"T.V. is the great equalizer. The assasination of John Kennedy and David Letterman's stupid dog tricks are absolutely equal." -- Warren Bennis.
The book I'm reading has an entire chapter on how TV is wasting our times and how it is preventing leaders from emerging. I disagree. I think TV allows leaders to reach a large audience who otherwise would not have been able to. I believe the internet goes a step further. However, I do agree with one thing he says. TV is a great waste of time. The content that is on TV is terrible. The format of what we watch has gotten worse, and commercials are taking over more and more of the television. A typical 30 minute program has 5-10 minutes of commercials, with another 5-10 minutes of the show itself being used as a medium to show a companies wares; every 30 minutes we are bombarded with 10-20 minutes of advertising. While we sit on our butts and do nothing and learn nothing we absorb the advertising. I myself am guilty of it. I even blog about commercials that I think are clever. This is part of the reason that I only really like to watch sports on TV. I still don't grow, from the TV, but at least I get to watch a competition. Sport though, are even worse with advertising. Ads have been placed in the ballpark in such a way as to almost always be on the TV. The Nike swoosh on the clothes, the Rawlings insignia on the gloves. The backdrop behind home plate, even the world series had tv tricks last year to make advertisements look like they were on the field when they were only camera tricks.
I spent some time this weekend channel surfing looking for a program to help expand my mind. I found one. I think MythBusters could actually be considered a learning program. However, the rest of everything on TV. was solely entertainment. I have decided to reduce the amount of TV that I am watching. I will no longer watch these shows. When I go to bed, I will not turn the TV on to anything other than a sporting event. Erin can watch what she wants, I will close my eyes and sleep.
What will I be giving up when I give up TV? I'll be giving up my frustration. I'll be giving up my annoyance with commercials and programs.
What will I be gaining? I hope to be gaining more quality time with my children. I hope to not have TV distracting me from blogging, reading my newsletters, and reading books after the kids go to bed.
I will now take control back into my life and remove as much TV from it as I can. As I wrote this blog I turned off the Cubs vs. Cardinals game.