Friday, March 28, 2008
I was listening to a news story on the radio yesterday about the nervousness of television network executives on their abilty to woo back viewers after the writers' strike. What scared these well-paid executives was that people just might have found other things to do during this crisis. Other things to do! The idea of this struck horror into their hearts. I was laughing.
I grew up in a house that had more televisions than people. When I walked into a room, the first thing I did was turn on a television. My childhood memories are filled with the soundtracks of sitcom theme songs. Even after all these years the music from Happy Days or The Love Boat will intrude into my thoughts. Forty years from now I may be a little foggy on the events of my life but I'll remember the theme song to Laverne and Shirley.
I possessed all your classic symptoms of addiction. I believed I was in control. I could stop anytime. I was so far gone, I didn't even know I had a problem. If you asked me, I'd tell you with all sincerity, I really didn't watch much and could turn it off whenever the mood hit (it's just that the mood seldom hit me).
That was then and this is now. Fast forward and here I am living free of network, cable and satellite. We have a television (that's singular), it's reserved for DVDs and Playstation use. I've been free for more than four years. It feels great knowing that I exist outside the reach of these network executives who are employed to make certain that my time is their time.
Contrary to a popular held belief, you can still live a fulfilling life without tuning in to Dancing with the Stars or American Idol. I'm more informed about the state of the world and the union than I ever was while viewing the evening news. I'm no hermit. I'm familiar with the latest shows and I'm content to wait until they make it to DVD and find their way to my local library or Netflix. I can watch on my own terms and free myself from getting into the what's-on-next syndrome and wasting hours on tedious commercials. And as an aside here- people spend way too much time talking about commercials.
Right now I'm just a blip on the radar of these executives. They still have a hefty supply of viewers but I'd like to see myself as one of those early pioneers who touted such silliness as organic food, alternative energy, recycling or global warming. Maybe others will discover that having other things to do isn't such a bad thing. I guess I've started my own little revolution. Who knows maybe I'll pick up some other converts along the way. So confess do you think you could ever cut the cord? If you're living free like me drop me a line and let me know your experience (you know, the strange looks and the confusion as people try to figure out just what to say next).