There is nothing wrong with watching a little TV (in moderation), I personally don’t own or want one, but I know and appreciate that there are plenty of good, clever, captivating and well-done shows out there. With that being said, the problem I mostly find with TV is The News, it’s really morphed into something quite gruesome.
I work in front of a computer, so I try to be away from technology as much as possible. A year ago, after feeling totally stir crazy from working in front of a computer, I decided to join the gym. Much to my demise, I get on an elliptical almost everyday now which faces a full wall of TV screens. I try my best to look out the window as to avoid the doom and gloom–that is–The News, but I can’t help but notice it. The sound is off, but it’s easy to improvise what they’re saying. There are tragedies that happen daily, it’s awful, but how many times can you hear the same tragedies and what are we getting out of it? People sit in front of the TV as it squawks the same news on repeat.
Of course there is no escaping The News. Unless you live in a shack on the mountain, it finds a way. Just after the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, I was at a bodega, waiting in line and news talk was blaring over the speakers. One woman talking said she had been following the Sandy Hook incident closely and at some point, she questioned how much she was thriving on it because at some point, it was all the same news. It was a horrible thing that happened, but it was an event and the news just keeps drudging up the same facts over and over. Why are we escalating these things? When you start seeing something as part of your daily life, it’s just making it the norm.
I took a class by one of my favorite authors, Julia Cameron, a few years ago (if you haven’t read her work, I highly suggest starting with The Artist’s Way). It’s a 12 week class/program and every week we were given a “homework assignment.” This particular assignment was to spend the week of media deprivation: no watching/following any media including reading so that we could see our own path instead of following someone else’s.
The next week when we returned, Julia asked what people’s thoughts were, they ranged all over the place, but one person’s feedback in general stuck with me to this day. The woman in my class said that she was an avid follower of the news and would follow it daily, it was very hard for her to just let go of it for a week but she did it and upon getting back to her routine the following week, she realized not much changed.
I find that so interesting, the news is just reporting what’s selling, it’s a machine that’s there to captivate and get ratings. Reporters really have to try harder and harder to deal not only with their endless competition, but also, their audience who’s attention span is diminishing at alarming rates.
If you want to know about the news, you don’t have to even turn the TV on, we can all sum up what’s happening.