Has Television Sucked You In?
Addicted to soap operas, reality tv, or the nightly news? Are you anxiously waiting for your weekend entertainment and the onslaught of your favorite junk foods? Thousands of shows, so little time, what will you watch?
My love affair with television began in the early 60’s. Programming was limited to 3 channels; mostly westerns, comedies, and a few cop shows. We loved it. Fuzzy black & white screens did not dilute the excitement we felt as we gathered “round the tube,” using our imaginations to paint in the colors.
As a society, we watched in awe, unaware of the impact our viewing would have on our attitudes and beliefs about ourselves and our world.
I was an avid reader and consider myself fortunate. As a kid there was only so much one could get out of westerns and the bumbling antics of the Three Stooges. Kids back then played outside. We were on a constant vision quest, and nature gave us everything we needed.
The 70’s ushered in a whole new era. Replete with morning soaps and Friday night Dallas. Life was sweet gathered around the television, munching on popcorn while waiting anxiously to see what demonic plans egocentric J.R. Ewing had in store for his competition. And it just got better and better. Knots Landing was birthed. Followed by Dynasty. That was living!!
Or was it? Does television entertainment really make us happy? Can happiness be found living vicariously through others’ fictitious lives? Maybe. But it’s a temporary contentment. What happens when your show is over? What do you do, watch another show while you eat yourself into a gastric coma? Doesn’t sound like happiness and it sure isn’t living.
I woke up one day after 20 years of ABC soaps. Specifically, All My Children. When I realized, my life was centered around a television show I questioned its meaning. Why was I hooked on something that distracted me from the most important thing in life, ME.
Much like a workaholic (I was that too), television keeps us on a treadmill. Looking outside ourselves and never looking inward. Asking questions like, “Who am I and why am I here?”
We aren’t meat suits born to be drones; working inferior jobs, consuming mass quantities of toxic food with the naïve belief that television is something that is good for us. According to experts, excessive television is dangerous to your health…
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