Who needs television, anyway?

What a glorious weekend we had last week. It was perfect weather to be out of the house and doing anything in the sunshine. Even better, it was a great time to be away from the TV.

I am not so much of a big television fan as I once was. There are many contributing factors to that change of habits in my life. Right at the top of the list is that TV has become mean, and depressing. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is fed up with the way television is controlled and twisted by people with an agenda that has little to do with public entertainment.

I’m sick of the sports teams and their drama. They are overpaid, over worshipped and over idolized. The same goes for celebrities.

Because they get their mugs in front of a camera, they think they can use the opportunity to tell the rest of us what to think, and how to behave. How many have fallen prey to their own delusional thinking about themselves? The amount on their paycheck seems to make them equate their importance in the real world by those numbers alone.

Watching the news is another reason that makes me want to stay away from television. It is all so depressing and sometimes downright scary. Every time I turn the TV on, I’m afraid they are going to be showing missiles hitting US targets or U.S. fighter planes dropping bombs on North Korea. It world politics aren’t scary enough, weather patterns and natural disasters fill in the gaps.

It hasn’t been that many generations ago when our forefathers didn’t have access to television, yet they found other ways to entertain themselves. They actually talked to each other instead of being planted in front of a screen watching footage of fake people living fantasy lives. They worked, sang, sowed, farmed, had intelligent conversations, told stories and read books to entertain themselves.

I had my TV cable cut down to basic channels and I find that is still more than enough. When I had a ton of channels to choose from, I spent way too much time channel surfing or watching strangers fix up houses in which they were never going to live.

Sometimes I set my TV on a Christian channel and let it play for the noise factor. At least that channel is generating positive media with messages of hope and encouragement.

In one of the many interviews with people living in severely storm damaged areas where there was no clean water or groceries, the person also put television on the list of inconveniences and things they didn’t have. It is understandable that people in the middle of crisis want to feel like they have a connection to the outside world with access to updates about their own situation.

I remember when ministers used to preach about the evils of television and how it had become a one eyed idol in the center of American homes. The shows back then were pretty pure and uncorrupted compared to what a person can expect to find on the airwaves now.

I wish I had the time, gasoline, and money to spend the entire month of October on the road watching the colors of autumn change the landscape. I wouldn’t be tempted to consult with TV programming for anything.

I doubt that television will ever go away, but then, in the glory days of radio when families would gather around to listen to music, theater and the latest news, I’m sure they didn’t anticipate television changing everything.

Could there be another entertainment mechanism right around the corner with the popularity to knock TV off the throne?

As in all things, balance is key. A television is neither good nor bad in and of itself. The amount of time a person spends watching it each day and the type of programming being viewed is entirely up to the individual. There is a lot of good programming available for the discriminating viewer, and a lot of trash for those who seek it out.

I still feel the need to TV to keep me connected to the world at large, but I’m sure I can retrain my brain to be content with much less of it.

Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at

judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook.

Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.