LIFE & SANITY THROUGH TV’s EYES: understanding TV’s influence on our thinking


Long ago, we looked for sport in ways that were indicative of the brain’s strength for improving life. Since that point, however, I see where we have left behind the intelligence quota of old, repairing to our safe corner where rude toys are kept. I call them rude in that they were not safe before and do not save our children from becoming little animals or creatures of deception.

There can be no doubt our children were in trouble owing to our deceptiveness before. What is it all right for children to view right before their day ends? Do we really want them to keep dreaming about ways to save the planet, or about the things of life that don’t matter and that won’t be helpful?

Any brave little genius is better off without a TV then.

TV’s blight on the human mind is deceptive in that it first tells the viewer they might learn something from viewing. In part, that might be true, but there is a lull or lag time between any real information that is offered and a load of mind-numbingly stupifying garbage which renders any good then offered into a nullity. Really, we are stumbling about with our eyes wide open and our minds closed to the sights and sounds of the real and ever present dangers TV is creating.

For one thing, we are idling. It takes hours to watch some programming, hours when we might better listen to our children tell us some story of school life or of a playtime at a friend’s. We are not giving our children enough time, then. Just listening alters the mood a home would have by creating open spaces to talk about real life. The quiet times we used to have in family life seem far removed by a screen that doesn’t tell us the truth always, and that backs down when we need it clear and concise. That most homes wouldn’t require any TV whatever is a reality worth exploring.

How do you know you really need TV? What has TV done for you lately? Has it made you ignore the world at large? Then it is not friendly to your outer life. Has it made you feel better overall by enlarging the potential you have for making life better for others in this world? Perhaps not. In which case, it would be better all around to give up the thing that sticks the mind in some pigeon holed idea that hasn’t any bearing on the real identity you have been given that is yours to cultivate.

We are followed about by screens nowadays. I find this unbearably distracting, even numbing to thoughts I’d rather preserve for another task upcoming, for example. The commercializing world wants you and me to enjoy our checkout line experience by installing in-store, closed circuit, ad-spouting TVs by their cash registers. Even some banks keep a TV going in their lobbies, supposedly to keep those waiting in line either interested or amused. I find such intrusive tactics downplay the mind’s ability to track its own thought patterning. If we cannot be with our own thoughts before somebody worries we might achieve peace enough to know what is real, then there is somebody worrying you or I might get wise to what they may want from us or our children.

While that may seem less than sane itself, look back over your life for a while, and notice where you felt better. What were you doing during those times? Were you really watching television all that often? Were you idling and lingering before the screen, and were your dreams all that clear? Some of us dream in technicolor. What is it TV could add that makes life seem flat or drab? I’ll tell you what. Pure commercialism. We’re not even thinking clearly enough to decide what government is doing. At the advent of commercialism, we began seeing life through a TV’s eyes, and not our own. A TV may sway us one way or another into activities that would embarrass some were they to revalue every activity.

Do our children really require those toys being advertised and touted as wonderful to our young? And wouldn’t their minds expand all the better by some creative play, say, with boxes or blankets and couch cushions? What is wonderful is our interrelating, and at some level that is lost when TV is our focus.

Children may feel it first. If little bodies learn to interact only via a screen, then a dulling factor ensues which is hard to beat. They become a little hardened, less creative, and more apt to find relief only when relaxing. Our TV lifestyle doesn’t give them any room to grow beyond the borders of a screen. Making everyday life look like life on screen seems to be the code embedded for them, whether they will or no.

What is wrong here is that, with our children’s minds closed down, and ourselves half sedated by the numbing tone TV is currently dispensing, our world is becoming a danger in sincere enough terms to where a fear factor is growing.

We want our children to think for themselves, not give over the control of the mind to those thoughts or words blasting everyone’s consciousness via the tube’s ability to sedate them. We want their wills awakened to do good in this world, not closed off till they cannot feel fully the impact of their every action.

I was feeling it once this way, how life gave me an uneasy sense of urgency, as though there were nothing that could make our time on Earth feel better. Now I see with renewed vision how this cost me valuable, irreplaceable time. I cannot say I used time wisely then. I may have wasted time most dangerously without noting it. I may have even found I had less to think about, and so turned to the TV for comfort. That is so human. Don’t we always look for an easy out? In other words, our loss of ease that is internal leads us into seeking to better our time by making things easier than before. What this does is, turn a mind off to the beauties of shaping life in real terms, and without artificial modern ways of thought.

But the beauty of this life is always being televised or streamed live, right?

I doubt any of us has the slightest thought for our own bodies as the vehicles for change here on the globe. The dangers of television make it certain we are not watching ourselves well enough.

I remember a time when I had very little to do or think outside of the realms TV did then invent. It was a softer place to land than home life, in that problems were ever on the horizon that I hadn’t the tools or the inclination to care for. That I was a TV junky might put it mildly. I lived through TV, almost to the exclusion of reality. What I was afraid of was suppressed by the nightmarish din TV provided to the background of the world I had been given and knew nothing of how to penetrate for better answers.

It is amazing how easy this is to do.

Take one lonely kid, then add the home life real nightmares are made of, give that child’s community no measure of any real worth on its children, then finally add TV. In the end, such children are often veiled from the things which make life worth caring for. It can become a major tussle just getting them to look at life in terms of any real responsibility. Hadn’t TV already done for them what parents couldn’t? Had it not given them time off from a little worry or troubling situation? Had it not engrossed them nearly hourly in more thought-provoking dialog than a dad’s at a table whose face is buried in a laptop’s screen?

What are our children experiencing, then?

On median lines, even the better households I might mention wherein TV doesn’t play a pivotal role may be hacked into by the tone of TV as it shows us how insecure we are by devaluing our nervous system time and time again via useless, hardly veiled grabs at our fear mechanism. What is there of TV that doesn’t upset the equilibrium each mind has to hold throughout a day’s events? I used to daily enjoy reruns of the same show. Over and over, I watched as the details would unfold, seldom noticing how I had been wasting time doing so. As adults, we may unknowingly teach kids to zone out at the television just for the palliative effect it lends them. This shapes them most dangerously into little lumps with the major advertisers’ ideals stamped in memory for them to process later. They process only one thing at a time. Even internal troubles are dealt with this way, mainly as we are gazing at a star, shoveling a little snow, recycling, daydreaming, creating, and even sleeping.

Our dreaming takes on a different tone once we alleviate life’s misery through the real work of the day rather than allowing our thoughts to dwell on TV. The powerful draw there is in that our amusement may increase. But when amusement is provided by some agency that wishes our buying power to be turned on in a certain direction, how amusing is this viewing? It is hypnotic, what they’re doing, and yet we appear to be so asleep as to gain very little courage by viewing. It takes courage to accept life in its truest form, warts and all, courage to overcome a past tragedy, courage to grow as a person, leaning ever more forward.

Somehow or other, I think we become more like the little children we are supposed to be raising with every passing year. I attribute this to the proliferation of the media. What media says sticks to the thoughts of children like the most powerful adhesive imaginable in that it cannot be removed by easy leverage. Our kids’ minds are malleable, so much so our modern psychology has a hard time keeping track of how better to grace them with more courage. It is awfully easy to form a rude thought which clings to the soul and won’t let go. What is real or wonderful in terms of life and all that is natural to our human form is soon left behind for the pursuits which numb them. Thus, we are teaching our children to stay out of focus, or out of touch with the reality that’s been given them.

What this does is, set them up for continuous movement problems, as in the growing movement to become more real with each passing year rather than the other way around, as it was before modern technology turned us away from amusing ourselves through any real movement. What is moving to a soul can look like anything, but from an inside perspective, it is real, factual, honest-to-goodness feeling for ourselves and others which motivates our hearts in the right direction.

I am reminded of a time when this world was all about real stuff, in that nobody generally had too much time for amusement. Only those with the most money found enjoyment possible through wasteful uses of their energy via toys for the adult mind, including turning bodies into playthings. Such wastefulness permeates now it is seen as having better value than that old way of perhaps spending time with family in pursuits meant to teach children what life is for. The family garden plot used to be everybody’s job. Looking after the household chickens might become a growing child’s first indication of what real life work might be like, in that the food generated makes a difference to the family’s dynamic. Their presence becomes palpably beneficial to those around them through the added eggs to the table, and also might turn a handy, if only small, profit. The profits are manifold, then, owing to the chances the child’s selfesteem may continually rise owing to their function as family egg provider. Thus we are anchoring them further into their function for family along with the greater good. It takes them practice, after all, to learn how we may have impacted another’s world, along with learning by every mistaken effort. This takes time, surely, time no televised programming would afford the average person.

But we are not into the average in our country, surely?

When kids get to see TV as the handy amusement worth clinging to, a port in any storm, they get to liking life less, and their homework and other responsibilities begin to take on the appearance of an evil that must be overcome. Their home environment may focus iteslf on the TV so that thoughts are jumbled about through eager viewing rather than the natural interaction taking place between family members on a daily basis.

There is a very fine line between the alterable universe and what our human concepts of enduring tragedy might give to every child’s trust and hope. How well I remember being forced to endure that news time only a daddy would catch while sipping his coffee or grinding his teeth angrily over the latest events. At that time, Vietnam was highlighted, and in sharp detail. I would take this information in unknowingly, and it would disturb my thought processes deeply enough to where I was distressing unduly. I had enough to work on as it was, but this added factor made it seem nothing was ever going to get any better. Really, that’s how children are processing their first sight of the disastrous events mentioned on TV. And they intrude even during our family viewing time. I am continually appalled at what I hear (when in the homes of friends or family) come blasting into a living room that is inhabited by a child’s ear. We give them R rated thoughts when they are barely past the age of teething, and then wonder why they are fussing around bedtime. This ugliness must stop.

Our minds might as well deserve a rest that is lastingly, carefully cultivated. It can be a hard thing to achieve through ceasing to view TV before one’s motives are questioned. I once had an idea to try living without TV’s influence for six weeks straight, and I did it, not knowing anything of the results I would be incurring. The benefits were manifold. I started reading a little oftener, and then getting out of doors for walks. I began cultivating a little garden, and have pride in its beauty today. I even made friends through simply being out of doors. Amazingly, we all grew to enjoy each other’s company not based on anything that TV would offer.

Further, I did  a little bit of learning that wasn’t afforded me by a box. This included learning about myself, of course, but it also meant I wasn’t available for those same mind-numbing experiences as the others around me were remaining under, and this showed me a steeply curving line between what your average mind could take in at one time, and what mine was learning it could stretch for. What I ended up doing was hardly watching anything televised at all, and the longer I’ve stayed away from the constant barrage of modern society, the more I’ve found I tend to face the reality I’m given to cope with from a place of better acceptance than before. I look at cable now as a junk-minded factor bordering on madness. Let its unceasing chatter be stilled for long enough, and the world starts to take on a different believability. I look at any online viewing the same way. This outlook did change me, in that it challenges me each day to address the world with renewed vigor. And this, in and of itself, makes me all the more mindful that what is most valuable that a mind can develop must be fostered in a real way, beyond the youth factor included in this article.

I have my moments, of course, want time away from life, and then take the plunge into other forms of thinking for a time, and that’s all right–but in small doses. Taken in its context, of course, there is a period of adjustment first directly after any viewing time is done, and once lines are redrawn leading to total control over my timeframe outside of TV’s influential tone or worry. I got rid of the desire for cable TV a long while back, yet have remained a movie viewer of long standing. This eases my mind through the selective viewing I’ve come to acquire over time, meaning only those influences which are shown to improve my outlook, mood, sense of forthright humor, and attitudes in general about things I cannot control. I view most TV now as pretty well not worth the viewing, in that there is a cluttering factor on my thinking after anything over an hour in viewing time, resulting in time lost to other things more important or more functional. I prefer to remain clear, in other words, by methods only I can choose toward. This means I am no longer bombarded by new commercials advertising anything from tools of mass environmental destruction to wasteful practices like gum-chewing (and how many wrappers does such a practice produce?).

Upshot: I no longer think as I used to, and this feels frankly more normal than that glazed over way of the past. I’d recommend it highly for anybody with problems that seem never to go away with time. I’d even go so far as to say no child’s mind can prosper by such a mechanism. Nor is it possible for them to understand the more how life works from simply sitting. The same may be said for us all.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments