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07 March 2012 @ 10:41 am
It's True - I Don't Watch TV  

I ended up on Fandom March Madness and am equally fascinated and astounded. These are TV shows! But reading the comments would make you think it’s life and death going on.

I can’t vote for the majority of categories because I’ve never seen the shows. The fact is that I don’t watch TV, except for Hawaii 5-0. Then I came across the article below that seems to imply that I have a superiority complex because “I don’t watch TV.”

I don’t avoid TV because I think it’s a “vast wasteland,” or there is nothing on worth my precious time. The truth is that I develop OCD over TV shows. Maybe it’s a sad lack of Real Life. Maybe it’s in my DNA and there’s nothing I can do about it. But the reality is that I become obsessed with TV shows and my life (as pathetic as it) begins to revolve around them.

I realized how serious my problem was when I was watching obsessed with The West Wing. When it was still on NBC (and not in reruns) I was taking a pottery class. My favorite pottery teacher changed the night of his class to the same night as TWW so I decided to change pottery classes to follow him. That meant I missed TWW. At the time, we had a very unreliable VCR that only recorded shows when it felt like it – if it was in the mood. And this was before practically all shows were available on line. So it came down to choosing pottery class or watching a TV show. Really??? As much as I loved TWW, I couldn’t believe that it was more important than actual human interaction and staying involved in a craft I had learned to love.

That was it. I quit watching TV. Not because I had the delusion that it made me in some way “superior” to those who still watched. But because I cannot control my viewing habits well enough to prevent them from taking over my life.

All of this was prior to Hawaii 5-0, however. Now I watch H5-0 every week. And I purchased the season pass from iTunes so if I miss an episode, it will be delivered to my in-box the next morning.

Has my life been changed by watching H5-0? Well, I’ve made new “cyber-friends” through the communities. And I’ve written my first fanfiction outside of my Star Trek comfort zone. I don’t doubt that these are changes for the best. And I don’t regret being addicted to H5-0. I do know that I can’t risk taking on any more shows. Because that would lead me down a road I know takes me to danger.

What do I do with all that time that would formerly have been devoted to TV watching? Not pottery. I gave it up – for lots of trivial reasons. I write. I surf the internet. I play with our dogs. Sadly, I don’t use it for housework. Since I went back to school, I use it for homework.

I don’t think any of this makes me superior. It simply means I have a problem with TV addiction and I must guard against it. OCD is a curse and a blessing, I suppose. And I don’t have it with my entire life. My imagination takes over my good sense and I fall down the rabbit hole. And that’s why I don’t watch TV.

taken from Yahoo news
Calling TV stupid makes you seem smart _ by what?

Associated PressBy FRAZIER MOORE | Associated Press – 59 mins ago


  • FILE - In this Nov. 9, 1961 file photo, Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, testifies before the Senate Small Business Subcommittee at a hearing on communication satellites in Washington, D.C. Minow, in his legendary speech on May 9, 1961, said, "I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there ... until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland." (AP Photo, file)Enlarge Photo

    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 1961 file photo, Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications …

  • FILE - In this Feb. 22, 1961 file photo, TV auter Ernie Kovacs, left, and Edie Adams appear on the set of “Private Eye Private Eye." Kovacs once said, "Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done." (AP Photo, file)Enlarge Photo

    FILE - In this Feb. 22, 1961 file photo, TV auter Ernie Kovacs, left, and Edie Adams …

NEW YORK (AP) — It's not my place to defend TV-watching.

Being a TV critic, I call attention to particular shows, good and bad. I assume the people I'm addressing have no problem with the notion of watching TV.

But what about TV's teetotalers?

How many times have I heard their lofty pronouncements: "I don't watch TV" or, even more blunt, "I don't own a TV."

They say it with a sly mix of apology and boastfulness. Their frequent explanation: TV is filled with reality shows, and who wants to see that crap? Or maybe no excuse is offered, as if TV's stigma as a waste of time were too self-evident to mention.

It seems to me that kind of logic is like refusing to eat anything because you might get fat. And yet: If you publicly reject TV, you rise in many people's estimation, even triggering guilt among many TV devotees (in the same way an outspoken vegan can inspire guilt among frequenters of Burger King).

It's a response unique among the many forms of arts and entertainment. Has anyone ever burnished his image by boasting of never going to the movies? Or never seeing plays or attending concerts?

But condemn TV as inherently stupid — and in many people's eyes you look smart.

It was ever thus. TV has been getting a bad rap since its earliest days.

Just consider its earliest nicknames: boob tube; idiot box.

Consider the words of pioneering TV wiseguy Ernie Kovacs: "Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done."

Consider the timeless words of bygone FCC Chairman Newton Minow: "I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there ... until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland."

"Vast wasteland" was coined in a speech by Minow a half-century ago, when there were just three commercial networks, no cable-network options, few shows in color, and fuzzy, snowy pictures (with high-def transmission barely dreamed of). And yet "vast wasteland" is a term still wielded against TV today, as if nothing had changed.

In short, the snob appeal of dissing TV is as attractive today as it was when Milton Berle was cavorting in drag as Mr. Television.

But do TV defectors need to be reminded that TV's wasteland, immeasurably more vast today as it sprawls across hundreds of channels — far more than the handful of channels in the past — is relieved by broad swaths of solid entertainment, and by patches of inarguable brilliance?

I've given up trying to remind one friend of that. She makes a point of seeing every feature film when it opens in theaters, but disdains TV as a septic tank of reality shows and nothing else. She has never seen programs such as "The Sopranos" and "Modern Family," ''Breaking Bad" and "Downton Abbey." And no, she doesn't own a TV.

Even the people who perform on TV seem likely to voice a dismissive attitude toward their own medium.

A few years ago I wrote about my experience interviewing TV stars and realizing that, out of hundreds I had spoken to, fewer than a dozen copped to being gung-ho fans of TV. The rest of them (if the subject came up) would tell me they were too busy to watch. They don't shun just the programs they appear in. They don't watch TV, period. Watching TV is what their public does, not they, who have better things to do. Or so they claim, almost visibly holding their nose as they say it.

The stigma of "television" becomes all the more nonsensical as the nature of TV (what does "TV" even mean?) is increasingly in flux.

Is watching a TV show on an iPad more socially acceptable than watching it on TV? (Maybe so: I've heard people who boast of not owning a TV readily admit to watching shows online, as if that somehow redeemed them.)

And, as time goes on, more and more shows all too similar to "TV shows" are originating not on TV but on websites. Will people need to skip those, too, in order to maintain their no-TV cred?

Meanwhile, social media are offering an enhanced way to "watch" television. The so-called second screen (of a computer, tablet or smartphone) offers companion sites for a communal experience to viewing any given TV show, and for offering feedback to that show. Increasingly, TV is a two-way street, though it remains to be seen whether this active-response system to what you watch will de-stigmatize TV viewing as shamefully passive.

But what's wrong with passive viewing anyway? People who see lots of shows on TV are slammed as couch potatoes, while people who see lots of films at their local movie house earn the honorific of cineaste.

Don't get me wrong. I don't recommend watching TV as a default mode. I don't advocate binge viewing, any more than a wine critic encourages binge drinking.

But I'd like to see a new attitude about consuming TV. In 1958, the great TV newsman Edward R. Murrow said that, if TV didn't rise to its pro-social potential, it would be "merely wires and lights in a box."

More than 50 years later, Murrow would surely cringe at "Jersey Shore" and "Hillbilly Handfishin'." But there aren't many wires in a modern flat-screen, nor, strictly speaking, are there lights, and its components aren't contained in what you'd call a box.

So maybe it's time to consider what TV is. And to rethink who we are as its viewers — and what that makes those of us who refuse to watch.

Lizet Elainesimplyn2deep on March 7th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
see I say I own a tv, but don't use it. long complicated stupid story as to why I don't. But I do download tv shows, other than Hawaii Five-0, to watch.

I miss watching tv on my tv. I mainly miss being able to channel surf and watch the news whenever I want. I REALLY miss watching the news. my little netbook/internet connection can't handle much online streaming before it starts to lag
Are 6 dogs too many?: beach chairtkeylasunset on March 7th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
It's true-watcing on-line is a different experience than watching on TV. I think it's the lack of sharing the experience. Watching on TV is a communal activity. Watching on-line tends to be more solitary. The shows look different as well.

What a time we live in, huh?
Lizet Elainesimplyn2deep on March 7th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
And I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I miss commercials too - and I can't stand them
J.the_physicist on March 7th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
my parents had a tv so i grew up with tv, but myself i never owned a tv. i live with my bf now who has a tv, but for 2 years i didn't know how to turn it on even.

So because I think tv is just a waste of my time (except from ST:TOS DVD box sets, which i'm sure don't count, lmao) ... I have a superiority complex?

yeah, no, lol. So for me it's not like with you a TV addiction, it's just that i have other things i'd rather do, like waste all my time on the internet XD . I find that far more entertaining personally.
Are 6 dogs too many?: new kirk and spocktkeylasunset on March 9th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
I grew up addicted to TV. Maybe that's why I avoid it now? IDEK

I can't imagine not having a TV, though. Especially during football season! I have to watch my NFL games!!!

Edited at 2012-03-09 02:59 am (UTC)
J.the_physicist on March 9th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
i definitely didn't miss it one bit when we didn't have one. but i didn't live on my own. last house i was in before moving in with my partner, we were 7 people crammed into a tiny cottage. no need for a tv :P .
a geek in such the wrong way: H50-steve-hand to mouthhaldoor on March 8th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, we do what we do. I've watched all sorts of TV for years, but I pick and I choose. I learn and I forget. I like what I like and dislike what I dislike for my own reasons. I've also had times of no TV and times when it's all I've done with my spare time (there was a time before the internet, believe it or not!). I think at the end of the day, saying you don't watch TV is no biggie - it's for your own reasons, not what some article says. And, btw, I mainly watch for HOT GUYS; I wonder where I fit on their scale of rubbish watchers! ;-P
Are 6 dogs too many?: enterprisetkeylasunset on March 9th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
I think the writer was making some awfully bold statements. I rarely go to movies either. That doesn't make me think I'm superior. Like you, I just have other things I prefer to do. And I have very strong preferences (yes to hot guys, no to ick, grossness, and non-cartoonlike violence.)

--♫ Anna--: donutsrocsfan on March 9th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I had the same thought when I looked over the March Madness. All those are TV shows? I watch TV, but I don't get all that interested in it, other than The Show: H50. I guess that's why I'm still so amazed that I am so over-the-top in love with The Show (and Danny). I've never felt superior about not knowing TV shows, though, but I do know people like that! There's a lot of very good TV, IMHO. I watch a few every week, but I don't know the details or even some of the character names!The only other TV series I've been so interested in was Star Trek. :D
Are 6 dogs too many?: Group Hugtkeylasunset on March 9th, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Wow. There are thousands of comments on the FMM. It is craziness. People are campaigning and "yelling" and - IDEK what-all. I don't get it, I really don't. I love Our Show but come on! It's not life and death, peoples. These are TV shows. They Are Not Real.

If the fighting was this bad for the preliminaries, I shudder to think what the next rounds will be like when the characters are pitted against characters from other shows! Wow.

I am glad Kono won! Although I'm surprised Steve lost? Huh?
--♫ Anna--: Crazy Steverocsfan on March 9th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Kono is a great character and very beautiful, but I do not understand how she could win over Steve! Seems like he (and Alex) are hugely popular compared with any of the others. That was surprising! Apparently my world view is not typical? Ha!

All those others are TV shows. But Steve and Danny are real. That's the difference. :D

It's great to be passionate, I guess!
Are 6 dogs too many?: Steve WTFtkeylasunset on March 9th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
Well OF course Steve and Damny are real. That goes without saying.

Yeah I was sure Steve would win. But apparently there is some kind of "anybody but a white guy" campaign going on. But Steve isn't just some random white guy. He's STEVE!

Oh well. Next round will be interesting. If I have the nerve to even visit the site! I'm just a little skert.
--♫ Anna--: Steve tshirtrocsfan on March 9th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
I didn't read the comments before. They are...wow! I just noticed that Danny got more votes than Steve! Awesome! I voted for Danny. :)

I have a coworker who thinks it's really funny when I pretend that Steve works with us. I'll write her an email and say that I'm annoyed by something, and I'll add, "Steve is annoyed, too" and include a picture of him. She loves it! Yesterday I told her that Steve was sorry he couldn't be at her training class, but he was out fighting criminals (complete with a pic of BAMF Steve hitting someone). By return email, she said she "hopes he won." I answered, "STEVE ALWAYS WINS. HE'S STEVE." :DDDDD

I need a WTF icon.