Television can be glorious.
Think about it: A person can sit down, turn on the TV and watch someone else’s life for hours on end. While the viewer is enjoying the lives of fictional characters, nothing else matters. Bills, homework, work and class all fade into the background.
I think that is most of TV’s appeal.
I don’t watch TV on a regular basis. My household is still in the dark ages; we only have what our antenna picks up. I usually watch “House” on Tuesdays and that’s about it. But when stress builds up and life seems to be testing my ability to stay sane, TV can be the perfect solution.
I can sit back on my couch and watch reruns of shows such as “Seinfeld” all night while I successfully ignore all my responsibilities. I can put myself in someone else’s shoes and forget about my own problems.
It’s a great concept, putting off reality.
Life is stressful. Class, homework, work, relationships, life decisions, family and friends: all of these things can cause stress and stress can build up.
I feel like people need to find a way to relieve stress, or at least a way to take their minds off of life for a while. If they don’t, then even the strongest of people can crack under the pressure.
There is a line between taking a break and procrastination, though.
Watching a few hours of TV can take minds off of stress, but we have to remember that this is our life. We only have one of them.
As I sit here and watch reruns of “Malcom in the Middle,” I have to remind myself that I am essentially wasting my life away. I’m watching actors act out the lives of non-existent people. Sure, TV can make me forget about the homework I should be doing and tests I should be studying for, but I’m not accomplishing anything, either.
When I’m older and retired, I don’t want to look back on my life and remember all the TV shows I watched, I want to remember all the things I accomplished. I want to remember my own life, not the lives of TV show characters.
We all need breaks. We all need stress relievers, but we do not need those stress relievers to turn into what makes our lives. We don’t need to completely forget about our problems, just put them on hold for a short period of time.
With the semester coming to a close and finals approaching, I know we all need some time off. So go watch TV, engulf yourself in a good 30 to 60 minute story line. Take a break from life and all its problems.
But realize eventually that story will end. The actors will stop making new episodes and the credits will roll one last time. Sure, we can always find a new show to watch, but is that what we want to remember when we’re older?
Sarah Lelonek is a junior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]