Friday, September 19, 2008

Life in the Slow Lane

It's a different pace of life here lately. I'm good at 'slow'. Too good perhaps??

I did one thing that halted my productive mode. I put the TV in the living room. I prefer to call it a 'magnet'.

Every time I was at a loss as to what to do, I turned on the TV. I normally don't watch TV. It is my sleeping pill if I can't sleep (I can usually erase the words circulating in my head in the middle of the night, if I try to listen to the words on the TV set). I tape my favorite programs and watch them at my convenience (fast forwarding through the commercials). I watch DVD sets. But I rarely sit down and watch TV in 'real time'.

The world of TV. Omigosh. The commercials!! I have been inundated with the idea that I need shinier hair, less-aged skin, to lose weight, a new bed and I feel compelled to check out 'Motor City Casino' in Detroit. They play these commercials over and over and over. A person feels like they are under a spell. After my first week of exposure to commercial TV, my eyes glazed over and I found myself chanting "I need anti-aging cream ... I need anti-aging cream ..."

I stopped reading, because it was easier to turn on the TV set and let someone else entertain me. It is no work at all to watch TV. Mindless is the word that comes to mind. In my regularly scheduled life, I would love to have a day to read, write, visit and simply putter around in my world. But once I turned on the TV and found a nice rotation of programs that I enjoyed watching, I felt like I was losing my ability to think.

Mind you, I was supposed to be taking it easy. So I am letting that be my excuse for letting commercial TV into my living room and into my life. TV does one other thing for me. It puts me to sleep. And my body was healing. So TV was good medicine for me, in a way.

What did come to mind though, was the exposure of kids to TV. Wow. After spending a week with continual exposure to products that are geared to the daytime TV audience, I couldn't help but think of the impact of those commercials that speak directly to kids. I only let the kids watch movies or 'CBC Kids' (no commercials) when I babysit. I fast forward through all movie previews and 'coming soon' events because I find that if there are too many diversions before the movie, the kids don't settle in and watch the show. But I am now realizing that my 'no TV in the living room' and 'no cable on the TV I let the kids watch' was a true blessing. They don't need the exposure to the temptation of commercial TV.

I am an adult and have the ability to siphon out the hype of a commercial. But I don't always do it. When someone is advertising something that they have convinced me is essential to my well being for only '4 low monthly payments ...', I know that they have done their job. I have succumbed to their magic. What hope does a child have in that same world of must-have-items, that TV advertises?

I knew my life was better without 'TV' in it. I just didn't realize how much.

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