‘What do you mean you don’t know what peep show is? Everyone knows it!’
‘Not me’, I replied. I haven’t had a TV that is connected to a channel in, uh… like, fourteen years or more.
The peep show fan looked at me and shook his head in confusion or disdain or some mix of both.
You may press the weirdo alarm, but I really haven’t watched TV for that many years. I’ve never seen madmen, or breaking bad, or homelands or any of those shows. I will admit to having watched Game of Thrones on Video on demand, but it was during a cold, wet winter and I got them all out of the way in in one week.
Even without TV I still struggle each day to allocate time for activities that are meaningful to me. How the hell does anyone get time to live with one of those boxes in thier home?
The UK’s independent media regulator, Ofcom, estimates that the average person watches as much as 38 hours of TV a week, not including the extra time spent online. That’s nearly a quarter of each week sitting on your arse in front of a box with moving pictures. Now, if you add the internet to that amount of time taken up it makes up a lot of observing of life through flat screens.
I like to think about life like a game of some kind with two types of participants, the players and the spectators.
As a spectator you mostly get to watch the players have more high quality first-hand experiences whilst you cheer from the stands. Sure, players also put themselves at risk of losing the game, but it’s likely they’re benefiting a lot more from the experience than those who cheer or boo at them.
Wacthing TV isn’t playing, it’s spectating.
Even if you sincerely believe you can’t live without the latest episodes of your favourite shows, could you set yourself a daily screen fast, including phones and computers?
You may only use this fasting time to sit in a chair and give thought to your life. So be it, you’ll still be achieving more than if you disengaged into another mindless session of staring at moving pictures.
I love a good movie as much as the next person, but I don’t want to watch the games of life get played by other people whilst I’m getting fat in the soft seating.
What’s the game you’d play and take shots at if you weren’t so used to watching from the safety and comfort of the stands?