Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Addicted to Television

It's true. Don't get me wrong--I am not equating my passionate love of TV with real, heavy-duty addictions like alcoholism or what have you. That would be rude as well as inaccurate. Suffice it to say, Loving Husband and I were simultaneously saddened to discover that we have no more discs of Six Feet Under to watch at the moment and we've just finished watching 5 episodes almost back-to-back. This one time, we watched all of Buffy Season 3 in a week-end. It was Easter week-end. And I had to preach. It's that bad.

On the other hand, we only watch when we have the DVDs available which is a neat built-in restriction. We just don't watch actual TV with the commercials and everything. Hate commercials. Really and truly hate them. I don't need to be sold more stuff. I've got plenty of stuff right here in my house.

I waffle between (a) being concerned about how much pixilated trash I'm absorbing and (b) justifying my watching by saying they're powerful stories and it's my time off so get over it. The key is, I think, how much is TV-watching getting in the way of "real life"? Am I late for meetings or socializing because of watching something? Sometimes. Does it get in the way of my other interests? Sometimes. Do I find myself connecting every conversation or situation I'm in with an episode or character? Absolutely. Does it get in the way of my relationship with my husband? Don't think so. Does it get in the way of my relationship with God? Now that's a toughie.

I see the image of God in all things--creation, people I like, people I don't like, grocerying, youth ministry, and, yes, television. I've been moved to tears by the presence of the holy in a television show. When Doyle says, "The good fight, yeah?", or when Fox Mulder finds his sister, or just the look and cohesiveness of Firefly--these are all God-moments for me. And since I've got a minor in art history, I can bs God into anything. God is in all things. But are all things getting in the way of my relationship with God? Because that's idolatry, pure and simple. I don't know, but I'll have to keep my eyes open.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

As a fellow TV addict... let me weigh in on the rationalization of TV-watching side. (c:

As with you, I must admit that sometimes it causes me to be late or not go out of my way to organize a social activity. But when I've turned it off completely (as I did for a few long weeks), I just daydreamed instead. Granted it was for less total time, but I feel the purpose was more or less the same. I've come to the conclusion that my mind just needs the vacation and one way or another it will take it (whether I consent or not). So it's better to plug into popular culture which can also be a bonding experience with others.

And when I've seen way too much, I just fess up and try not to do it again until I've visited the outside world a bit first.

BTW... congrats on doing the blog thing!