There is one area of our lives that seems to affect us more than any other, in my opinion, but I never realized it until recently. That one thing is Television. Watching television bombards us with commercials, even when we think we have tuned it out we really haven’t.
I have been without the ability to watch television for nearly two years now, first cutting the satellite feed, then getting rid of the TV all together. I realize now that the television being unplugged was the beginning of my journey to find what was missing in my life and actually finding it. Without the television in the background I took the time to get rid of everything that no longer meant anything to me.
I am surprised to hear all the ways in which marketing has found to use the TV to reach us. For example, Wal-mart I hear now has TVs inside the store to tell you what products you should buy. Seriously, you are already in the store, they need to find a way to make you buy more and use the TV to do so? Click here to see where else TV maybe sneaking in to your life.
When watching a program I never remembered the commercials, I even had to remind myself to pay attention to them during the Super Bowl (when they are supposed to be great, but aren’t). At least I didn’t realize at the time that I was absorbing the information.
But I was. I noticed the newer movies which were advertised, remembering which ones sounded interesting that I would look to rent when available. I noticed I had heard about a new cleaning product which sounded dumb to me, I heard so much more.
Today, without the TV bombarding me with these advertisements I no longer even browse the red box for new movie rentals as I no longer have that list in my head of things I would like to see, I don’t get cravings for foods that don’t taste as good as they look.
Another surprising development has been that I don’t know most of the entertainment news. I hadn’t realized this until I was waiting in line at the grocery store to check out. I was bored and began to browse the covers of the magazines in my view. Who are these people? At first it threw me, was I that out of touch with the world? Then I realized I didn’t care. Who cares about the latest celebrity divorce or the teenage mother? Do I care that much about the neighbors? No! So why should I care about these people who are, and should be, strangers to me?
How we have let ourselves get caught up in reality television and the lives of the actors, athletes, and others who have no direct bearing on our personal lives is beyond me.
Even worse is how the product commercials are no being advertised right in the programs we watch to get our attention. Is this why we as a society shop so much? We see all these things and believe we need them to make our lives easier or happier.
Give it a try. Avoid television for a few days and see if you too lose the desire to buy the latest product. Check out this story about a man who gave up TV 24 years ago and how it changed his life. You can also review all the things he missed on the TV and see if they were important to watch in the first place.
Do you still have a television? Which commercials get your attention?
Laura Ingalls Wilder once said:
The real things haven’t changed; it is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong