I’m currently in Week 10 of a 13-week semester at university, and while I know that I should be studying for my exams and assignments, all I can do is think about the TV I’m going to watch when my exams are over. I’ve been preparing for the end of exams for a while now. I’ve got a list of TV shows I’m just dying to get into – from Season 2 of Veep and Season 1 of House of Cards, to finishing off the current season of New Girl and finally getting around to that acclaimed Season 1 of Prison Break (I know, I know, how have I not seen it yet?!).
But is this a sick way to live? Is it healthy to spend my time either watching TV or waiting to, planning on and daydreaming about watching TV? I know I’m not the only one who lives my life like this. I’ve had dozens of conversations with my friends about which show is must-see-but-watch-out-’cause-it’s-addictive (Game of Thrones), which one’s homg-so-amazing (The Wire), and which is kinda-intense-but-so-so-so-so-good (True Blood). I’ve been told about the watch-it-when-you-wanna-relax shows (Grey’s Anatomy), the guilty-pleasure shows (Vampire Diaries) and the dude-what-the-hell-how-have-you-not-watched-it-yet? shows (The West Wing). I didn’t see my brother for about two months while he was devouring Breaking Bad, and when a friend of mine told me about that same show, I swear he shed a tear about it – a happy, proud tear otherwise only seen from parents when their children graduate from high school or from Olympians when they finally win that gold medal they’ve been working towards for years. It was intense.
TV studios must love this generation. They must just love us. Every day we post Facebook statuses and Tweet about the latest shows we’ve been watching. We write scathing blog posts about that episode of Girls (homg it was soooo degrading to women! But also thought-provoking. Hmmm. But omg I can’t believe Charlie is leaving!). We compare ourselves to characters in shows (I’m totally like Charlotte. No, wait, I’m probably more like Miranda. She’s more pragmatic and intelligent. Yeah, I’m definitely a Miranda) and emulate these characters in our lives. (I do actually like Cosmopolitans, though…)
But the fact that I’m not alone in my TV-focused joke of a life – that my whole generation’s right there next to me on the couch – doesn’t make it any less worrying that I’m living like this. In my defence, I have to say that I do spend some of my procrastination time daydreaming about books I want to read, bushwalks I want to go on and jumpers I want to knit. Furthermore, I do actually go for runs and play ping pong and basketball and go out in my free time. I really do. But inevitably, I get to the holidays and end up spending alllll of my days just wolfing down TV show after TV show. I’m sure the TV networks love me for it, but I really can’t stand that I do it. It’s kind of disgusting, isn’t it?
I feel this self-disgust strongest when I hear about certain amongst my friends who actually spend their time in a meaningful way. I know there’s a lot of judgment in that statement, but (a) I’m judging myself when I say it, and (b) think about it. How can we call ourselves happy, fulfilled, useful humans if we worry more about closing our blinds to get rid of the sun-glare on our TV/computer screens than getting out into the sun and LIVING LIFE? Sure, it’s easy to feel close to characters on a TV set, but why aren’t we spending that time getting close to real people in our 3D lives? Why don’t we run carefree through fields, go on crazy road trips and create real memories rather than just watch actors do it in TV studios?
Aaaand on that note, I’m gonna read a book for a bit, then go outside and look at the stars, and then maybe go for drinks with some real, flesh friends of mine. You know, live life. Like with any addiction, I’m just gonna go one day at a time and do my best to stay on the right track. Here’s hoping I don’t have to drag my friends out of their TV rooms to do it………