I am constantly behind on the Kardashians. And I certainly can’t comment on that super cute Tide commercial with that one song. Buying tabloids is next to impossible – I didn’t even know these people were married and now they’re getting a divorce!? Yes, life without a TV is such a bummer.
That’s right. I’m not afraid to admit it. In fact, I feel a certain superiority complex when I utter the words, “I don’t know what on Earth you’re talking about. I can’t be bothered to watch television.” Said complex is immediately dashed when I must admit that I do watch Netflix. When I “gave up” television, it was a conscious decision to change the way I spend my precious little free time and take control over what news and current events I’m exposed to. I also didn’t want to pay for a TV.
I envisioned spending my nights reading Socrates, writing the next great American novel, and catching up on world news. I’m sure you can guess how it’s actually turned out. After 9 hours at work, run, gym, and cooking dinner, all I want to do is flop in front of the computer and watch season after season of House, M.D.
Though no significant studies have been conducted on the addictiveness of television, producers and show creators readily told Newsweek that hyperserialized shows – like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones – are designed to be just that – addictive.
Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, told Newsweek, “I’ve always said that I don’t see my show as serialized so much as hyperserialized. That is something that, honestly, I wouldn’t have been allowed to do 10 or 15 years ago.”
Once again, my best intentions were foiled by Hollywood! Ditching the television merely changed the manner in which I fuel my addiction. An addict is an addict is an addict.
When I was in high school and college, I watched upwards of 2-3 hours of television a day. These days, I watch just a little over an hour of “TV.” Hardly worth considering an “addiction,” however I find it unnerving that it is so difficult to say, “I won’t watch anything tonight.” More than anything, television is addictive because it doesn’t require you to think. Should we be concerned that Americans average more than 4 hours a day “not thinking?”
We won’t get into that.
Here’s what not owning a TV has done for me: no commercials. Though I haven’t fully taken advantage of the other benefits of life without a tv, this one has been completely and thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t crave things – like Red Lobster – no apparent reason. My meagre possessions don’t feel inadequate. In some regards, moving away from the TV has decreased my need to be a consumer. And that’s not too bad at all!