Saturday, August 12, 2006

No more TV!

I haven't felt much like writing lately. Between recovering from my sinus infection and a whole slew of other things that have sent my brain into a quagmire, sitting down to write something reasonably intelligent was rather low on the priority list.

But, now I have drugs (hooray for amoxicillin), and I'm quickly going crazy due to all the television I have watched over the past week. I have seen Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban three times already, and right now I have the option of watching it for the 4th time on HBO. Perhaps I'll switch to it later for some background noise.

As much as the TV has been a steadfast companion for the past few days, I've realized also how poisonous it can be. It hasn't been the programming I've been watching, but the commercials.

I'm not used to watching so much television in a week, and I'm definitely not used to being constantly bombarded ads for laptops, clothes, diet supplements, restaurants, candies, cleaning supplies, other shows, home appliances, sales at stores, and new cell phones. Seeing a few of these commercials repeatedly started to affect me, as I thought, Hmmm, that's a cheap price for a laptop - and it's got a funky cover. Neat! or I suppose I could stop by Old Navy to update my "look" or That Olive Garden ad looked great. I didn't want to cook anyway tonight. Perhaps I should order in. All these commercials made me want, made me think I needed something, made me feel the urge to go out and buy something - to somehow improve my existence through whatever I could purchase.

As one who doesn't buy many things, it made me feel rather disgusting. That my mind could be so manipulated by the ads on television...I must say, advertisers do their job remarkably well.

I started thinking about how most people watch a lot of television each week (I think the average is around 5 or 6 hours per day per person), and how a lot of that airtime is devoted solely to get consumers to want, to need, and then to buy. No wonder our culture is so materialistic! We are always made to feel like we need to improve our lives, and that the newest car/product/fashion is the ticket to our happiness. I've never before realized what a powerful force the media is until this week, when I probably watched 8 hours every day. At least.

I think I'm going to declare a no-TV week as a way to purge all of this out of my system (or perhaps a no-TV-show-from-the-cable week, as there might be sports games to watch and there is definitely some Babylon 5 to watch on DVD!).

Anyhow, thanks to everyone who has commented on the engagement post! It's going to take me a bit to catch up on all the blogs that I have missed reading.

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