Fourteen months ago, that Spouse o' Mine and I were driving back from a fun holiday in Colorado. Nine hours of driving through Kansas gives a couple ample time to drum up all sorts of conversation. I commenced one subject by saying, "We are currently spending $129.00 per month on satellite television. That's a lot of money for all of those Infomercial channels that we do not enjoy." From there, we revisited options, and one in particular that our son Graham had mentioned: "Chromecast". It is a $35.00 gadget from Google that enables one to utilize a smartphone (of which we have none) or a PC or laptop (of which we have several) to send a signal to our television so that we may enjoy EXACTLY what television shows we may want to watch. We can search such things as Hulu or Netflix, and some sports outlets, and watch things we are intentional about watching.
Intentional. Ah! There lies the rub.
The first couple of months after we cancelled our satellite, I found the house very silent during the day. I had not realized how much I used the television to fill the void of silence. I began listening to radio - news, music, talk shows. Gradually, though, my interest in having noise in the house all the time lessened. (I still listen to NPR and BBC news, The Retro Cocktail Hour, Science Friday, and past Talk of the Nation shows.)
Our "intentional" television viewing has gone through some stages in the past year. We still enjoy viewing sports, and shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. All of my HGTV, Cooking Channel, and Food Network viewing? Now very limited, to say the least. Just last week I scrolled the offerings of some of my favorite channel haunts. You know what? I don't miss them. Runways and models and chefs and dancers once held my attention. But now I have been weaned away from this entertainment.
A friend and I were discussing digital photography, and how it has enabled every wannabe photographer, however talented they may or may not be, to get gigs for wedding (and even funerals). I think, too, that technology has become so inexpensive and simple as to enable television and actors/actresses/news folks to "go for it" on one of the myriad channels that are available in our new millennium.
And so we viewers have a choice to blindly keep the television on, or to move on to something more stimulating. Go outdoors? Read a book? Sing some songs? Play an instrument? Write a blog? Heh heh...