22 January 2013

Ridding myself of fake reality that is reality television

I used to watch tv every night, almost. My shows of choice included The Bachelor, and any reality show I could get my greedy little eyes on. Now I feel empty and as though I’m wasting time when watching.  I feel as though there are far better uses for time than staring blankly at a black box, letting it do all the work for me. I made the choice, a few weeks back, to not watch as often. I would say that for the past month or so I’ve been watching a maximum of 2-3 hours per week, if that. That’s not being conservative.  My reasons are rather ethical in nature. To appreciate life, my rule is that you must be present and not distracted by any drama which is not truthful.

Many reality shows are not as real as one many think (you will discover this in conducting research online or by word-of-mouth). I used to delude myself for instance, into thinking that most of what went on in The Hills truly happened. Kristen really did get together with Justin and this in effect caused Audrina a significant amount of emotional pain, given that she and he were the ones with the authentic connection. Even though I read an article wherein Lauren Conrad indicated she was forced to dress in all solid colors and to paint her walls specific colors, I still believed that despite this, most of what went on in the show was true. Then she revealed more details, including the fact that the producers would text her and other cast members, suggesting that they say this or that, to create controversy in the storyline. I concluded then that the show was fake, but continued watching. I’m a masochist like that. 

When a Hills marathon was on several months back, I plugged in as per my usual giddy self, and like the other Hills addicts, was glued to my screen for the weekend. I watched each scene and dissected the real from the obvious improvisations and felt annoyed at the ending of the final episode. It belied the viewer, making one believe as though the meaning of the show was in its entirety so symbolic. It’s all a pile of nonsense. My point is that I’ve made the choice to stop deluding myself. I am no longer living vicariously through the characters, no longer envying them, longing for life to be as exciting as it is for them, given the constant drama with which they all must contend. Now that I have dipped my toes into the pool of reality, and reduced the extent of which reality tv plays a role in my life, I have begun to feel an overpowering sense of liberation. 

For the first time in quite some time, I feel competent, capable, and creative. That reminds me of a Chinese fortune cookie message I received many years ago, which read: “You’re competent, creative, and capable. Prove it.” As a matter of fact, I still have that little strip of paper sitting around somewhere. So, there you have it fortune cookie master. I’m proving it. I’m behind on the eight ball on that one, but better late than never, right? Now that I’ve relinquished my tv obsession, I have the time to take walks in the park, play the bass, write, and engage in other creative pursuits, and am not scheduling my life around the blank black box.

Do I feel somewhat aggravated that for the past few years, I have allowed others to live their live joyously at my expense, because I bought into the bullshit? Uh, yeah. Yet, there’s a saying that goes something to the effect of: If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it. But I did and it’s done. Going forward, I do not plan to cheat myself like that, out of the true beauty that is life aside from television. So I bid adieu to reality tv in large part. You aren’t worth my precious time.

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