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Television Addiction

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Since getting the full cable package and digital box, I've noticed that my television viewing has been going up, probably to 2 hours a day or so. In many ways, it is similar to a substance addiction, in that there is a promise of providing something, yet I flip around the channels, and I don't find a fucking thing.

Individuals in the industrialized world spend an average of 3 hours per day watching television. This is half their leisure time, and more than any single activity except for work and sleep. For a person who lives to the age of 75, this means 9 years of their life has been spent staring at the box. And this doesn't include the hours spent talking about a show, or writing about it in other media *cough simpsons*.

Part of TV's attraction springs from what's known as the "orienting response" in biology, which is an instinctive visual or auditory reaction to any sudden or novel stimulus. Good for hunting and staying away from predators, not so good for keeping away from TV. Watch kids in a mall walking by a television store-- they stop and stare transfixed, oblivious to the world around them. The medium (form) is the (evolutionary) message. The content is secondary to the cuts, edits, zooms, pans, sudden noises that are used to hypnotize.

Studies show that when people turn on their televisions, they become more relaxed and passive. When the set is turned off, the feeling of relaxation ends, but the feelings of passivity and lowered alertness continue. After watching tv, people report their overall mood as the same or worse, compared to people who engage in sports or hobbies, or who read a book-- these activities tend to improve moods.

Simple conditioning, then, is what makes people watch tv. Turn it on, they feel relaxed, turn it off, the relaxation is gone. The psychological benefits are weak.

How many of you have tried to quit watching? Can you do it? I find myself walking around like an autistic child fluttering my hands in front of my face to get my fix... I NEED MY ORIENTING RESPONSE TO BE FULFILLED...
 

patri©k

TRIBE Member
I used to be a big time tv junkie... now I'm only turning it on for the big games. I've been spending a lot of time reading the past year or so and find it more rewarding.


patrick

edit: those digital cable packages are evil.
 

starr

TRIBE Member
I succeeded, but it's an ongoing daily battle.

Cold turkey works best if you're broke or tight for cash. Otherwise it's hard not to sign up for cable service.

The method I use now is lying to myself. We don't have a VCR, and I do have favourite shows. But I rarely make any attempt to watch them anymore (except for Alias). If I realize I'm missing them, I promise myself I'll rent it on DVD, which is somewhat true. I'm sure I'll eventually end up doing that, but not *right away*.

This promise temporarily calms the urge of "you could be missing something really great", which is kinda similar to abusing other substances. And then my 'need' passes, and I go back to what I was doing.

Which is usually being addicted to the Tribe board...so I guess I'm just transferring my addiction :)
 
I hate spending hours in front of the goggle box.

I have a few shows I watch (L&O) but rarely tune in regularly to catch them.

I'll probably look into getting the satellite cut off this year. It's a complete waste of money.
 

Aleks

TRIBE Member
meh, never been into tv much.

probably has to do with the fact the my 'rents never got cable when we were lil kids. im glad for that matter...9 years is a long time to sit infront of screens. heheh.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by starr
Which is usually being addicted to the Tribe board...so I guess I'm just transferring my addiction :)
The major difference is that tribe is active (reading and writing), and television is 100% passive. Television is pseudo-active, insofar as triggering your orienting response, but there really is no other component to it that forces any activity on the viewer's part.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
I've been trapped into a strange circle: I'm too tired to exercise... but the reason I'm tired is because I don't exercise... therefore, television, with its quick relaxing quality, provides me with something...

I'm taking an hour each day and exercising, goddamit, yeah that's it... right after this show...
 

starr

TRIBE Member
i normally watch it out of boredom

when i'm tired i can get sucked into it, but not as much anymore

i don't know, you're brain just rejects it after a while
 

beaker

TRIBE Member
i watch maybe 3 hours of tv a week. turning on the tv just makes me angry. furious even. and i'm not exaggerrating. sometimes i want to throw the fucking thing out the window. and this rage is compounded by the fact that i know there are thousands, if not millions, of people all over north america watching it out of boredom (or god forbid, interest). if i sit down to eat in front of the tv, it makes me eat faster. slow at the beginning because i can't eat with the remote in my hand, wading through 50 some odd channels of crap. but things really do pick up once i actually start putting food in my mouth and become more and more aggravated by whatever i'm watching. there have been occasions where by the end of the meal, i sometimes get so angry and sick that i have to yell vomit at my television, thus initiating a cycle of cleaning said vomit, cooking a second meal, and repeating the entire process.
 
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Liquidity

TRIBE Member
maybe its a delusion, but, i feel like i get something out of watching tv. hey, who knows when you'll need to know that cops are allowed to search your garbage or that they use special lights to detect semen and blood... i also learned that fitted clothing is better, and the importance of product... and i learned the other day that "Jealousy is a poorly disguised need for power and control"...
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Shows such as CSI crack me up-- totally full of shit... they make up stuff, and even when they don't, they screw up the terminology... but, I suppose it serves a greater purpose, in that someone who doesn't know any better watches the show and it might keep them from doing something criminal because they think that forensics can do anything.

Pseudoscience, however, is a negative force overall, driving religion and whatnot. We tread on dangerous ground when people think that they are being educated in any sense by watching television.
 

Deus

TRIBE Member
I have 4 channels that I watch: Discovery, Discovery Civilizations, National Geographic, and the Travel Channel. I'll watch them if there is anything on that interests me, but otherwise there isn't anything interesting on ever.

I watched that CSI program once (only because it was in HD) and I just kept rolling my eyes at the stupid shit they were saying.
 

Syntax Error

Well-Known TRIBEr
i see television as a background. i usually am either hearing it but not watching or watching with the sound off. i have 4 televisions in my bedroom alone yet i rarely pay much attention to any of them.

i'd rather waste my time on my computer.
 
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SelfExel

TRIBE Member
Television is incredible, it offers so much information. I would never want to give it up, trust me, I haven't had cable for the last 2 years.
 

Gizmo

TRIBE Member
Right now I am addicted to the "Kumars at Number 42." It's a Brit sitcom / talk show. Best thing on tv. It's on BBC and Cable TV in Asia. Might be on Kazaa or Soulseek.

From the bbc:

The Kumars - a typical (albeit exaggerated) Indian family living in Wembley, north of London - have hit upon a unique method of 'Keeping up with the Joneses': they have bulldozed their garden and erected a state-of-the-art TV studio, wherein they host their very own chat show. The son, Sanjeev, pops the questions while his mother (Madhuri), father (Ashwin) and mischievous granny (Sushila) sit and interrupt from a nearby sofa. Each brings a distinctive personality to the mix: Sanjeev, unmarried and still living at home, is a trifle green about life; Madhuri is always plying food on to the guests and trying to get Sanjeev married off; Ashwin tells tedious tales and is obsessed with money; Sushila the drunk yet intellectual granny has a keen eye for male visitors and can be quite shocking with it. The guests include a number of celebrities - Richard E Grant, Michael Parkinson, Graham Norton, Art Malik, Warren Clarke, Minnie Driver, Melvyn Bragg, Leslie Phillips, June Whitfield, Jonathan Ross, Jerry Hall and Stephen Fry among them - all sportingly accepting the gentle ridiculing.

This was a weird idea but it certainly worked, delivering constant laughs and a treasure trove of memorable moments. Part scripted sitcom, part improvised chat, part genuine interview - the sum was a total success. The actors were uniformly good, but Meera Syal stole scores of scenes as the outrageous grey-haired granny.

So good was The Kumars At No 42 that a raft of overseas adaptations followed, including an American (The Ortegas, featuring a Hispanic family, set to start on the Fox network in autumn 2004), Australian (Greeks On The Roof, launched by the Seven network on 1 May 2003), German (with a Turkish family), Israeli (Moroccan Jewish) and Dutch (Surinamese).

 

kat

TRIBE Member
i havent had tv since november

some days i miss it. miss it so very much oh god :(

but then other days im glad.

i dont know if im really a great example since i have a dvd player and we watch a million movies/dvd tv episodes
normally 1 or 2 a day.
but at least im only watching the things i want, with no commercials.
 

maddog

TRIBE Member
wow people watch alot of tube!!!! lol thats why everyone looks so outta shape and pasty:p they gotta get off they ass and do somethin

roojew
 

matty

TRIBE Member
The last time I watched TV was the day before the big blackout. Haven't tuned in since. Actually don't even have a television anymore.

Can't say I regret giving it up. Get sort of annoyed now when a bunch of people get together and sit around slackjawed watching the box. Some people seem to have forgotten how to interact with others without TV there to babysit them.

Books, hobbies, and doing 'real' things with friends and family are much more rewarding experiences than TV ever will be.
 
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Balzz

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by m..m
The last time I watched TV was the day before the big blackout. Haven't tuned in since. Actually don't even have a television anymore.

Can't say I regret giving it up. Get sort of annoyed now when a bunch of people get together and sit around slackjawed watching the box. Some people seem to have forgotten how to interact with others without TV there to babysit them.

Books, hobbies, and doing 'real' things with friends and family are much more rewarding experiences than TV ever will be.
You are such a rebel.
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by m..m
Can't say I regret giving it up. Get sort of annoyed now when a bunch of people get together and sit around slackjawed watching the box.
I hear that.

Originally posted by m..m
Books, hobbies,
When I first read that I thought I saw "Boobs, boobies". Weird.

I haven't had cable since mid-2002. I watch movies, but around 2/week.
 

Balzz

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by m..m
That's it, I'm cancelling our dinner reservations.
:eek:

I'll be sure to talk about how all the food menu relates to something I've seen on food network.
 

dj Red Turtle

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Gizmo
Right now I am addicted to the "Kumars at Number 42." It's a Brit sitcom / talk show. Best thing on tv. It's on BBC and Cable TV in Asia. Might be on Kazaa or Soulseek.

From the bbc:

The Kumars - a typical (albeit exaggerated) Indian family living in Wembley, north of London - have hit upon a unique method of 'Keeping up with the Joneses': they have bulldozed their garden and erected a state-of-the-art TV studio, wherein they host their very own chat show. The son, Sanjeev, pops the questions while his mother (Madhuri), father (Ashwin) and mischievous granny (Sushila) sit and interrupt from a nearby sofa. Each brings a distinctive personality to the mix: Sanjeev, unmarried and still living at home, is a trifle green about life; Madhuri is always plying food on to the guests and trying to get Sanjeev married off; Ashwin tells tedious tales and is obsessed with money; Sushila the drunk yet intellectual granny has a keen eye for male visitors and can be quite shocking with it. The guests include a number of celebrities - Richard E Grant, Michael Parkinson, Graham Norton, Art Malik, Warren Clarke, Minnie Driver, Melvyn Bragg, Leslie Phillips, June Whitfield, Jonathan Ross, Jerry Hall and Stephen Fry among them - all sportingly accepting the gentle ridiculing.

This was a weird idea but it certainly worked, delivering constant laughs and a treasure trove of memorable moments. Part scripted sitcom, part improvised chat, part genuine interview - the sum was a total success. The actors were uniformly good, but Meera Syal stole scores of scenes as the outrageous grey-haired granny.

So good was The Kumars At No 42 that a raft of overseas adaptations followed, including an American (The Ortegas, featuring a Hispanic family, set to start on the Fox network in autumn 2004), Australian (Greeks On The Roof, launched by the Seven network on 1 May 2003), German (with a Turkish family), Israeli (Moroccan Jewish) and Dutch (Surinamese).

Hows India dude?
 
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