Life has no ‘record’ button

Once upon a time, I used to live with somebody who wouldn’t go out if there was something on TV he wanted to watch.

Don’t worry, I didn’t live there that long.

Actually, that’s a huge fib – I did, but that’s a whole other story.  This isn’t a story about that.

I’ve already had a rant about the mainstream media and it’s effect on people’s moods.

I’m now going to rant, just for a minute or so, on how so many places have been turned into sofa cities, where people spend whole nights watching TV and miss what’s happening in their own communities.

photo 2

Dancing with the moon in my local park!

How my road, even on a warm summer’s evening when I’m taking a stroll at sunset, is usually deserted – lit by the flickering screens through each front window.  Everyone is inside, staring at the box, missing the beautiful sky outside.

A little rant about how we have had our audiences at The Art House halved because there was a final of Pop Idol on telly, or somesuch nonsense.

Ranting about TV may make me sound like a a grumpy old thing, and really I’m not.

Whilst I’m a long way off the 25 hours average TV viewing per week (TWENTY FIVE HOURS – FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY!!!!), I do watch things sometimes, if I’ve been told they are good.

Last time I had a cold, I had a day-long ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ marathon, with a big bag of pretzels.  It was fab.

It’s generally thought that a life with less TV is a life of all work and no fun.

But the opposite is true.  See, out there in the real world there’s a lot of fun stuff going on, all the time.  There are many adventures to be had, friends to be made and dances to be danced.

On the sofa, not so much.

On the sofa, you are devouring somebody else’s completely made up version of life, not your own life.

Even social media at least involves your life, and the lives of people you know – not some fictional characters doing fictional things in a studio somewhere.  I don’t advocate long hours on social media, either, but it is different, subtly.

So sure, use the TV as an infrequent way to unwind when you truly, truly feel like wasting time.  Record the stuff you want to watch, or download things, or whatever.

That way you can fast forward through the ads.  You can forget you’ve recorded things for year and never get around to watching them.  You can stagger in late at night, clutching a bag of chips, and have something to watch.

When all you want is some chewing gum for your brain – which shouldn’t be, you know, too often, TV is just the ticket.

But life doesn’t have a record button.  If you don’t go out to that night that looks interesting, or visit that friend, or go to that party, or take part in that class you like the look of…. well, that’ll never happen again.

Not ever.

The photos on Facebook are not going to be the same as being there.  Not even a bit.

So put the TV to record and get out there and live your glittery, glorious (and SHORT!) life, capiche?


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Life has no ‘record’ button — 16 Comments

  1. I had a prime example of this happen a few nights ago… went out to shoot a long exposure shot of the church at night and ended up going ghost hunting with some local ghost hunters.

    It never would have happened if I’d been sat worshiping the glow of the idiot box.

  2. I really like what you said sad worlds of popular drama rotting the imagination al tho short lives their are many of them and we meet and meet ourselves our imaginations and others that we love before and in the future imaginations are for ever miss frank. only two true entities imagination and love.

  3. Yep. My colleagues often ask me how I find the time to get so much crafty stuff done. My answer is always “I don’t watch telly”. Yes, this excludes me from some staff room conversations, as I don’t watch any soap operas or “reality” shows. But I have online tv in the background when I sew, or a dvd box set, and I really don’t feel as though I’m missing anything at all. There’s enough anger and drama and angst out there in the real world – I certainly don’t want to sit around watching it on the telly when I could be making my own magic instead.

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  5. i totally agree with all of this! the only thing i will say is that TV and facebook ahve been a lifeline to me whilst i havent been able to go is mind numbing and even then i have still limited it to certain things i watch but life outside is way more interesting!

  6. Oh yes, Facebook in particular was a real lifeline for me at one point when I was quite isolated!

  7. So true! I remember the endless office conversations about Big Brother when it was on….. awfully dull, but I guess something everyone had in common!

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  9. I also don’t like the way more public spaces are getting fitted with TV so that even when we’re out we can’t get away from it. I do resent the huge screen in Portsmouth Guildhall square which is always playing TV (usually news or daytime chat) whenever I walk through there. OK, it’s great for special community film nights or to showcase some art or community events but would like if it could be kept to those special occasions. I know if I spend too much time on the screen (don’t watch TV but do sometimes watch too much computer) that I feel like I do if I have too much junk food. I guess it’s about using TV/screen time with awareness and resisting just getting stuck in a mind-numbing kind of way. Agree these things can certainly be important for us too. FB has been helpful in many, many ways (how else do you find a local electrician or where to stay in Paris?!) but it has also been quite the opposite too. We just need to remember self-care as with anything that has the potential to become addictive. On that note, must get away from this screen….!

  10. I wish I’d read this yesterday. I had the opportunity to go to see Newton Faulkner (for only £7!!) and I chose to stay in and watch X-Factor, as my son is in it this year. He was in last night’s program, for about 2 seconds, in the background *sigh* . It was soooooooooo painful to sit through, too; a filler between adverts!

  11. Or……..If one has to stay indoors. Nothing like the radio on and reading a book, or crafting or painting or brushing the dogs….the list goes on! 🙂