Largely for economic reasons, mainly because we weren't watching it, we recently unplugged our beautiful shiny big black box (by that I mean TV), turned in the cable box and fancy remote, painfully shoved the TV into the garage, and rearranged the living room. We've been thinking for several years that this is probably what God wanted us to do, but we never took the time or trouble, and there are so many interesting things on. But as the bills rolled in and we added up the time we actually spent watching it, it just didn't seem like a good use of money.
We haven't, of course, missed it at all, not even the children, because you can pretty well watch Anything you want on Hulu or YouTube, which in turn has caused me to realize something interesting that probably all my dear readers already knew.
The very simple action of having to click a mouse to pick a program is an action of commitment.
In other words, I cannot bring myself to 'commit' to or click on so many programs I watched before because I don't love them. Whereas before I watched many things because they just came on, I cannot now bring myself to choose them. The smallest movement of my finger over the button is enough of a deterrent, enough of a moment of decision to cause me to do something else, or to watch something else.
This tiny realization led me to consider what other things in life just 'happen' to me, and what things I actually choose. I don't really want to tell you about any of them because they weren't that interesting. BUT, when I consider how many lovely hard working Americans, like me, all with their lovely TVs flickering beautifully in the gray evening light, waiting to see what's coming on next, watching and watching without ever choosing, well, it explains to me a great deal about the current American political and cultural landscape. There seems to be an inevitability about the way most of us live, a helplessness, a well that's just the way its going to be.
I'm not saying that suddenly all of America turning off the TV would completely change the prevailing culture (but, of course, it would have to in some ways), nor make any particular judgments about TV watching, but I'm sure some PhD student out there should do a serious study on this matter, and write a book.
I, on the other hand, will go listen to a sermon on my IPod while I clean and clean and clean and clean.