Has television become the focus of our lives? It occupies a prominent, if not the most prominent, position in our homes, we stare at it for many hours a day, use it as a source for news, gossip, education, and entertainment both inspiring and trivial, and we are likely to lose our minds if the cable goes out and we are stuck in a room with a silent yawning black hole instead of the thing that we build routines around.
When I got my first apartment my roomie and I were on a tight budget so thought we’d forego the television set— and yes, this was partly a social experiment on our part. How did we spend our evenings? I remember filling many diary volumes, working on crafty projects, going out a lot, reading, studying (when not in school I was generally taking night courses), and having friends visit. I also remember going into work every day and not participating in the ubiquitous “Did you see…?” recap about the previous night’s TV events. Most importantly, I remember not missing it! The apartment, humble as it was, was always a serene and calming refuge and not a distracting noise box. When my roommate moved on to another city, my new housemate got us a tiny old black and white TV, and thus ended the experiment.
As I examine my TV habits I can’t help but notice how remarkably distractible I am even when I am watching a program I deliberately scheduled, by my iPad mostly, catching up on mail and messages, news, following links and so on, but I also fidget, talk on the phone, do my nails, wander around, doodle, fold laundry, browse magazines, make tea, add ice to my wine, make lists. I honestly don’t know if television shows are less fascinating or whether my ability to focus on anything has eroded into near non-existence. I suspect the latter. How about you?
Related to my television pondering and today’s prompt, may I now present a few of my favourite cartoons?
Love, peace and serene refuge,