Growing up in the 80′s, I definitely was a TV child. My brother and I had a TV in our room and I remember many nights of pushing a towel under the door to prevent my parents from seeing the glow of the TV being watched past our bedtime. I can still tell you the Thursday night comedy lineup on NBC in the late 80′s: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, and Night Court (my personal favorite was Night Court). Watching TV came as natural to me as eating or sleeping.
So why do I consider my decision last year to chuck my TV out the window one of the best I’ve ever made? A few reasons:
1) Poor Quality. Let’s be honest: the vast, vast majority of stuff put on the airwaves is junk. It seems like the more channels are created, the less quality work is produced. I mean, really, is “How I Met Your Mother” the best our creative elite can produce?
2) Immorality as the norm. We all know that Hollywood has a different moral standard than the Church. For years this standard was largely suppressed from public display, but now immorality is considered the norm. How many new shows are put out that do NOT have the requisite homosexual character?
3) Materialism run amok. It was the commercials that finally put me over the edge. Because of reasons (1) and (2) I had been reduced to watching only sporting events, but even those became unbearable due to the incessant marketing of crap as “necessary” to improve my life. We have spent ourselves into bankruptcy, both on the national and individual level, yet no one seems to realize that this is exactly what we’ve been told to do every 7 minutes on the boob tube.
4) Better sources of information. It used to be that watching the news on both NBC and CBS was considered “diverse sources of information”. Those days are long gone, and thank God for that. Now one can stay abreast of current events without even knowing who the network anchors are (who are they, anyway?). And the sources of information are so much more diverse that one can be more assured of accurate reporting.
5) TV is not a book. ‘Nuff said.
What has been amazing is that now that I am not consuming so much entertainment, I find I can produce much more in my own life – work, writing, time with my family, etc. Man was not created to simply devour images from an electronic box, but to actively engage the world he was created in.
This lent, consider giving up TV – it will be the best “sacrifice” you’ll ever make!