Do we still need to watch TV?

From dawn until late in the wee hour of the day, turn the television set on and this is what you get:  politics, corruption, gossip of celebrities’ life, cinema electronic (or ‘sinetron’ in Bahasa Indonesia), mostly telling stories about mis-happenings in life, love, hatred, bullying, ghosts, all packaged in such un-real set up, so distant from real life. 

What will happen if you are bombarded with all of these information 24/7?  Will you get smarter, get more informed, be part of what’s happening in political game, more knowledgeable about global warming, a good commentator about how the president’s performed or not performing, in most of the cases… 

When the late second President of Indonesia, Suharto, was ill and it his last moment of life, you turned every single local channel and you won’t miss a beat, whether he was still breathing, whether any organ of his body was defunctioned, who was visiting him day or night or at dawn, how his children came and went.  And at the end, when he died, it was a non-stop show and parade of speech after speech, how everyone suddenly knew him, how the nation should be in debt of his good-doing, and perhaps we should put the flag half pole and consider him as national hero and took it even further, consider a week of national mourning period.   

Besides the point and besides who Suharto was before or after he died, a family was in lost of their father, gave them time for grief and privacy, please… I don’t think even the slightness consideration would enter into the media’s mind.  All in the name of obtaining TV ratings, the highest the better to proof of superiority! 

Other non-meaningful focus of our local TV is the infotainment of all of our so-called celebrities.  Why I called so-called.. just because someone just completed 2 sinetrons or released a single album could be considered as celebrity.. just because a person could not speak proper bahasa, but loving every minute to pronounce ‘indolish’ inappropriately got the most attention of all.. not to mention somebody’s child was born or having a birthday party.. especially divorce cases getting ugly… my of my.. the list is endless… 

The above were just an example and a very justified reason, why I do not watch commercial TV anymore.  Besides too much of unnecessary, un-real, over inflated, trashy, blown out of proportion information; it has become a tool to educate the masses, a benchmark to brain-wash the mind with ideas, or make-believe ideas to enter every body’s heads. 

So, my appeal to the world, limit your self, use your choice in life, open yourself widely in obtaining your knowledge and for information… not just from one source called commercial television channel…. 

Then, come my question to the world… do we still need to watch TV?  Turn it off. Have a meaningful connected conversation, listen to your partner, to your children on their day’s experience in life, go read a book, go cook a nice healthy dinner, walk your dog, play with your cat, see how your fish is getting bigger, look at your plants, your trees getting taller. Or just experience quietness, so you can hear things better, clearer. 

Life is too short to be experienced just sitting in front of your TV.

1 Comment

  1. hartogeek said,

    15 March 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Come on, man, you can’t seriously group celebrity infotainment in the same basket with news about Pak Harto’s last days. The former shouldn’t exist in the first place because when an actor or actress is not performing, they should be subject to privacy like any other people would. The latter is significant because the person in question was the greatest leader this nation has ever seen and he has touched many lives (in a genuine way, not in a “menjual mimpi” way like the Sinetrons) so as to warrant such a coverage.

    But I agree with the general sentiment. For this I blame democracy. The state loses power and other entities (in this case the media) gains it. The media will obviously promote the views of the small handful of people who own it and those handful get powerful. That’s democracy for you.


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