I love television. As far back as I can remember, I have loved television. TV was Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, and visiting Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. It was Saturday morning cartoons with my brothers in our pjs and my dad telling me that it was my job to read all the “Pows!” “Whacks!” and “Rabbit Hunting Season” signs for my brothers. That’s the burden an oldest child must bear. Television was Nickelodeon and all the things you couldn’t do on television. It was The Secret World of Alex Mac and being glad that Clarissa was there to explain it all and that my brothers were older and didn’t need explaining anymore. Television was all the shows I wasn’t allowed to watch, but covertly did anyway. It was learning about sex and boys from Dawson, Joey, and Rory Gilmore (which might explain why I am so terrible at dating). Television made me want to be badass like Sydney Bristow or Olivia Benson and find a love like Ross and Rachel (but maybe less complicated). Television has at times found me LOST, solving crimes or traveling throughout time and space.
I love television because it is escapism, conversation and community. I watched Dawson’s Creek so I could talk to the cool kids in 10th grade chemistry class. I watched Grey’s Anatomy because that’s what everyone in the teacher’s lounge watched. Hell, it seemed everyone in America watched those first seasons and McLoved every minute of it. Television made me feel like an insider when I usually felt like an outsider. I hate the Kardashians and everything they stand for but I’ll admit that I’m part of the problem because I have probably seen every single episode. There is no better mind numbing escapism than E! and Bravo.
I love television!
So about a month ago, I sold it.
My dad asked if it was some kind of political statement. I told him no, but maybe it is a little bit. I did it because I have done this crazy, maybe stupid, outlandish quitting my job thing in order to pursue something that I don’t actually know how to pursue. It is way easier to suppress the terror and ignore the immensity of this decision and watch 4 hours of Law & Order SVU instead. Except I can’t ignore it. I have to embrace my terror. I need to take it and mold it into my future and no housewives of any county are going to be able to do that for me.
So I got rid of the temptation.
I like my post-tv life. I play a lot more music. I was an avid reader before, even with my TV, and I still am and now moreso. My apartment is SUPER clean! I spend more time writing or just being with my thoughts, which is often uncomfortable, but that’s good. I need to be with them. When friends come over we sit and chat and my backgammon set no longer has a thick layer of dust over it.
This isn’t to say that I have taken some kind of social stand and completely given up television. I still have aNetflix account and an ipad, on which I maybe binged the entire first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Sunday. I watched clips of the Oscars on youtube the day after it aired and the finale of Parks and Rec when it became available online. I still want to be part of the conversation. I still like to escape. I just need some decisions to be out of my control. When I am on my couch with a remote in my hand and there’s an SVU marathon, I have no control.