I rarely watch TV. I don't own one, and will not usually watch one belonging to someone else. The only exception I make - for one show, Jeopardy! - is due to the fact that I have a strong attachment to learning. TV does not allow for learning in the same fashion it did years ago: turns out that TLC [The Learning Channel] has more "reality" programmes on it than shows that teach something. Strange: "reality" programmes are actually heavily scripted, with significant editing and staged events. Wait, what's real about that?

However, since lack of meaningful programming is perhaps not sufficient to warrant the lack of interest on my part, here's a more extensive list of reasons why I just don't care about modern TV.

(1) TV costs money - in a lot of ways, the least of which is the TV itself. Every month, the cable/satellite company is charging you for all those channels. When I had TV many moons ago, I found I watched 3 channels, meaning there were over 97 channels that I had no interest in but was paying for. So, why exactly will I pay for this? The average cable bill must be greater than zero, which is too high for what I want out of the TV experience given that I have to watch advertisements. If I could pick the few channels I want and pay a reasonable price for only those channels, I might change my view; however, that's not likely to make economic sense to the companies that provide TV service. For a good review of why I especially don't like cable companies, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ilMx7k7mso should give you some insight.

(2) TV costs time. The opportunity cost of TV is very high. That's because I value my free time highly, and being bombarded with advertisements about crap I don't want (or need) is a huge waste of that time. When I stopped watching TV, I found I got so much more done in a day than I could before. When I hear statistics about the number of hours per week people spend watching TV, it's astounding. Even if I consistently watch my one favourite programme all five days a week it is available, that amounts to 2.5 hours of time per week watching TV — compared to the 2.8 hours per day that is average for an American. (Don't get me wrong: average indicates there are some people [like me] who watch a lot less than 2.8 hours per day; conversely, it also indicates there are some people who watch a lot more. Sad, isn't it?)

(3) TV helps to desensitise you to subversive advertising that helps produce the spending habits we see in this country. People will camp outside for a day to buy an iPhone but complain when they don't have money to make the mortgage payment. Huh? Oh, right: they saw the iPhone ads on TV and got caught up in the game of being hip because - get this - the person with an iPhone (on the TV) is hip. Give me a break. [If you own an iPhone, and you find this paragraph offensive, grow up. Substitute any other adveritsed product and get over it.]

(4) TV makes you less active. You can't be a couch potato if you don't have a TV in front of your couch, now can you? In fact, the very definition of couch potato seems to revolve around the presence of a TV. (Unless you have serious issues and sit on your couch watching the wall. If that's the case, go for it: be a TV-free, wall-watching couch potato.)

(5) People always complain that "there's nothing on TV tonight." When I pay for a service or product (which category does TV fit into, exactly?), I would prefer to get what I'm paying for. If the provider of the product/service cannot deliver what I desire out of a product/service, am I supposed to keep paying for it?

(6) If you made it this far, you likely don't watch too much TV. Congratulations. You are among a rare group of people who aren't so brainwashed by TV that you lost the ability to read a page of text. There is no doubt that channel-flipping, instant feedback and on-demand everything (the hallmarks of modern TV) has lead to shortened attention spans.

(7) What does TV provide that I cannot otherwise get from the Internet or - get this - going outside and finding out myself? If there is a show I *really* like, I will buy the DVD of it and watch it in commercial-free comfort on my computer. (Same for movies, and I can even get movies via iTunes and watch them indefinitely, any time of the year, without the use of a DVD player.)

In short, TV offers me nothing and requires me to pay for it. For a lot of people, this is not true: they value what TV offers them, they make good use of it, and are more than happy to pay for it. I am simply not one of those people.

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