aspect of their lives that they’re losing some of the qualities that set us apart from animals, specifically our creativity.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not, by any means, anti-tech. I’m not even really anti-t.v. I just subscribe to the belief that it’s depended upon entirely too much. Watching some show or movie every now and again, even following a show every week. Not a big deal. But I think that when it gets to be more than one or two, when you’re buying increasingly expensive tech to “record” these shows when you’re otherwise engaged so that you can keep up, and most especially when you schedule your life ‘around’ t.v. shows, it shows a distinct lack in someone’s life. Same goes for staying up until all hours of the night playing video games. Waiting in line for hours to get the next hot video game when it comes out. I see a problem there.
I come from a family whose daily activities (home-based) were centered around the t.v. That’s how I grew up. The t.v. was ALWAYS on. You folded your laundry in the living room while you watched, you ate all your meals in front of the t.v., you cleaned the house at _______ o’clock because there wasn’t “anything good” on at that time. You bitched and moaned and whined about the ridiculous cable bill you couldn’t possibly part with even though there was “never anything decent” on the myriad of stations you subscribed to.
I know that this isn’t a unique occurrence either. This goes on in millions of homes around the nation and the world. For example; one of the most common “money-saving tips” is to reduce your cable/satellite package. That certainly speaks to the importance placed on t.v. that one of the most common “tips” that financial advisers can give to help cut excessive spending is to reduce the amount you pay just to watch t.v. Yikes!
Now I understand that every now and again you need something mindless to just get lost in and take a true break. I admit that I’ve fallen victim to one or two of the most popular phone/tablet/internet games out there. Granted, it was over a year after they first hit the world… But I do not work them into every day. I actually went an entire month without them, and again, I survived. As a matter of fact, I think that I’ve probably frustrated the few people that I play these couple of games with with my lack of presence and significant delay in taking my turn.
I have a problem with the fact that fewer and fewer children are likely to reach for a book because they have a tablet or phone within reach. I am overwhelmingly proud that my 9 year old avid reader of a son has close to, if not over, 200 books. All of which he loves! My little reading machine (who is so desperately trying to read) has over 100 books. She’s 2! And those numbers increase frequently. If it were up to me, we’d have a library the size of a garage (pick your size). And we’re working on it constantly.
My kids are pretty computer competent. Justice knows how to work an iPad with remarkable skill (the iPad and iPhone that Nick got for work) and while there are some pretty cool learning games available, which are helping her learn to write, she gets iPad time maybe once or twice a week. Nothing beats good old paper, crayons, and paint. She knew her alphabet, colors, numbers, and shapes well before she even saw an iPad, much less laid hands on one.
And as if not watching t.v. weren’t enough…we don’t have any video game consoles in our house either! Unless of course you count my almost 20 year old (Ouch!) Nintendo 64 that’s been sitting in a bag for over a year and has only seen the light of day maybe 6-7 times in as many years.
So that’s us. Our incredibly happy, non-t.v. watching, non-video game playing creative household. And that’s me…one seriously happy mama for it! And that’s my rant for the week.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Offers to commit me?