At the end of every summer, vivacious college students begin the death march back to campuses across America. With long faces they reattach the life-sucking academic leech and begin the toe-tapping, pencil twirling, eye-drooping dance of studies.
Then there comes a time that brings smiles back to the faces of every one of them: season premier week! The students lift their weary eyes and a semblance of happiness returns to their lives! They all gather about the Technicolor shrine and immerse themselves into lives away from these horrid halls of academia.
But is this really a healthy escape? Can spending six hours at the foot of the boob-tube really be a good thing? Programming options aside, I contend that I have five of the best reasons NOT to watch television this fall. This list is the result of years of experience and philosophical inquiry on the part of the author.
1—The Problem of Precedence—I came home one day in high school and my sister was watching TV and I asked her what show it was.
“Are you serious? You’re watching WHAT?” I mocked her ruthlessly but she just kept watching. She watched it again and again for three weeks. I, of course, could not avoid watching at least over her shoulder.
In the words of the band Cutting Crew, “I shoulda’ walked away.” I got hooked on the quick, witty banter, the stories, the characters, the town, the outrageously literate humor. Then I just happened to be walking through a store and saw the first season on DVD. Then they asked if I’d preorder the next season. I did.
How does one go from unaware of a show to an absolute fanatic? How does one get to the point where one’s friends are mocking him for watching a so-called girly-show? How does one become so emasculate and pathetic?
I call it the problem of precedence. If you give a how an inch… it’ll take 50 dollars plus something around 20 in shipping-and-handling. And then you will be mocked. It will happen. Just walk away.
2—Haters—You will never be able to justify watching the aforementioned mock-able shows. Don’t even try.
3—Read a Book!—Reading has been linked to intelligence and other cognitive skills. Seriously, reading makes you smarter. Television, on the other hand, makes you an idiot. Don’t question it. It’s science.
Plus, a book is like a portable television. You carry it wherever and, if you’re bored, just pull it out and picture the story in your head. Ta-da! Entertainment anywhere!
So if you read instead of watch TV, you can laugh at all of your dumb friends. Who wouldn’t want that?
4—Manipulation—They’re constantly barraging you with advertisements. The television is a giant conspiracy to get you to pay for seven Stairmasters, fifteen bottles of Oxy-clean, gold, llama farms, a book about financial responsibility, the best attorney, the doctor the best attorney is suing and something that comes with a key-chain light. Every time I watch TV I feel dirty, like someone just went through my pockets.
I’m not saying these people are money-leeches preying on the weak and innocent TV viewers. But they are.
5—You could be doing something constructive— Television is non-constructive. You sit and absorb.
Think about it, if you weren’t watching television you’d have much more time to do homework and talk to your friends and do homework and learn an instrument and do homework and enjoy a nice walk and…do homework…
On the other hand, maybe TV isn’t that bad of an idea after all.