I grew up with TV but have no problem turning it off…forever.

March 26, 2009


I don’t miss TV.

As a boy, I grew up on the tube. Saturday morning catoons. Watching Hawaii 5-0 with my parents. Staying up late to watch SNL. I saw the very first MTV video in college, appropriately called “Video killed the radio star.”

Since beginning my career in advertising, I’ve probably written hundreds of television commercials and produced a good chunk of them. In some respects I owe my livelihood to TV.

But I don’t miss it.

This minor epiphany came to me while on an extended trip, which is only now just winding down. Three weeks away from home and office and, outside of brief swatches of the NCAA, I haven’t watched a lick.

I have, however, returned to my computer each and every day like a hummingbird to a feeder. My blog. Facebook. Email. Bookmarks. These I cannot do without.

Yet, even before the Internet and all its fruit, I pretty much weaned myself from the “idiot box.” Media gurus have since given eulogies for so-called “appointment TV” but I stopped making it a point to watch a long time ago.

I know there are good shows (The Office, 30 Rock, Simpsons, etc) but I’m just as happy buying the DVDs. Frankly, I don’t mind missing them entirely. Outside of significant programming (Super Bowl, Presidential debates, Oscars, etc), I don’t watch much of anything on TV.

Ironically, I adore going to the movies. And I read from a book and magazine every day. (Not long ago myriad gurus proclaimed these obsolete –because of television!). Unlike reading, computing and the event of going to a movie, TV remains largely passive. I suppose I just prefer doing versus watching.


6 Responses to “I grew up with TV but have no problem turning it off…forever.”

  1. Jason Fox said

    I do enjoy good TV, like the shows you cited. But most TV is a waste. Such a waste, in fact, that we decided to save our $86.10 every month and cancel DirecTV. Now we’re an over-the-air and Apple TV family. Two months in and we haven’t missed a thing. It helps that I can buy “Top Gear” from iTunes. For the particulars, you can see my blog (a new, non-ad blog) at http://techreport.com/discussions.x/16523.

  2. YiRan said

    With Hulu, YouTube and other video streaming websites (not to mention the availability of video downloads on P2P networks like Pirate Bay), anyone can download or watch their favorite shows online with limited or no commercials. With the exception of live sports, people have plenty of options to dodge television commercials. How are/should ad agencies adapt?

  3. I pretty much stopped watching tv 6 years ago.

    I watch Lost and Battlestar Galactica via DVD or online. Beyond that I only watch TV when I’m working out. And then it’s usually just basketball or hockey or travel channel.

    I do love my video games though.

  4. Hugh Allspaugh said

    I am with you. It is an idiot box. I weaned myself years ago of TV. Unfortunately, I discovered BBC America and there is one program I could watch forever: Top Gear. What a gem. BBC has others: Katherine Tate, Dragon’s Den, How clean is your house? All are pretty entertaining. But Top Gear I cannot live without. What a great job those guys have driving/racing some of the most beautifully made cars in the world. Good TV engages, like good movies do. There’s a narrative that connects us, intellectually. But your right, I prefer to lean forward rather than sit back. TV is ultra passive. Now if you’re a Net Gen, then you watch YV, surf the web, text on your phone and do you homework all at the same time!

  5. adchick said

    Don’t dismiss TV quite yet. “Idiots” are still watching. So far, small town people in many tiny towns have never heard of Hulu. They are creatures of habit…still. Maybe it’s all about your level of experience, education, and lifestyle.

  6. SRP said

    No doubt, no doubt…
    You saw my pseudo retraction in later post.
    And thank you SO DARN MUCH for the book review!

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