By Jazmin Jett |Staff Writer|
Does the highlight of your day revolve around the new episode of the reality show you’re currently addicted to?
If you answered yes, then you need a new hobby.
As juvenile as it sounds, I haven’t placed much significance on television since “The Rugrats” became “All Grown Up.”
Besides the news, which I feel filters a particular set of information for public consumption, what could I possibly learn from watching a substantial amount of television?
Maybe watching “True Blood” can assist in my communication with vampires on the daily basis.
If I’m lucky, Kim Kardashian can provide insight if I ever decide to trick a guy into liking me.
When taking a look back at television, it has moved away from shows about the idealistic family overcoming their internal conflicts with love such as “The Cosby Show.”
Now, shows like “The Bad Girls Club” not only deteriorate women’s already fragile image but also contribute to the catty, over-emotional stigma already attached to our gender.
Granted, I can understand the escape television provides from one’s everyday life, but if an escape is what you’re aiming for, try reading or watching a documentary.
“I hate TV. The way people engulf themselves into shows is disgusting. I’d rather light a candle and sit in silence than attempt to entertain myself with the lives of people that are of no concern to me,” said student Katharine Hall.
“If [a TV show] can’t stimulate me mentally or enlighten me in some way, I’ve no interest in it.”
Despite the significant increase in watching shows and movies online, college students watch an average of ten hours of television per week, as reported by e-m-marketing.com.
When speaking with student Jeremy Young, he claimed to have an actual addiction to television. “If I’m not at work, concerned with school or sleep, I’m watching television,” he said.
The New York Times stated that, “…scientific studies of people’s viewing habits are finding that for the most frequent viewers, watching television has many of the marks of a dependency like alcoholism or other addictions.”
Also, opportunityagenda.org claimed that, “Reality TV is popular entertainment that may be having an impact on teenage girls, making it seem that the impertinent verbal exchanges and sometimes violent confrontations displayed heavily on reality TV shows are normal and desirable forms of behavior.”
So if studies show that television ultimately has negative effects on those that watch it most, why is it that people still faithfully tune in?
Perhaps schadenfreude — pleasure derived from the misfortune of others, is getting people hooked to television.
Whatever the case may be, consider what you could better accomplish with your time.
I challenge you to cut 25 percent of your television viewing time and designate it to something more stimulating like art, music, poetry, reading a book or whatever is most interesting to you and see how you feel.