reply to post by downtown436
I guess I'm coming onto this thread a little late, but wanted to share my experience, too.
The beginning of the end for me and TV was the morning of September 11, 2001. I woke up late that morning, answering the phone and being told to turn
on the TV, two planes had attacked New York. As I watched the second plane crash into the towers the first time (for me) I told my wife, "This is
the CIA. Hijacks like that don't happen in America." After an hour of being bludgeoned with the "event," I turned it off. Shortly after that,
we stopped paying the cable bill (not out of protest, my business was just slow at the time, ha ha). I moved the TV (an old 31" Mitsubishi, the
thing weighed like 75 pounds) into the bedroom closet and we were amazed at how much space we reclaimed in our tiny apartment living room.
The changes were subtle at first. I missed watching reruns of Voyager and Third Rock From the Sun and my wife missed her shows, but neither of us had
watched the news or talk shows for years. We already spent an inordinate of time on the internet, so that didn't change. What did change was the
nature and the quality of our conversations.
First thing I noticed was that we didn't talk about what was happening in the shows we watched anymore. That might seem obvious, but it was
significant: our friends that came over still were talking about what they saw on TV and we realized what a large percentage of their conversations
were little more than that. As time went on, it seemed that my thoughts were becoming more and more my own thoughts, and not those that had been
"programmed" in to me by some show or commercial.
I also noticed that I was becoming open-minded again. By that, I mean I was really listening to and evaluating the content of what information came
to me, from conversation, reading, the internet, etc. What I saw my TV-watching friends doing, and realized that I must have been doing the same
thing, was giving a moment's attention to some topic or subject, and then accepting it or rejecting it whole after a very short time. I think what
was going on was they were "channel-surfing"--if the topic agreed with what they already had in their head, they stayed with it, otherwise they
changed the subject or just tuned it out. Often they would just dismiss whatever they didn't like with a very hip, flippant comment that really
didn't have anything to do with the subject at hand and that was it, end of conversation. There was no bringing them back to it once that happened,
So what began as a minor personal economic crisis soon became a kind of militant stance with me. But even though I was very anti-TV, I was still
susceptible to its dubious charms. I remember going over to a friend's home and as soon as I walked in getting completely sucked in by their 48"
screen. It had been about 2 years since we dumped our set, but after 15 minutes we (my wife, my son, and I) were still standing at the edge of the
room, coats on, staring slack-jawed at some car commercial. When we realized what was going on it struck us all as very funny, but it impressed me as
to just how powerful a programming tool the TV really is.
So star and flag, great post and a great move on your part, o.p. Stick to your guns and I hope that the experience of no TV enriches and bolsters
your own independent mind!