15 July 2010

Haven't Watched TV For Months

It's a bit weird for me to admit that I haven't watched TV for months. As a kid, I watched tons of TV. As an adult, I curbed my watching to just some favorite shows. But lately, I've been going cold turkey without the boob tube.

Between work and parenting, these days I don't have much personal time available. Guess it's part of finally being a responsible adult. I try to catch up on sleep sometimes.

No TV has meant not seeing what many other people do see. Lately, that's meant not seeing any World Cup soccer games, not that I ever was interested in soccer. I totally missed the Lebron James announcement special, although I was plenty aware of it before and after from radio news while driving and news on the web.

I've missed nearly all the news footage of the Deepwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I feel that I've avoided other sensationalized news events such as the Oakland riots following the Mesherle verdict. And none of the California election campaign ads have reached me yet, except for that ridiculous demon-sheep that I saw on the web.

I have no idea what Glee is and why so many people seem to like it.

The past couple of days, I have noticed people on Twitter and Facebook mention something about some Old Spice guy, presumably from some new TV ads that I haven't bothered to check out yet.

I intentionally skipped the last season of Top Chef Masters, after enduring its terribly boring first episode. I am now missing Padma Lakshmi on the current season of Top Chef. I've heard she looks somewhat different since she became a mom.

The only show I feel like I'm really missing are this season's new episodes of Anthony Bourdain No Reservations on the Travel Channel.

I think I stopped watching TV pretty much around the time that The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien famously went off the air. I have zero interest in what Jay Leno is doing, and I catch a few segments of Letterman on the web now and then. I am curious to see how Conan's new show on TBS will turn out, although I suspect I will at best catch web clips.

I think life is generally better without TV. There is obviously something slightly devious happening with the brain while watching TV, especially late at night. Have you ever tried to pull someone, perhaps even yourself, away from the TV in the middle of a program, or even at the end? You'll be faced with reluctance at a minimum, and who knows what kind of irrational reptilian response protest at worst.

Clearly, there is some sort of addiction grade mechanism engaged when the bright, glimmering photons fly from the TV straight onto the retinas, triggering who knows what sort of brain numbing state of mind.

It's not like I am completely off the grid. My iPhone (still on the 3G model, not ready to upgrade to the 4 just yet) gets plenty of my eyeballs' attention, such as right now. My iMac, on the other hand, hasn't gotten much love from me. Yes, the tech world is all about mobile devices now. Especially when it's really about web surfing in bed.

I suspect my TV dry spell won't last forever, so I'm not ready to cancel the digital cable subscription. At least not yet.