Training them young
I grew up watching television, just like all the kids around me. It was the 60's, and the shift from black and white to color television was just beginning. Yes, there were color televisions available, but they were more expensive so we didn't get one until pretty late in the 60's. And, yes, the installation of the color TV involved a lot of guys fiddling with technology and it might have coincided with the Super Bowl.
Today, I haven't owned a television for over 10 years.
For the most part there's a big benefit. Since I don't spend my time watching TV, I'm able to do other things. Such as write this web site, and in general improve myself.
Occasionally I'll be talking to someone who mentions some TV show and I'll go "huh" until I realize what they're talking about. It's rather rare and only slightly jarring. Even though I'm missing out on a zillion popular culture references, I don't think I'm missing anything important.
I do watch TV in rare times, basically when I'm traveling and sitting in a hotel room. They always have televisions, and it's easy to flip the thing on. And, I do. And, I turn into a zombie. Which is why I don't watch television, because I turn into a zombie. That can't be good, this television induced zombification.
One consideration I'm working on right now is ... how do I watch movies?
To watch movies requires some kind of screen. DVD's are simple because my laptop computer makes for a fine DVD player. I just run a wire from the headphone jack to the CD/AUX input on the stereo, and I've got a nice picture, great sound, and no television.
I'm finding myself wanting to watch television. I'm finding I have some attraction to building a home multimedia theater center. And I'm questioning what's going on.
For example I've been longing to have a computer in the living room full time attached to the stereo, with an EyeTV unit connected to the computer. The EyeTV could be recording shows, could act as the interface allowing me to watch VHS tapes, etc. Hmmm...??
One thing is that bumps up against another rule I've been trying to follow -- to own only one computer. To have a living room computer violates that rule.
Or another version is to simply buy a television. Nowadays the televisions can easily double as computer monitors due to the rise of high definition TV. One can get a 27 inch LCD TV for a reasonable cost. It offers a simpler way to watch DVD's and VHS, but it would have a TV tuner in it. Would I be able to have the thing and not use the TV tuner?
Some of the LCD computer monitors also have the same video inputs, and can directly display VHS or DVD's without having to go through a computer. They lack the TV tuner, so I could still say "I don't own a television". They are more expensive, though.
It seems likely a part of me is really wanting to watch television, but I've been supressing that part for a long time. It's easy to reason with the mind "oh, television is bad, it wastes my time, etc" but the mind is only part of what makes us tick. There's a vast unconscious full of ideas and beliefs that drives us.
It's very likely that when I was a child I learned some strategy of living that involved watching television. I haven't really dealt with this part of me.
It seems, for me, watching television is a way to escape this world into an idealized perfect world. But if you escape into fantasy land, are you really living?