First of all, I’m not against television. I grew up with television. Television was my baby sitter and after that was the natural focus of my attention. From a small black and white to the transition to color and digital, television has been a giant influence on most of my life.
But now I feel empowered when I turn off the magic box.
There is so much of our time spent in front of this screen at first watching fuzzy images with crackling sound and being amazed at the visual radio then being engrossed in the programming. The television substituted the newspaper or a book or a game as the evening entertainment for the family until it went off the air at bedtime.
Television presented us history as a president was assassinated or a trip to the moon and entertainment for kids with clowns and cowboys and dogs and nightly dramas with live screenplays. With limited technology and huge camera the acting had to fill the void and some did. Daytime television became the homemakers haven for cooking shows and soap operas.
Once television had worked its way into many of the post war homes the addiction had begun.
Now that America, then the rest of the world is hooked, the industry blossomed into a mesmerizing hypnotic obsession. We spaced our time and our meals around different “must see” shows. The details of the previous nights viewing became the topics of the water cooler. Even parties were set up to involve friends and family in the spellbinding season ending shows.
As television took over our lives, the recliner was invented for our comfort and the remote control was invented for our ease of tuning and the microwave was invented to speed the food processing so we could prepare dinner during a commercial. Television invented the couch potato. Television invented obesity.
Today with all the options and selections television has become a part of our daily ritual. We turn on the television first thing in the morning to catch up on the news while we brew our coffee. The morning talking heads tell us what we need to know or what we want to hear before leaving for the occupation molding our minds. Those who stay at home are wrapped up in entertainment unlimited. Once the evening comes and everyone is back at home we surround the big screen cozy in to be entertained or numbed by what is presented to us.
Before we know it, an entire day has gone by and we are wiser with “Downton Abbey” or “Off Their Rockers” or “Dancing with the Stars” under our belt.
At the end of the day we have engulfed and passed through a variety of selections with flashing images of lights and loud noises
So turn it off. It is not difficult. There is a power switch on the remote. Stand up, press the button, and walk away.
There is a wealth of adventures ready to be received without the overwhelming attraction to the blue screen.
Of course there is still those other electronic communication devices to be overcome.