Recently, Megan and I finished watching the last season of 24. If you’re not familiar with this television program, let me sum up the general plot for you.
There’s bad guys who want to bomb something (or somehow kill a lot of people). There’s Jack Bauer who works with/for/or against Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), depending on government morality. CTU has a terrible human resources department.
Jack will also usually torture, or at least be tortured once per season. Chloe O’Brien, Jack’s right-hand helper, somehow manages to stay alive throughout the series. There’s usually a storyline revolving around a US President. Everyone else dies. Jack always wins. Events occur in real time.
So I’m done with the series. I’d love to take a whole day to break down all the psychological, philosophical, and political issues I came across watching 24.
But the show ended in 2010, and I think everyone is pretty much over it. (Anyone want to talk about Heat?)
Instead, I’ve been thinking about my brain. And my eyeballs. Geez. That’s a lot of TV. What have I done to my cortex?
Eight days. I’ve spent “literally” eight days of my life on one television show.
That’s just one show! Do you know how many LOST marathons I’ve been apart of? Or how about The X-Files? (God, I love The X-Files.) As a child, The Simpsons re-runs were more of a certainty than dinner ever was.
My point is this: I’ve watched a lot of TV. If you’re anything like me (an American with a lot of time to kill), then I’m sure you’ve done the same.
Three Quick Reflections
(for people like me, who watch a lot of TV)
1. We are the first civilization that doesn’t have to go outside if we don’t want to. We’ve taken our eyes off of reality and have fixed them on to fiction. What about reality? Does the environment suffer when we keep it at such a far distance?
2. We are probably meant to do greater things. The other day, we left the house to get a break from TV. I didn’t realize this until later, but it seems really backwards. Does TV keep you from living your life? Has TV become your life?
3. Comfort can be a drug. 24 wasn’t great because of the writing (lord knows that’s true), but as a viewer, I could tune in and tune out for one-three hours. I’ve never been addicted to drugs, but I’m starting to think twice about me and TV.
I’d love to hear your feedback! Have you ever struggled with TV? How about time wasted surfing the internet? Any advice for me? I’d love to hear solutions towards a balanced approach. Anyone want to talk 24? (:-)
Photo Credit: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/x-ray_delta_one/4265173624/]
I have certainly been addicted to TV in the past. Now I have the more interactive addiction of blogging. On the positive side, it engages more of my brain. On the negative side, I am clearly disconnected with the real world outside. Apart from occasionally walks to rest my eyes, my laptop and I are joined at the hip.
I’d agree with you about blogging. At least we can interact and create (give, instead of take). You might want to get that hip looked at. 😉
Oh I completely agree with you on all ends. I have been part of many Netflix marathons. At least before I had to wait a week to watch an episode, but now it’s instant. The other day I was sick and instead of spending time with God, I watched 8 hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Afterwards, I felt more drained than I did before.
For the most part, I have used television as a way to escape reality which is a shame because it’s in reality that I can experience so much more of life.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I can totally relate.
Thanks for the comment, and for sharing your experience. I know what you mean! Netflix is border-lined evil. Well, no. But my hand-over of time to it might be.
There were times, such as with 24, where I experienced what you talked about. About being more drained than before. This is probably the biggest sign to take a break.
I agree with you, and that is why I don’t own a TV. It is, however, really hard to not make use of netflix, and have marathons of Law and order and other shows. The problem is that because of TV, and other means of course, we are the first people on history who are making their illusions so vivid that we can actually live in them. therefor, our lives become a series of pseudo events that just give us an illusion of what life is.
It’s almost embarrassing to have you read this post! (Since you do so much good work around the world and all…)
Yeah, when I say TV, I pretty much mean Netflix. We have a TV but no cable. Netflix is crazy though, and can be just as bad.
Interesting thoughts here, especially on the “vivid illusions.”