site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Turning off the television....

... National Turn off the TV week is coming up at the end of the month, and you know what? I don't really care.

DH told me about when this particular week is occurring and that he was going to put it on the calendar. I promptly asked him to make sure the TiVo we don't have is installed and working prior to that week. Thus began a back and forth about the true meaning of this week. It’s not a week to torture us who love "sweeps" period on television – it's to get people to read more, to play outside more, to spend time with their families more.

Well, guess what? My family and I have very little issue with spending time with each other, television or no, reading is *never* an issue, and when the weather is good and the pollen count is low, I like being outside. Not for long stretches of time, or during TToM, but I like being outside. That, however, doesn't happen during National Turn off The TV week. Know why?

Because we don't turn off the television during these so-called "awareness" weeks. Or even remotely reduce the habit. DH and I started discussing how it could truly be effective, and it was mentioned that turning off the television for a month would do it. At that, I dissented. It wouldn't make one bit of difference because our children like to read, they enjoy being outside already, and we have reasonably good communication and play skills with them.

They're not slaves to the television. Guess what? They don't watch television during the week, except on Wednesday nights when Mythbusters and Good Eats is on. And I dare anyone to tell me that that is useless television that they're watching. They don't watch much in the way of Saturday morning cartoons anymore either. Maybe once a month, and I think that's because they’re tired of hearing DH tell them that he's going to turn off the television after an hour or two... And they have more fun playing with the Legos anyway, methinks.

Then I enlightened DH... he didn't know that I used to watch 7-8 hours of television during the week while growing up, and that I had a television in my room when I was a teenager. And the television was on almost non-stop on weekends – we're talking from 6:30 in the morning through 11:30 or later at night. Comparatively, to then (and to average television watching now) I barely watch *at all*. Yes, I've upped the usage slightly but that's because there is actually some good television on – like our one night a week spent watching things like Mythbusters and the Food Network – it's not total television rot.

Yes, I know, for some of the purists, I'm probably grasping at straws here to justify television watching. But honestly, since it's the only time that I actually stitch, I'm just justifying my stitching time too. Ah, but I digress.

DH noted that I probably got to watch that much television as a child/teen because it was a way for my parents to keep me chained to the house. He's probably right. It was a way to monitor what I watch, and how I watch it (thereby, supposedly, keeping tabs on my interest level on things that happen outside the house) and a way to keep me occupied so that they didn't have to interact with me (or each other) or worry about what I was going to do when I wandered outside the house. Even after I went to college (and watched much less television almost instantly despite having one in my room) Mom would ask me if I saw this or that on television. I wondered where she got the idea that college students who are handling a full course load and a job actually have time to watch television. Probably from that fantasy world she's always lived in. Ah, sorry, I digress yet again.

Television does not rule the world, no matter what the media says or what advertisers want of it. And if you're raising your children (for those who have them) and they're turning out to be good people, then turning off the television won't make that any worse or any better. And if you don't have kids and you're turning out to be good people who breathe fresh air and such, then turning off the television won’t change any of your good habits either. Unless you decide that being a couch potato and never getting any exercise or fresh air is a good thing.

Anyway, it's going to be National Television Awareness week, so you can turn off your television if you wish, or be aware of how much you watch, or don’t change your habits at all...

...because, honestly, what difference *will* one week make, if you're not addicted to the television?