Friday, September 22, 2006

Influence of Television

A recent study shows that in the States, many homes have more tv sets than people. Canada is slightly better, but not much.

About 6 years ago I made a conscious decision to give away my tv. It was the best decision that I have ever made. I have since noted the following 2 important benefits:
  1. More time to do "real" tasks, ie: spend time with loved ones, read, etc.
  2. Less influence of the media leading to more independent thinking. Believe me, you do not realize how much of an impact the television media has on you (especially for young women with particular emphasis on issues such as body image). Without tv to tell you what your priorities are, you are free to define them for yourself.

As someone who watched an alarming amount of tv growing up, I will admit that it was a hard habit to break. However, it was infinitely worth it. When I tell people that I don't have a tv, their usual first reaction is "What do you do?". My answer to that, is that you have no idea how time sapping tv is, until you manage to break free from its hypnotic spell. You will then discover how much time you can spend doing things that are much more intellectually, spiritually and physically gratifying.

I'm not trying to be holier than thou, there are some good things on tv: my partner and I own DVD sets of The Simpsons, Family Guy, Kids in the Hall and Keeping Up Appearances. What I'm saying is that most people find it difficult to engage in selective viewing. You know the scenario: you mean to watch a particular halfhour program, and before you know, you'ven been sitting there for 2 hours, wondering where the time has gone.

I challenge you to try life without, or with reduced, tv watching for a week and see what happends. The result may surprise you.

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