I’m going to admit to a problem. I’m an addict. A television addict. Why do I know this? Bevause, the last few months one of the first things I do in the morning is turn on the TV. I even know what’s on, during the week, when. Well, normally. Sometimes, stations will abruptly change their programming. I tend to think it’s just to piss me off.
Another reason I know I am addicted to television is I will sit and flip through the channels saying to myself: nope, nope, nope. to what is being called programming. I’m not sure of what show specifically I am looking for, or a genre, it’s just that none of what I am seeing in those seconds between flips is it. Finally, I end up yelling at characters on shows that I settle on watching. Why don’t you just go commit suicide, you skanky piece of crap! is something I might yell at some show where I am supposed to be feeling empathy for this character that is only in the situation because he/she placed themselves there. Okay, actually the writers placed the character in that situation and maybe I should be yelling at the box to fire the idiot writers of this show.
So, I’ve recognized this problem of mine for a while now, but I’ve also refused to attempt to do anything about it. I mean, it’s not like there’s a Television Anonymous where a person can get support from others trying to break the addiction of the evil black box that feeds on your mind and (if you believe in those things) your soul as well. It’s an addiction, but one where the addict is left to his or her own methods for dealing with it.
A friend of mine, also an addict, has dealt with his problem, to a degree, by just unplugging his television. I can see how that would work but what addicts are usually encouraged to do is to abstain entirely which to me would mean selling or giving away your TV’s. Unplugging is fine, but then there it is, the big black screen sitting there staring back at you and taunting you to turn it on. Of course, we addicts could just cancel our cable or satellite subscriptions. That would go a long way to help because then, your stuck with just those channels that are broadcast over the air. But then, there’s more than the 3 big networks that are being broadcast. Of course, that’s like being on methadone for a heroin addict, right?
Television is just. like a lot of other things today: smartphones, tablets, notebooks, laptops, all these things that connect to the Internet (like your TV!). they kind of have us, don’t they? I mean, are there really any newspapers around where you can get local, national, and international news? A few, but most that have survived today have a huge presence on the Internet. I could always read a book, but there are no bookstores (or few) anymore. In my little city (around 50K population) no bookstores exist anymore. Amazon has killed those businesses. So I can read a book on my phone or my tablet, but that really isn’t the same is it? Again, I’m receiving my entertainment electronically.
I realize that my addiction is just more than television, it’s to electronics overall. TV is the big one, with the tablet I’m currently writing on being secondary and an enabler because once I get bored with one, I go to the other. I can actually sit, watch an entire hour program on TV, and not be able to tell you what I just watched because in the interim, I was distracted by something online, and vice-versa.
So what is it I can do to stem this never ending addiction? Well, I made a start today. I haven’t turned on the TV so far today. I did turn on the radio, but for me, that’s just background noise to whatever else I may be doing. Like this. It also allows me to think about doing something, if not just around the house, busy work, to keep my mind occupied and not leashed to the television.
Of course I won’t give up TV for good, even though that would be good. I do need to be more responsible with my viewing. Moderate when I watch the tube. When I think I’m bored, the last thing I want to do is drink. that’s what TV is, a drink. So , finding something else to do in the meantime, until that boredom has dissipated, I think is a better solution overall.