Posts Tagged ‘cable television’

Why cable television/satellite tv/hdtv/plasma/lcd tv is bad for you

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Ok, I know the title is a mouthful 🙂 But I wanted to get your attention, because it really doesn’t matter what type of t.v. you have, whether be it the latest and greatest hi-definition (hdtv) plasma or lcd 42″ or 60″ widescreen t.v., an old black and white set tv top going on cable or satellite, or a projector projecting 10′ images against a big wall, t.v. is bad for you. I admit sadly I’ve watched my fair share of television, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to recognize that (and reduce) the amount of t.v. I watch.

Nowadays because of the proliferation of video devices (t.v., mini-t.v.’s, streaming video, ipods, store checkout counters/gasoline bars/sports bars/etc t.v.s, etc, etc), I know that it is pretty hard to avoid watching t.v. But. If you can — try the 2 week challenge — go for two week without t.v., and see if you notice a difference. (If you accomplish that — watch your favourite move — ok, just kidding 🙂 — but you’ll probably like the difference).

Most television can (and usually does) effectively accomplish the following:

  • TV dumbs you down
  • TV thinks for you and ‘reprograms’ you
  • TV wastes time
  • TV contributes to poor health

1. Dumbing Down

Television is very rarely educational, and when it is, it is edited so much and pre-empted by commercials that actual educational dialogue is minimal. Most sit-coms have ‘laugh’ tracks — because the content really isn’t all that funny — but it is there to make you comfortable to ‘laugh’ with the show. But you start ‘believing’ it must be funny — because after all — “everyone else” is laughing too. And “news” shows have soundbites that are so short, they don’t (and can’t) convey real useful information to you. Every day is usually simply the same information repackaged differently. (I.e., why do you need to know what the current temperature is outside? Open a window 🙂 And if you aren’t travelling, who cares what the weather is like in Florida if you are living in the north pole?)

2. Programming — the t.v. or you?

Television is exceptionally good at reprogramming your belief systems, and you allow it to.

As an example, one of the most popular sets of t.v. shows are murder/mystery. I.e., like five or six different versions of CSI (Miami, NYC, Regular CSI, etc), five or six versions of law and order (Regular L&O, L&O: Criminal Intent, L&O: SVU, etc, etc). (Geez, it’s almost like choosing between coke, coke classic, diet coke, coke zero, etc, etc! :))

You start watching this t.v. series — and then you believe that that is exactly how the law works. I found I was actually being brainwashed into believing exactly what was seen on t.v. is exactly as what happens. I starting thinking DNA was taken for everything (compliments of the CSI series, in which every case is magically solved by that — why don’t they just take dna at the start of the episode :P), and that people had literally no rights and could be thrown in jail at a whim. Not only is that not true in real life, but in “real life” things totally contrary to the t.v. shows such as where where a theif (in the us) could sue a homeowner because he hurt himself while stealing have happened!

Furthermore, people watch these t.v. series like Sex and the City, Survivor [whatever], The Bachelor XXXVII, etc — and start believing that women and men have sex with different people every night. That is not real life.

As an aside, why do you think highschool students love watching t.v. in class? Because they don’t have to think! 🙂 I remember in highschool that is one thing that everyone loved. It meant no homework (usually), and it meant they could turn their brain off for an hour or so.

3. TV Wastes Time

Television is an escape. Ok, totally eliminating t.v. from your diet may be hard — sometimes it’s nice to “relax” with a good show after work (although you can just as easily enjoy a good book, go to a jazz festival, watch a sunset, etc) — but when you watch more than a few hours, it literally ‘sucks’ the life out of you. You waste your life in exchange for ‘living’ someone else’s life. If you could “watch” yourself “watching” t.v. over a lifetime, you would see a drone get up, eat breakfast, sit down and stare at a box, leave for a few hours (if working), come back, and zone out like a zombie in front of a box for the next 3 hours. Wouldn’t that be boring? Wouldn’t make for a good t.v. show, would it 😛 Watching someone watching a box all day. Well, if you watch t.v. all day, that is your life. Wouldn’t it be better to live life, instead of 20 years later wondering where all the years went?

4. T.V. Contributes to poor health

Not only do you literally let the t.v. do your thinking for you while you watch it, but you also are “sitting” all the time. Not moving. Little circulation in your body. Plus, many people usually eat “junk” food (potato chips, chocolate bars, candy, soft drinks, etc) — while watching t.v. Where do you think the phrase “couch potato” came from? 🙂 Serious. Some guy in California coined it 30 years ago


Hopefully I’ve convinced you that t.v. isn’t that great for you — and you might be able to fill up your time with more productive accomplishments 🙂 Now of course — I realize, if you are reading this — chances are you aren’t (as much of ;)) a couch potato as some people, because you are actually reading this 🙂 — but maybe help a friend or an aquaintance that spends too much time in front of the t.v. by showing him/her this article.

Ideas of what to do in lieu of watching t.v.:

  • Learning to cook
  • Reading a book
  • Talking/going out with friends
  • Doing some sort of sport (whether recreational, professional, or simply playing catch outside)
  • Clean your room 🙂
  • Shopping (or window shopping, depending on your budget)
  • Plus many more!