May 27, 2008

Stay tuned

I am up late last night. I can't sleep so I end up flipping channels on the TV. I rarely watch TV anyway. I have my favorite shows (football, cooking show) but I don't watch anything on a regular basis. I checked what was on the various channels. Some showing films I had either seen before or didn’t want to see. There is, to be sure, a lot of crap on TV, but funnily enough our brain likes being entertained with lots of bright, moving colors...just because it requires no real thought at all. When I was a kid, every Sunday I would watch Little House on the Prairie episode with my younger sisters. I loved that show. It feels like forever to watch the next episode as they only aired it once a week. Mind you there was only TVRI then, yes - the one and only channel!!!! but the good thing is there's no commercial break!

Right now every show that runs has ten minutes or less of programming, then three minutes of commercials and so on. We are bombarded with ads from companies that want you to buy their products. Television is, after all, an engine for advertising and selling, it does not exist to entertain us; it exists to sell to us. Those who program the shows are aware they have to capture the public’s attention and to hold it long enough to advertise a product.

Like computer, TV has become a big part of our lives. Almost all families own a TV, a lot of families have their TV on most of the time (even when no one is watching). It is a way to spend their free time, relax, stay informed, get touched by a story whether it's a news or movie or a series. I don't have anything against TV, but I think TV make people lazy. No interaction, no imagination, nothing. The only thing you have to move is your thumb on the remote control.

I have a friend who has been without a Television since her kids were small. She catches up on the news from the newspaper, radio and (now) the internet. She spends time reading, going out for a walk or a drive, gardening, listening to music on the radio, playing with her grandkids or just talk. She said it's fun actually because she has so much more to do rather than watch television. Although her kids do get tempted at times to buy one for her (so she can catch up with her friends about the shows and stuff) she doesn't think it's worth it.

So, how much time do you spend watching television? An hour per day? two hours? more? Do you believe you could live without TV let's say for a month?


Therry said...

Hmmm. I can't exactly count the hours I spend in front of the TV on a daily basis - more like a weekly basis. I rarely watch TV unless someone else is watching it too and something interesting is going on, but then I rarely watch the show till finish - I get distracted my more important things, like my dog, for example (he suffers from ADD)or the interesting articles I find on the blogosphere.

TV is such poisonous little tool, especially here in Indo. I truly detest those stupid sinetrons and whitening poducts ads - it brainwash the little minds of our young ones who don't know any better than to follow the masses.

Fun said...

wuaaah daku bisa mba idup tanpa tv.. hehehe :) abis dah lama juga ga nonton tv neh.. :) asalkan ada hp aja, daku aman... :)

the writer said...

I'd say I probably can live without TV since I only watch it for the sole purpose of watching the news (I swear! :P) Of course I could always check the news from the internet, but I have a thing for hunkie newsanchors :)

Toni said...

I hate sinetrons too - with their shallow plots and poor acting. Yes Therry is right, some ads here are crossing the ethic lines bullying the consumers like whitening products or cow milk for babies. One more, celebrity gossips, making a headline just to announce that someone's arm pit is so hairy. LOL.

sima said...

dulu punya kebiasaan begitu pulang kerja pasti langsung nyalain tv (meskipun kadang2 jg ga ditonton) supaya rumah ga sepi. sekarang masih suka nonton berita sebentar. atau iseng2 nonton infotainment, film, talk show.. ga ada acara favorit. nontonnya jg sepotong2. tp kl ga ada tv rasanya kok ada yg kurang.

Elyani said...

@Therry : subscribe a cable, you won't regret it :)

@Fun : daku gak bisa hidup kalau gak ada doku..hehehe!

@the writer : I don't recall we have good looking newsreaders here. Wait, Jason Tedjakusuma look cools but he is no longer in Metro TV, I think.

@Mas Toni : I can't blame you. Those sinetrons are a twist of fantasy starred by young half baked actors/actresses doing stupid things. Everything about them is stupid :)

@Mbak Sima : aku juga kalau nonton sepotong2, gak ada yg tuntas :)

the writer said...

That's too bad :) Here we have lots of gorgeous news anchors :) That's one of the motivations for me to learn the language so I can follow the news

Therry said...


I have!! But the TV in my rooms doesn't have the cable connection - which is an absolut drag!!

You know how much joy it is surfing the channels whilst flicking the remote control absent-mindedly until you fall asleep ... lol

Finally Woken said...

Never watched Indo TV, except to check the commercials (some friends work for advertising industry and when their ad was aired I was expected to watch and give comments, and I had to check L'Oreal's ad and its competitors too). Rather than that, no. All shite, sorry :). Well, gossip show in the morning before work (to be able to engaged a small chitchat in office pantry with staffs), but that's it.