Wednesday, January 31, 2007

TV Ruminations

Try this expirement. Sit in front of your television, put it on the channel that annoys you most (MTV, MSNBC, Fox, etc...), and then turn it off. Now, sit there for five to ten minutes in silence. I'll wager that some of you cannot handle the silence or lack of stimulation. If you do manage to sit there quietly, then what thoughts go through your mind?

I immediately began to wonder why this black box takes up so much of our lives. It sits there dark and empty. When it comes to life, I'm not the one putting images on the screen, that job belongs to other people, people I neither know nor trust. Yet, I give them access to my brain for countless hours a day, week, or year. Then my thoughts go deeper, much of what we 'know' about life comes from the 'idiot box'. Quick, imagine a gunfight between the cops and a suspect. What did you see? It was some version of a television or movie gunfight wasn't it? That is your only reference to such an experience. And this type of television as life scenario is not limited to the extraordinary, like gunfights, but to all facets of life, we just don't realize it. The television, unless you do not watch, invades our brains. Have you ever met people that couldn't distinguish things they remembered from real life or television? I think this goes on in everyone's mind, but it occurs with such frequency and such subtlety that we don't know it. Little facts about life that you 'know', you actually learned from television. Why? Because you haven't exprerienced everything in life and your brain takes all input and processes it as knowledge, of one sort or another.

Do you want to experience life through somebody else's eyes and interactions? I don't. Maybe I'll turn off my television for a while, but probably not.

No comments: