Monday, December 22, 2008

Television: Experience Substitute or Endorphin Tap

It's interesting the role that television plays in the modern lifestyle. Purists can easily dismiss it in their own minds as a complete waste of time. I sometimes feel the pull of that mindset on my own feelings as well, but television (and in particular, I guess, television programming) is a complex beast. I sometimes feel like TV is just a cop-out, a way to avoid life and do nothing, an excuse to be lazy, similar to world of warcraft. But deep down inside I think TV is a way to expand your own experience, to observe situations others face (fictional people are people, too), which can be a very meaningful thing. God sent us here to Earth to gain experience. In some way I think we can gain experience from TV or books or other substitutes that bring situations to mind that we may never face in real life.
That's my for TV part of my brain speaking. But there's a huge problem here- more and more media is produced that has no link to reality. I'm not talking about how people in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fly through the air jumping on building tops. Even fantastical stories or settings can have their own analogies to real life situations or emotions. Popular TV shows and movies seem to be increasingly dilute of these things, shrouded in absurdities and obscenities, so that rather than empathizing with the characters viewers are merely "entertained". I will be the first one to tell you that I do get sucked into that myself, though. Sometimes it just feels good to get stupid and net nearly nothing after watching something like Hot Rod or Anchorman other than a good release of endorphins triggered by laughing and a few quotables (which benefit me nothing since I was born without the ability to successfully quote a single line from a movie...so I usually stick to short phrases or single words). But that's really kind of the point- if the changing trends in media released on TV can release chemicals in our bodies to make us feel good while delivering nothing beneficial to our souls then it is becoming more of a drug and less of a tool for learning from experiences you never would have had in the normal course of your own life.
So I'm really just saying that I have conflicted feelings about TV and movies, but I really do like watching something good!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

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