It’s an almost unthinkable action. Turn off my TV?!? But, my Wii, NetFlix, and DVD player are hooked up to my TV. That’s where we spend family time. That’s where I get my break from life. That’s where… well, you’ve heard all the excuses.
So, what is Turn Off TV Week, you ask? It is best summed up at:
As promised, let’s discuss the pros of turning off the idiot box. Firstly, you have some time and piece-and-quiet to think. OMG!, right? Thinking is for nerds. And, you my friend, are not a nerd. While it’s true that you are less nerdy than, say, Professor Frink (The Simpsons), you are still self-respecting enough to dust off the ol’ think machine upstairs and crank ‘er up. Thinking is dangerous! People like Ai Weiwei are fully aware of the dangers of individual thought. Who is Ai Weiwei?!? Perhaps you watch too much TV or the wrong kind.
A second pro to turning off your TV is the time you might better spend talking to your children, or dare I say, to your parents. I know. It’s a scary thought speaking to those crazy teens and even crazier adults, but it’ll get easier. I remember when my parents used to shut the TV off, call us to the table for dinner, say a prayer, and ask us that anxiety ridden question: What did you do in school today? *School? I don’t know what I did in school today. Wait. Don’t say that. They’ll ground you for not paying attention.* I would think that as quickly as I could, then tell them the first thing that popped into my brain. “I ate the lunch Mom packed for me.” Crazy teens. “Oh yeah, I drew a portrait of John Lennon that is going to be in the regional art show.” My parents always liked to hear about our successes, and I liked to leave out anything that wasn’t a success. BTW, that portrait of Lennon went on to win Best of Show in the regional art exhibit. If I didn’t have successes that day, I would suddenly become interested in how my parents jobs were going. “Oh, not too much. We learned something new in math. How has work been going Dad/Mom?” It worked out pretty well.
Yet another point, turning off the TV gives you time to do things you might enjoy doing. It’s hard for me to write or create artworks when the TV is blaring. I’ll shut it off (after a long search for the remote) and turn on Pandora. It’s so much easier to be a creative citizen without the shiny, bright, loud, obnoxious, insidious plague called TV. When I finally find the remote, as opposed to walking five feet to the TV and manually turning it off, I get so many wonderful things accomplished. I remember that a few weeks into my first year of college I tried this experiment. I imposed a time limit on TV and would shut it off at 8:30 every evening (until Conan came on). Not only did my grades improve, but I had the most prolific phase of my artistic career and learned to play guitar. Those were feats my friends responded to with my least favorite phrase, “I wish I could do that”. I would grind my teeth and remind them that at one point I was not able to, but put effort in, and un-magically became ABLE TO.
Ah, the TV. At it’s best, a way to see new ideas, yet not experience them. At it’s worst, a brain softener. But we love it and it’s harder to ignore than the crazy teen you’re trying to get to focus on grades or the nagging parents you’re trying to avoid. Yep, we love it… and it cares nothing for us. Shut it off for seven days and see what happens.
Great links on this topic:
Go out and start a club, go hiking, play a board game, create a new board game, skate, bike, run, throw a football or Frisbee, play a sport, draw, paint, sculpt, read, cook, talk to your kids or parents. What else can you think of that is easier to do when you turn the TV off? Go out and do it. Keep a journal of the great things you do when you turn off the tube. Then, share with our readers what you have done.