We all watch TV, most of us anyway. Sure, there are a couple of guys in my office who claim that they live ‘off the grid’, but they do watch Youtube.
I come home from work tired, take a shower, eat something and then plop down on my comfortable couch, ready to while away the evening and unwind in front of the TV. This is a routine thing that I’ve done all my life. The only difference now is that, at least fifty percent of the time, I have my laptop on my lap and I’m surfing the web too.
TV is wasting the lives and productive capabilities of billions around the world, that’s my current belief. All my life it seemed normal that that’s what people do; only recently I’ve started to view this as perhaps wrong.
Sure, we all need some entertainment, but not at the expense of our own creativity. I wrote a book ten years ago, and another about three years later. I threw the first one up on kindle, and over the last few years it wound up selling a few thousand copies. When I read about Kindle statistics, indications were that most self-published authors will never sell more than a hundred books in their lifetime on Kindle. What did I do with the information? First, I said, “Wow,” and then I did nothing for years. The second book barely sold five copies. Another five years have elapsed since then. What’s the problem? The problem is mental stress and exhaustion. When I get home from work, I’m zonked and have no capacity to think, so I zone out and watch TV.
Most of the time I realize I’m not really even watching; I’m mostly channel surfing, flipping from this channel to that, hoping there will be something interesting. Usually there’s not. I canceled a bunch of channels recently and saved myself fifty bucks a month—TV is also a rip off, with the cable company fleecing you every month.
If you notice, movies and shows basically have the same plot, especially B grade action and horror movies. It’s all so predictable, same stories different actors. All you do is pass time and get further away from your goals—if you’re one of those people that have any in the first place.
This is the way we’re programmed—the things we do, I mean. It’s basically from birth. We shove food down our pieholes without thinking about what’s in it. We’re taught (through TV commercials), that we’ve been bombarded with our whole lives, about a lot of things that are totally wrong, all in the name of profit for companies. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who think that a loaded whopper with cheese must be accompanied by a large order of fries and washed down with a healthy dose of soda—and that’s a complete meal. Or how about those meat lover’s pizzas that Dominos is always promoting. Do I ever go and get Dominos? Absolutely. How do I know about the deals? Yep, I see them on TV. No wonder I perpetually have fifteen pounds to lose. “Gimme the deal.” I’m all in. And my diet is probably better than most. I pretty much take a home cooked lunch with me to work every day, and I do some form of exercise five days a week for an hour, but I still can’t lose a pound.
Ok, so back to the TV. Yes, you get some entertainment. I love a good movie myself, but how much real entertainment do you get compared to the hours you’re putting in. I could’ve written a hundred books if I hadn’t been in front of that TV every day. But I didn’t—not yet anyway. Right now, I’m proving to myself that I’ve made a decision by writing this article while my wife is watching Housewives of somewhere or the other in the background. I’m tuning it out. I can write a casual article like this with noise around, but for novel writing I need to be locked up in a quiet room; I’m going to work on that next.
Maybe some of you out there have some talent in any field that you’ve often thought about progressing with but never did. Maybe it’s because of that TV. Just some food for thought.