I gave up asking people what they did last night: “TV” is the universal answer

couch-potatoesAlright junkies, I know you don’t like staring at long strands of motionless stuff, and it’s a struggle for you to analyse the meaning of complex sequences of words.
Now, you want to help yourself and do something meaningful of this little time given to you on this planet? Divorce from your TV: this “friend” sitting between you and your life is an addictive opiate, and the most potent mind control stuff.
An average person watches more than 4 hours of TV per day = 28 hours/week = 2 months/year = 9 years of a life (on a 65-year live expectancy).
The direct collateral effect of the great invention of the dishwasher is people not having to spend those terrible hours in the kitchen and the dining room anymore. Over the good old washing up with your spouse, talking and smiling to one another after diner – boring – just toss it all in the dish washer and dive right back in your coach, the parallel universe of your TV. The same goes for the microwave oven only before diner.

What is TV?

Commercially available from the 1920’s TV allows receiving moving images accompanied by sound straight in your lounge or your bedroom … or virtually anywhere nowadays. Pure entertainment and news at one reach of a button.
In this post I cover the most common usage of the TV: Mass media broadcast television as opposed to recorded material (DVDs, BlueRay .etc…).
To me, having TV as a member of your family is like living in a strange place with speakers blaring eight different tunes, a giant stroboscope, a monkey performing acrobatics, someone demanding me to laugh, someone trying to sell me a second hand car and someone else trying to mug me.

TV destroys your health

Heavy television viewing may lead to serious health consequences due to its sedentary nature and the high-calorie junk diet that usually goes along with it due to force-fed junk-food commercials. Severely overweight population has more than doubled from the 1960’s. The easiest way to reduce inactivity is simply to turn your TV off. – that’s it – Almost anything else uses more energy – even sleeping.
Sometimes the problem is not too much but too little weight: ¾ of women are convinced they are too fat. Your favourite actress keeps saying that she needs to get bellow size 0, pretty much 100% of them are thinner than the population in real life leading to an image problem often causing bulimia or anorexia.

TV destroys your mind and family

Particularly in a couple as in husband and wife TV programs schedule clashes with our biological clock: I guess 100% of people would go to bed earlier, sleep more and better if they had no TV (and by the way would have more sex and be less miserable) – In 50 years people sleep time has been cut by 1,5 hours, nowadays most people sleep less than 7 hours per night. Haaahaa! you feel tired now, don’t you? Aren’t you even a tiny bit regretting having, once again, watched that show last night? That’s right, your day could have been such a perfect day if you hadn’t. Instead you’ll have to drag you yarn about for the rest of the day and get back home to your dysfunctional family.
Once upon a time diner time was to be (and still is, in my home at least) a time to share, talk, listen and appreciate your family – the table would be dressed and real meals (including salad, cheese and desert) would be served. Nowadays watching TV wilts eating seems OK – eating sitting on the couch with a food tray on the lap is becoming some sort of a new standard. This is leading to the family cell decay.
Think about it: How much time do you spend in meaningful conversations with your spouse and children … or any human being outside of the work environment? On the opposite how much of your precious little time have you given away to your beloved TV this week?
Couples don’t talk anymore: They are 2 souls in a profound coma seating next to each other in front of a window throwing pictures of some distant fictional universe they are not part of at them. Reading these lines some of you might actually realise that the only reason they are still with their spouse is because all you ever really did together is watch TV.
It’s like being stuck in The Matrix but in spookier although with less special effects – people enslaving themselves willingly to some bizarre brain eating system.
You might think to yourself “I only use TV to relax and wash the day away” well, that sounds very much like a drug addict telling you he does not really need his stuff – what you get from it is feeling more tired, more needy, more frustrated. TV stuff is pimped up to your liking – You watch TV because it quickly (but shortly) makes you feel good whereas the kind of happiness humans are designed for is growing.
I like to think of a ideal human being life as made of 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of what you really like: If you fall into the statistics great chances are that 80% of this time is burned away in front of TV – the day you’ll die you will have experienced only 41000 hours (1700 x 24 hours) of real human experience, that is the life expectancy of 27 light bulb (J) (think of this next time you’ll have to replace one of them).

TV destroys the civilized world

TV promotes, or at least doesn’t do much to prevent prime time violence and sex. TV feeds you toxic stuff. The front line victims are our children: it harms them; it hampers their development and education. To speak as a scientist I am not “depending on your frequency / level of exposure, your bombarded brain slowly but surely assimilates and eventually recognizes the toxic stuff as reality / standards. It is also called brain washing, very subtitle and effective. Behaviour of our century is dictated by TV, this proven phenomenon is called “behaviour modelling”. Surely you too know some people that seem almost impossible to have a talk with – it’s like they are repeating, word for word, lines from “Friends” or something. These folK are easy to spot: They sound odd and superficial.
On the global scale (worldwide) TV enlarges the gap between the nations. At a time of globalised terrorism and poverty satellite dishes are everywhere broadcasting an unreal Western Europe or Northern America to angry (and hungry) eyes believing Beverly Hills 90210’s glossy world is reality life out there.
On the local scale (a country) TV keeps people divided with the feeling that they are united when they actually turned lethargic.
All you see on TV is a lie: What your perceive as « beauty », « healthy », what is love, what is life.

TV is money and propaganda

  • The prime intent of TV isn’t to make you clever despite of some very good programmes too late at night.
  • The prime intent of TV isn’t to make you happier although it might help if you have a major physical disability.
  • The prime intent of TV isn’t to turn people into nations of zombies, this may be qualified as a collateral damage.
  • The prime intent of TV isn’t quite to broadcast national propaganda messages to masses.
  • The prime intent of TV is to make money on you, to empty your pockets by remote control with your authorisation.

As the president of the first French private channel Patrick Le Lay once put it: « We are selling available human brain time to advertisers» (“Nous vendons du temps de cerveau humain disponnible”) –spooky –
You watch about 20.000 adverts of 30 seconds per year. By the age 65 he will have seen 2 million of them. Every second of every advert is engineered beyond science fiction. We no longer talk about marketing but neuromarketing: Adverts are designed using surreal technologies such as brain scanning (F, G) and eye tracking technology (H).
TV is the most effective medium to turn your brain into an adverts recipient, it is the centre of the modern economy.
TV is assumed to be so much part of everybody’s life – You live thus you are to pay the TV licence (L) – even if you don’t own a TV: You have a computer at home but no TV? You are due to pay too because it is technically possible to watch broadcast/replay TV on a computer and it is assumed you will, end of discussion.

TV needs you, you don’t need it

The X-Factor and their producers, big brother, the celebrities and even you favourite football team could not care less about you.
As for the adverts you know what your favourite corn flakes are, you don’t need to be reminded twice a day, do you?

What next?

Get rid of your TV programme, get rid of your TV. There will be resistance and it will hurt like hell.
That’s a bit extreme and due to fail, OK, so don’t smash it just yet but commit to turn it off anytime you can.
Basic guidance:

  • No TV in the morning
  • No TV during the meals
  • No TV every night

It pretty much boils down to watching TV twice or three times a week for a couple of hours. Any more than this is not a normal human behaviour and a waist of a life.
When is the last time you watched a sun set elsewhere than on TV?
In my next post I will come with a few ideas to fill all that time you have now that you cut down on TV.
Get out in the real world force-fed creature! Find other free-range fellows, find out who you are, the sky is the limit.

Side note: How much does my 200Watts 40” LCD TV costs me in electricity every year? Anyone? Math it up: 4 hours per day on 365 days, that is 200W x 4hours x 365 days = 292000W, or  292KW. At about 0,21427/KWh we have that is 292 x 0,21427 = 63 Euros / Year.

Sources:

Wikipedia – definition of television 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television
Patrick Le Lay, formal CEO of TF1, one of the most popular French private channel
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Le_Lay
Article on neuromarketing and eye tracking in advertisement
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/business/14stream.html
Television & Health (CSUN)
http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html
Television Disturbs Children’s Brain:
http://www.rachelia.com/television-effects-television-disturbs-children’s-brain-concentration.html
Brain washing
http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/perception/brainwashing1.htm 
Television, Remote Memory, and Social Reality Estimates: A Cognitive Neuroscience Approach
http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/1/2/5/5/p112558_index.html
 Demonstrate by endorsing National TV-Turnoff Week 
http://www.tvturnoff.org

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