Monday, February 16, 2015

Getting Past Television

Getting real with yourself.

As I get older I notice that there is a huge gap between people in my neighborhood people I see around me in my local community and the person that I am. I see enormous amounts of creativity wasted and and enormous amount of human potential completely gone through the simple act of my neighbors and my friends and the people in my community watching television. The enormity of the waste of time of this activity is so profound at a national level that it appears to be a drug that like alcohol in a better world or an alternate universe would be illegal. 

The insidious seduction of television is very easy to dismiss. One could say "I was simply tired and needed to relax so I watched TV for a few hours tonight". In those four hours you could have done relaxing yoga, mindfulness training, meditation, called a friend taken a nap, read a book, surfed the Internet with an educational eye. Multiply those four hours by seven days a week 30 days a month 365 days a year and then the enormity as a waste of time becomes evident.  In fact I would venture to say that the pursuit of television as a regular habit (addiction) is on par with a narcotic.  And so it is. A legal narcotic socially acceptable, rarely interesting even more rarely genuinely education and completely non-interactive is frightfully seductive. Welcome to the zombie empire.

I was born at the advent of television.  We the TV generation were began with black and white TV. Color TV was expensive and rare, but not for long. I remember purchasing our first color televisions. I loved TV more than anything!  It was the perfect babysitter.  My parents enjoyed endless hours of non-parenting while along with the innocent enjoyment of cigarettes and alcohol their parenting responsibilities went uncheck.  It is personally embarrassing to write about. But as our society developed after the industrial revolution and peacetime took hold we were all caught in the vortex of the television age, and in the age of mass media marketing. In so doing I threw away my education, my curiosity of the world-the real world and bought into it lock stock and barrel this evil known as television. If you don't believe me look at the alcohol industry. There is nothing more dangerous to families than alcohol cigarettes and television.  All bad habits forced upon us by advertisers.   They plunder and destroy the lives of would be programmable people. And no one seems to notice, and the advertisers absolutely don't care.  This is what involvement in popular culture leaves us.

Do you want to be a drone? Do you want to live as a consumer of goods and of advertising? Do you want your emotions to be manufactured and manipulated to reflect the desires of the needs of big business?  Do you want your insecurities exploited by businesses who care not for your personal growth health or well being? These are important questions.

I am a big fan of Timothy Ferriss and Rolf Potts.  Tim is the author of the 'Four Hour' best-selling books series. Rolf is the author of the book Vagabonding (one of Tim's favorite books) Simply google them for more details. I rarely if ever hear of these guys discuss televised events. He never talks about is this interest in television but he understands that his real life exists outside of the Addiction television provides. People who know how to live generally are visible because they interact with the world we see that we know who they are in fact many Hollywood stars I've never seen their television show or the movies they worked in. This is a small powerful tip to consumers who have been sucked into the huge consumer machine. We can't allow this. It's very unhealthy to waste your time to allow the consumer culture to pull you away from your family, responsibilities, political and social work you need to do in order to help live a complete and useful life and to provide for generations to come.  We have work to do and it does not involve the economic interests of football, Kellogg's, Samsung, or turning your family television a babysitter.

Don't let television steal your imagination and if you do watch responsibly and monitor the type of information you require from television and decide whether or not it is worthy of your time. Other than that, make to do lists that have nothing to do with television. Find time for people, activities and travel that would otherwise be taken up by this media. Whenever you do anything make sure it's worth your time and that it is synergistic with your goals. Check out a couple of my videos on the Zimmermania channel. The one honoring Tim Ferris is quite good actually. It was designed for Gerson therapy patients to get off their butts and start living again after doing the two years of insanely boring therapy that saves life. It saves life but trains you in the most boring routine possible which is of course the therapy itself. It's easy to forget how to have fun how to plan how to develop a real life afterwards so I created the Tim Ferris video to encourage people in the process of re-emerging back into life from the stagnancy of the Gerson therapy.  You can read Vagabonding by Rolf Pots to help free your mind and to start a fire under your sense of adventure and exploration even if it is in your own home town.

Inspiration rarely if ever comes from television. Yes there are interesting documentaries nature programming etc. on TV but rarely is it a anything more than a reasonable facsimile of real life anyway.  It is very easy to make excuses for the time you spend watching television. I could be doing that right now and not writing this article. What a waste it would've been. Now because I chose not to watch TV, this article on this blog stands a very good chance to be read by my great  grand children after my death who knows how it might influence them and you.

Look, I know I'm not the greatest Blogger, writer, video producer, Internet presence that I might be but I do the best I can.  Someday this blog will be a great success with all of its typos spelling errors and weirdness but it will reflect the love in my heart for humanity and that's what matters.  I can't imagine writing an article about my love for television even though I'm sure that they do exist. And for those people who love the media so much all I can do is wish them well and hope that they learned to see life through the prism of other views that also serve to inspire with far greater authenticity.

Living your life through armchair viewing of television in our opinion is no way to live. Go outside explore the world and report back to yourself in your blog in your time - make your life matter.

I found this great article that further defines this issue:

"We are particularly concerned with the effects of television on children. We talk about how the simple act of watching television, no matter the content, re-patterns the brain. And it re-patterns it in a way that is opposed to reading, writing, and sustained concentration.

A big part of this is because when you read, your imagination does a lot of the work. When you watch something, there is no room for imagination. Your brain is given every last detail. It actually weakens creativity.

So since I tend to be pretty level-headed and not reactionary in the least, I came home and unloaded on my wife about the evils of television. We were going to throw them all away because they were keeping our highly creative son from his full potential. I believe he was one at the time and I pointed out how he didn't play “make-believe” yet and obviously it was because television had sucked all the creative juices right from his brain.

Not unaccustomed to such rants, my wife thought this was a bit of an overreaction. But it was also reflective of the fact that I had not finished the book."

Shane reveals some hard truths about technology. But the thing he points out is that technology itself is neither good nor bad. It is neutral. Yet it does not have a neutral effect on us. Technology shapes us whether we like it or not. But rather than try to get rid of technology altogether, our job is to recognize the way it shapes us and respond accordingly.

We want to understand how technology shapes us, and how we use it. Technology is not going away. And it is a major aspect of our lives. So we need to be aware of how it affects us. We need to be aware of how it affects how we do community. We need to be aware of how it leads us towards and distracts us from our pursuit of meaningful relationships, expansion of consciousness, even our religious beliefs and God. 

Advice: Try to limit the amount of time and choices when we are on technology. We recognized the effects it had on us, and we responded appropriately.

Technology is here to stay, so we need to learn how to use it judiciously.

Have you ever tried to get rid of technology all together? What happened?

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