Kopaunik: Turn off your TV and start living!

By By Janice Kopaunik

By Janice Kopaunik

The average person watches five hours of TV each day. That translates to about eight straight years of his or her life wasted in front of the idiot box, watching mindless sitcoms and commercials, removed from reality.

The TV peddles meaningless crap, and we buy it. It tells us what to think, what to like, how to dress, who to vote for — and we take it.

Television breeds stupidity and adds to a growing obesity rate, among other things, and comes with few benefits. Numb to the rest of the world, people have stopped caring about what is going on in their communities unless it is televised. More people can name all seven dwarfs than any seven of the nine Supreme Court justices. Knowing the entire week’s TV lineup is normal. Knowing your neighbors is not. If TV were a drug, it would be banned.

The people behind the television curtain have no respect for you. They think you are stupid — so stupid that sitcoms need to input fake laughter indicating when you should laugh.

But they also have something to fix you. You can be a better version of yourself with this shampoo or that pair of shoes. You aren’t good as you are now. You need improvement. You need to buy something.

“Wear these clothes.” “Talk this way.” “Think like us.” Shows and commercials make promises of happiness and completeness. The division between want and need is dissolved. We need it all — the Blackberry, the designer pants, the car, the life — to be complete. The few people who refuse to drink the punch offered by the idiot box are called weird.

We have been so removed from reality that even it can be packaged and resold to us. We now have a plethora of reality TV shows. Viewers watch hundreds of hours of real people doing real things, thinking that if they only had the time, they would do those things too.

Our lives have been taken from us. The TV is not your friend. It is your enemy. It wants to suck the life and money out of you, and so far, it has succeeded. Your TV’s off button is there for a reason. It saves more than just energy — it can save your life. Turn off the TV and start living. Or just think about it while you watch the reruns for the second time — and whatever comes on next.

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