I’ve been thinking a lot about how much actual television I watch. I’m pretty sure my GPA in all of my schooling years would have been a hell of a lot higher if I hadn’t watched so much tv. So why do I still watch about 3-4 hours of television a day?
I justify it by saying, “I’m watching the news, and I need to be informed.” Which is true. I watch the news 85% of the time. I watch a lot of CNN, and my eyes are glued to the political commentary; even though it annoys the hell out of me, I still watch it.
I don’t drink much (I’ve been drunk twice in the last year), and I don’t smoke (none of the green stuff and never the ash stuff). But I’ve come to realize that I watch television the way many people drink and smoke: to escape. It feels good when I watch tv.
There’s no stigma attached to it. I won’t lose my job if I watch too much tv. The most I lose is time.
But when it comes down to it, time is all I really have. Time in this place, in this moment; and, I am content to watching tv to fill up that time, because it feels good.
I know I watch too much tv, and I do a lot better now, than when I was in high school about monitoring why I’m watching tv. If I’m done with my schoolwork, I give myself grace to escape for a little while. If I am not done with my work, I have learned to recognize why I am trying to escape into the tv, and deal with that first.
I guess this is part of my growing up process. Learning what my escape is, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like the typical “escapist, destructive” behavior that other people my age turn to. I am no better than the person who smokes a cigarette to feel a little better about the day. Television is just another vice, and I get to learn to deal with what affects me, without escaping from my reality into the tv.
Here is a link to an article which articulates television as an addictive medium, not unlike drugs and alcohol. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/cindy-krischer-goodman/article1976572.html