Now, this does not mean that I do not watch TV. I do watch it at the student union, or at a friend's place occasionally. The last time I saw was the French Open finals. Before that, I don't remember! It must have been a few months ago. However, the frequency is so rare that I really do not even know if I am missing something or ever care about it anymore.
In India, the only channels I loved to watch were NGC, Discovery, some AXN, some sports channels for F-1 and the occasional good programs on ETV and Udaya(such as Divya Darshana early in the mornings, or the one with Hiremagalur Kannan, and such). I also used to watch an occasional movie once in a while but kept away from serials and soaps and reality shows as much as possible. In fact, when I tried watching Band of Brothers on HBO, the only obstruction was some stupid home-wrecking soap that my mother did not want to miss! That led to a lot of arguments and I totally gave up fighting for the remote.
In the USA and not to mention in India, of late, people are heavily addicted to television. Teens and elders cant stop themselves from watching and discussing soaps and other bogus shows. Kids are glued to Pockemon and whatnot from the time they get up to the time they go to bed. I think that the AC Nielsen survey which says that people watch an average of 4 hours of TV per day is a conservative estimate! Thank goodness, at least that WWF craze is behind us!
Whenever I bring up the argument that TV is a useless gadget(according to me, that is what it has metamorphosized into), people talk about its good programs, exposure to a lot of topics(yeah right! Its only exposure these days!), blah blah... Are they kidding themselves? Does everyone watch such things?!? Then why are Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Saas Bhi..., etc so highly rated? How many people watched an informational program such as the Sunday night special 'Pompeii Uncovered' on NGC or ETV Raaga Ranjini or for that matter anything else?
I don't know what to talk in gatherings when people are discussing the latest episode of some television show. Fine. I can live with it. Neither do I care nor do I want to watch those brainless things just so that I can find a topic of conversation at parties. Without the TV, I find time to play tennis, take a walk, read something, etc. In fact, more and more people are waking up to the fact that the TV is spoiling homes. A Google search of 'living without TV' yields 42 million hits!
Dont get me wrong. I am not advocating that everyone should live without the television. But does it justify giving it the place of honour in the living room? What do you say?