This is the first of seven changes that i am think-writing about.
Braun HF television receiver, Germany, 1958
1.. Watch life instead of television.
I read via wikipedia that the concept of electrically powered transmission of television images in motion was first sketched in 1878 as the telephonoscope, shortly after the invention of the telephone. At the time, it was imagined by early science fiction authors, that someday light could be transmitted over copper wires, as sounds were.
Although television become more familiar in the United States with the general public at the 1939 World’s Fair, the outbreak of World War Two prevented it from being manufactured on a large scale until after the end of the war.
I was very young when a television entered our house. It lit up the room with images dancing around in black and white. I remember watching Popeye the Sailor Man and another show with a lady holding a magic mirror saying “mirror mirror tell me today…” which i think was Romper Room.
I was hooked.
I’m still hooked. But, questioning. For a long time now, i have been wondering just how much damage this wonderful invention does in the hands of writers, programmers, marketing experts, and the advertising of big money backers. I know it’s too late to turn back but, i can at least turn it off more often.
I ask myself what difference would it make if i watched life instead of television.
I use television as a kind of escape, to relax by, a thing i can do and not think…not think, kind of like sleepwalking while sitting down. I use it as my entertaining companion that i don’t need to talk to. Actually, it lulls my brain and fills it with crap. It also does this to children. But, as an adult, i think that i’m immune. But, i’m not.
There are a few programs on our Oregon Public Broadcasting station that i don’t consider to be crap. But, still, does it align with my beliefs? Also, it’s a choice of watching the program or doing something that i am beginning to consider “real” life.
How many times do i put attention to television over someone else in the room? And if i wasn’t giving my attention over to the television, what would i be doing instead?
One could find things on television that look real, but, the television is not a real or living thing. It is not a person or an animal or even a plant. It is not something that listens and feels and reacts. It does not care about me or know me, or my family, or anyone. But, it does a fine job of telling me and my family what to be and what to buy.
Television programs and commercials do not represent what i am to be as a Christ follower. Not even the “so called” christian programs can do this.
Just who am i listening to?
( to be continued… )