One thing I neglected to mention about Day 2 was Satellite Television.
We made the choice to be TV free in our home more than 10 years ago (really) and have never regretted it. However, the cabin rental came with satellite TV, so on Tuesday night I snapped on the TV after the kids were in bed to see how much things had changed in TV land over the last decade.
So with the volume down very low, I began to scroll through the menu of the available options. With access to satellite you’d expect to have at your fingertips the best that television has to offer, right??? Well once I’d scrolled past the few basic network stations with each click I was more and more surprised by what I found. After quickly scrolling through about 400 channels (surely time well spent!) I concluded we’d NOT made a mistake to give it up years ago.
With a few exceptions the predominance of what I found fell into three categories:
2) Infomercials for beauty & healthcare products
As I happily returned the remote control to the mantle and resumed my writing I couldn’t help wondering what sort of social commentary this suggested for western culture. It is a society very much obsessed with vicarious experience (sports), superficial self-improvement (beauty aids) and rampant commercialism (shopping).
I suppose it should be no surprise then that even with the “holy grail” of television media at my disposal that I would find anything other than a reflection of my society, albeit a not very flattering one. Still, it’s difficult to know if people are simply accepting whatever is being offered or if people are being offered exactly what they’re asking for.
Either way, I for one am I’m glad my kids don’t have to contend with television media telling them what to think and what they need to do or be to find happiness in life. Spending this uninterrupted time away with them has made one thing very apparent – they’re figuring out what it takes just fine without it.