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Turn Off Your TV

We killed our cable tv a year ago. Our $60/month fix had us watching only 2 hours a week. New baby put the kibosh on my Downton Abby and the Walking Dead watching and the husband was just using it for zapping therapy. It was an addiction that needed to be shaken. And so I returned the cable box.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to a bit of escapism. I was a visual media major in college because I draw immense pleasure from a well written and well shot movie. But that’s just a fraction of what’s on television. Regular television is selling a different story.

TV Industry

Consider that the TV industry is a business. They need to sell advertisements to pay the bills. They need you to stay watching to see those ads. I married a guy who was working in the news industry when I met him. This finally brought the best and last perspective. “When they own the information they can bend it all they want” John Mayer sings. And in the last ten years, they’ve decided to bring this news to you 24/7. As if it was necessary.

turn of your tv on shalavee.com

Chemical Addiction

The widespread addiction to television feels a little serious. The jolts of adrenaline that tragic or scary news provide is one part of the addiction. We are craving the anxiety followed by the on demand brain chemicals production of cortisol and dopamine . The cortisol being produced is directly related to the epidemic obesity problem. People are also addicted to the release of the dopamine in their brains. People are exhausted by this up and down and yet feel that’s normal. That weird waiting for the sky to fall feeling when there’s a storm coming or a shooting tragedy has occurred has become a norm. A necessary part of the day. Why? Who told us that’s what we’re supposed to choose.

Know It All Addiction

And the need to be the first to know and to know everything and form and share an opinion on it, that is another facet to this television addiction. The ego is running that part of the show and the television industry knows it.Their feeding those who need to be all up on in it. But the information rarely truly has any direct application to our personal lives.

Why is the concept of mass TV addiction so surprising? It’s been well cultivated. Made to believe we’ll be missing out on our given right to entertainment, we cling to our cable boxes for dear life. Last vestige of hope for relaxation or distraction from our stresses. Giving it up is insanity. And I think it would prove what’s more important to you when you don’t have to plug in regularly. Like family and self-betterment activities.

These actions lead people away from their true selves and their families towards a self that is concerned with approval or thrill disguised as necessity. Describing how the daily practices of petty arguments, television, and politics take us away from being truly alive and joyful in our existences, the great humanitarian and scientist Dr. Oliver Sacks said of his refusal to follow the news,”This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.” He sadly died this year of that cancer.

turn off your tv on shalavee.com

Regain Perspective

If you want to regain hope and get a new perspective, turn off you TVs. There’s something bad going on here in the world and our complacency implicates us. The people doing the most wrong, the ones who are commandeering the media’s attention with their terrorist attacks, know exactly how much power the media has and they use it in really bad ways. If we were to break our addiction and stop feeding the beast, some good would happen. Crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Less television means less anxious people. People capable of making their own choices.

So I say, become un-addicted to the news. Turn it off. If you can, kill you cable. See what happens when you unplug. You are only the puppet to the broadcast networks when you turn it on and watch. And I’ll bet you will have a more memorable experience reading a book to yourself, your kid, your grand-kid, or even the dog.

Television
written by Nick Lowe

At the end of every working day
I hurry home as fast as I can
grab myself a bite
’cause since you left me I’m a lonely man
I crack out a can of something
settle down in my chair
from that moment ’till the spot disappears
man, I could be anywhere

I’m pluggin’ in my…Television
Turn it on…Television
Tune it in…Television
‘n everything…Television
I’m lookin’ at…Television
Just like a cat…Television
that little set…Television
It never quits
Let me tell you I don’t care what’s on if it’s happy or sad
don’t give a damn if it’s good or bad
I’ll sit and watch it ’till it drives me mad
just as long as it’s on I’m glad

Now everybody that I used to know
they never come around no more
I don’t go out either
’cause I ain’t got nowhere to go
You see my best friend has been livin’ in
ever since you’ve been gone
all I gotta do is activate that tube
and I don’t have to miss you no more

I’m pluggin’ in my…Television
Turn it on…Television
Tune it in…Television
‘n everything…Television
I’m lookin’ at…Television
Just like a cat…Television
that little set…Television
It never quits
Let me tell you I don’t care what’s on if it’s happy or sad
don’t give a damn if it’s good or bad
I’ll sit and watch it ’till it drives me mad
just as long as it’s on I’m glad


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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

photo credit: Trash on TV via photopin (license)

photo credit: old tv stuff via photopin (license)

photo credit: too close. via photopin (license)

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4 Responses to “Turn Off Your TV”

  1. kb says:

    Bravo! We took all of our TVs to Goodwill in 2005(we had 3, for just 2 people!) Ten years TV-free. Don’t miss it.

    • Shalagh says:

      Thank you Kathy. I’m especially pleased to not have to be tortured by political insanity right now. No news is good news. And that which needs to reach my ears will.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  2. adamjasonp says:

    We didn’t give up ours. No longer watching it with any kind of addiction, but the large bill remains.

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