Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why I Wish I Never Watched/ Had/ Was Exposed to TV

I like stupid reality TV shows. I'm okay with admitting it. I like to watch the Kardashians do crazy shit on tv sometimes. I like to watch cranky brides fight with their friends over wedding dresses. I don't know... it's just... funny. And I don't have to be smart to understand it.

But TV changes the way I approach and understand other people and the world. Not because I don't know the difference between Reality on TV and Reality in real life, because I do, but because.... the stuff on TV that isn't "reality"... it's based on something right? Love stories, violence, mysteries... that stuff came from somewhere, it was inspired by something.... so, does that mean that somewhere in the world someone knew people who behaved the way people do on TV?

Is this any different than reading a book...?

I just feel like TV complicates the way I think about other humans and situations that humans are involved in like love, friendship, and other relationships. 

I mean, have you ever watched Lifetime?!

And I don't just mean the bad qualities about people that TV tends to emphasize... I mean all of the qualities about people that TV emphasizes. Is it REALLY that likely that a bunch of friends would live so close together, spend every waking second doing group activities and never have a single issue that separated them for longer than 30 minutes? No. But there are tons of TV shows that are fixed on that idea aren't there?

And then there are the shows that account for things that have actually happened, some of my favorites actually... like the crime scene investigator type shows... some of that stuff is scary... and that scares me!
And it is different than watching the news because the news tends to just be small bits of a story over a long period of time, not the whole story with all the gory details from start to finish in one sitting. I think that is why the news doesn't have the same affect on me as some of these shows. Also the news isn't narrated by a man with an intentionally eerie voice.

TV is great for distraction, it's great for when you're sick and home from school. It's great for having on in the background. But it messes with my head sometimes! Having had it around my whole life - I wonder what I would think of things now if I hadn't had the influence of TV all along.

I think about this a lot.

11 comments:

Kristi *aka* BohoBear said...

I grew up without a "LOT" of TV. I was about 10 when we finally got a color TV, and I was a teenager before we even got a VCR!

I've gone through periods of life where I've watched a lot or watched a little.

I think reading and watching tv/movies are DRASTICALLY different animals! Reading involves getting into something and being totally surrounded by the story--but with TV/Movies you can pretty much flitter away at all your hobbies and work as you watch.

I don't know what I was getting at.

I LOVE SCI FI! Maybe I love Sci Fi the most because of how incredibly impossibly the scenarios are. I can't stand "reality" TV.. or game shows really... blech. I always feel like I'm wasting my time with those for some reason.

Everyone in the world should get Netflix and watch Battlestar Galactica.

That is all.

:D

Danielle said...

i totally agree with you about books - but in terms of being influenced by fictional characters and their behaviors... although book fictional characters tend to be a little classier lol

i dont watch much sci fi... but i do find it interesting. thanks for sharing!

Suzi said...

I can really relate to your post today, Danielle, and I can also give a completely different perspective. All my life I have grown up in a household which has no TV. This was due to the beliefs held by my family. Of course, not having a TV made me quite a talking point at school. I knew nothing about the "cool" shows or the characters which were revered by my classmates. And yet despite the teasing, I honestly never felt that I was missing out by not having a TV. Instead I was a bookworm and I would spend most of my spare time with my head in a book. It's that habit which I attribute most of my school grades to. I found English classes at school fascinating and loved studying books and plays, particularly Shakespeare. If I had had a TV, I'm sure it would have been a fundamental part of my daily routine and would have detracted from other, more profitable pursuits.

Now, at the age of 20 I still don't have a TV. Of course with so much now available on DVD boxsets and online I am more familiar with some TV shows. And though I do like to purchase certain shows from iTunes, I do sometimes wish I had never got into that habit. It is quite addictive and I barely read at all now. At the end of a long day it somehow seems automatic just to stick on a DVD or TV episode and just veg on the couch for a while. But that doesn't seem nearly as fulfilling as reading did. It has just become a habit.

I also have shows on in the background a lot of the time while crafting or even working, and sometimes I wish I hadn't got into that habit either. Sometimes I watch so much or listen to so much that it seems like information overload.

Danielle said...

thats an interesting perspective as well! I actually didnt watch TV for a solid year just about in college and I didnt miss it.

it is super automatic to just sit down and turn the tv on rather than pick up a book... I wish i read more.

I think thats part of my problem with it too - information overload!

thanks for sharing!

April said...

Such an interesting post! Yeah, I grew up NOT watching tons of TV, and I really liked that.

There's something about tv that when its on it draws everyone's eye and cuts down interaction. This is the first time in my life I have cable, and we repeatedly told the provider they can shut it off, but they never have. I like some stuff like Food Network etc., but generally, I wish we had the tv on less, and we're working on that. Growing up I read more books, and we always had SO much fun as a family - and when we did watch tv, it was more of a special treat, like a fun movie to watch together or something like that. Also, there's just so much garbage on tv, with all the language, agendas, innuendos and so forth that are promoted and eventually just brainwash us, and so we try to be careful about what types of things we let into our home, because just like you said --- it does influence how we think. If you think of it like food, we are what we take in, and aspects of our health will certainly be affected by our "diet". I don't want to just be a product of what society thinks I should be.

Funnily enough, and this was already in the works before reading this post, my new blog description is going to involve "turning off the tv and turning on life", haha!

Insightful post, thanks Danielle! :)

Danielle said...

april,
it's so strange because I don't actually remember watching a ton of TV as a kind. I remember riding my bike a lot and cutting up my clothes to make clothes for my american girl dolls but I dont really remember watching TV... i know it was there... and I know i watched Eureka's Castle sometimes with my brother in the morning lol - but it was always there and I think even now, even if i'm not paying attention to it - it's still creeping inside my head.

i watch a TON of TV now, and by watch i mean, listen lol - - and some of it is funny carefree stuff and some of it is just interesting - i like documentary type stuff - but a lot of it is garbage. And sometimes I enjoy to watch the vapid mindless junk but mostly just to laugh at the ridiculous participants...

It's just sooo crazy to think of what I - or anyone really - would truly think of the world from their own perspective had they never ever been influenced by TV and the characters we see on TV and the situations and their conflicts and resolutions on tv... i really do think about this ALL the time haha probably while i zone out in front of the tv.

April said...

Haha, yeah, it is interesting to think of what it would be like with NO tv at all! haha, I remember one time I was asking my husband if something could be figured out with some certain technique and he said - "um, that's not actually possible, did you pick that up from a crime show?" and I had, it was so funny! And I totally get you on the "listening" ... when I'm working I like to have noise ... I have trouble working in the quiet! I love travel channel or food network or hgtv and stuff like that, plus they have tons of awesome ideas :)

Danielle said...

Oh i love those too! I cant really watch the food stuff because it makes me hungry and then anything I eat is just not satisfying lol but i do love the crime shows and hgtv and travel channel!! ahh travel channel....

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