On Detoxing from Mainstream TV

I haven't watched  TV in at least year and half (probably a lot longer). Occasionally I'll watch a Netflix movie or go out to a movie or drive-in. Even as a kid, I found TV shows to be predictable and I couldn't stand that queued up laughter or commercials. I played outside instead. I listen to KPFK, listener sponsored radio, to stay informed of what's going on in the world.  Turns out I'm not missing much considering that nothing of what really matters is being covered by the Mainstream Media/Corporate Media News.  I occasionally come across a blaring TV at a pizza place or electronics store and see Tiger Woods on the evening news. I break a smile and think how ridiculous it that Tiger would even make it to the news considering all the international and local news that is being covered at KPFK. At this point, it doesn't make me mad or cynical. I've lost my detachment from a lot of things (like Ekhart Tolle writes about in a New Earth... I am an avid reader) so I just observe. Going to the stores has felt different too. I walk into a store and see the boxes and objects and can no longer recall quirky slogans or gin-gals that have been associated to those objects. There's no pull to those objects or much familiarity to them that I remember they once had. My Ah Moment came when some one asked me what kind of running shoes I was wearing (when I bought the shoes I picked out whatever fit best) but I didn't recognize the logo any more. (It wasn't the Nike Swish but it was another popular brand.)  I don't know the names of the latest TV stars and shows but I do feel more centered and I have more time for projects I enjoy. I also don't feel compelled to buy anything or feel like I'm missing something. It's been a wonderful detox and I hardly ever watched in the first place.

We do have a TV at home but it only has the basic channels. My kids grew up without watching much TV (just an hour on the weekends to watch a cartoon movie while I made breakfast--not on a daily basis). When they do watch a movie or even more rarely TV, they themselves quickly turn it off after a show (most of the time, they are still kids you know). I have stepped back to see how long they would watch if I don't say anything, and to my relief they do turn it off themselves after a show.They are active creative boys. I know in today's society we can feel helpless as parents when we see all that is going on in the world. But your home is your home and these are your four walls. I once read an article online that advised taking exquisite control of your home environment as a parent. I would take my boys to the park or leave my house half undone to play with them to keep them busy. I tried not to make stern rules but rather to shift the focus on what we do want. So when I see them getting restless I take them to the park so they don't get bored at home bored and then turn on the tube. It wasn't as hard as one would image to keep the bad influence out... if you fill it with the positive influences instead.When my boys wanted an XBox for their birthdays I ordered the Lego Magazine by mail and when it came in they immediately changed their minds about what they wanted as I knew they would.

The TV is the Matrix, not just for the commercials and the superficial news that they inundate with but the TV shows themselves. The drama, characters, and story lines that reinforce ideas that are everything but the right  way to really live. The banner ads online don't have nearly the same effect as TV and when I do get an annoying video ad on the computer I'm sitting right there so I can turn off the volume or visit another website for the same content easily enough.

An example of this is when my kids were younger they freaked out the first time I ever played them the movie E.T. I remembered liking it as a kid so I figured they'd enjoy it too. The thing gave them nightmares because they hadn't been exposed to lunch boxes, collectibles, and trailers of a cute and friendly E.T.a head of time. Instead they saw an alien on TV with huge eyes and long fingers and it just freaked them out.  We become conditioned to the images we see on TV and we come to accept them as a way of life

Comments

  1. I think it is great that you don't spend much time in front of the television. Me, even when I'm not watching it, it is running. The only time it is off is when I'm reading or writing and need silence. Sometimes not even then, usually I write in another room while it's blaring in the living room!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and "following" me, I'm about to follow you right back.

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  2. This is a very interesting theme, though the situation is the same around the globe with the experience of TV and mass media in a glance. Just within this nature of interference to human life through the electronic media, one day there will be a natural objection would take place to refuse whole media. From that point onwards we will not suffer at big malls looking huge racks of items and manipulating our thoughts with the reflections of memories created by heavenly advertisements through media.

    Just these media especially TV is only doing one thing dominantly, they highjack us all the time.

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