Originally Posted by WetExit
Actually, you're on to something there. I read a study recently that said that the sudden flashes of colors, cuts from scene to scene, etc., actually stimulate the same part of the brain that instigates our flight-or-flight response, and focuses our attention on the "threat". TV companies hire behavioral psychologists to figure this stuff out in order to hold our attention longer.
..All I know for sure is that I ditched the boob-tube three and a half years ago, and besides the first few months of habit "withdrawal", I haven't looked back, and don't plan to. Mysteriously, my bank account has also grown since I stopped being exposed to all those commercials.
Yeah, stimulating the fight or flight sectors empties your wallet a couple of ways:
1) It makes you spend more on things that will make you "safer" like starting with home alarm system, buying a bigger car, voting for three-strikes laws, and any number of things that would help make you physically safe from perceived threats.
2) With the added stress, you'll turn to "self-soothing" behaviors like eating junk food, drinking alcohol, or that great American pastime, shopping. How convenient that you can just press a button to flip over to QVC and you can have some new, shiny trinket delivered to your door for your momentary and expensive sense of validation!
And as for the effects of watching TV on personal spending and debt, I once saw a study that found a direct correlation between credit card debt and hours of TV watched per day. The more TV watched, the greater the debt. People watch sitcoms and other shows that portray "middle class" characters living upper class lifestyles and they think they should be living like that. How do you bridge the gap? Just put it on the plastic!
When I watch some sitcom or some other prime time intellectual cotton candy, I'm amazed and disgusted at how horribly the characters interact with each other with insults, backstabbing, and witty one-line putdowns. It's really depressing to think that this is how millions of people are becomeing normalized to think this is how we should relate to others.
I've also lost my desensitization to violence and can't go to a movie with a lot of bloodshed because I still associate the graphic images with what it would be like to have the violence actually happen to myself or someone I cared for. Movies like Blue Velvet, Pulp Fction, Rhonin, or Saving Private Ryan leave me disturbed for days afterward. And yeah, I now these are tame compared to some of the stuff that's "mainstream."
Wheb I express this people always say "Oh but there's the Nature Channel and Masterpiece Theater." Thanks but I'll happily do without those to keep the rest of the crap out of my consciousness.
Find a good book or pick your own movie, don't take the shit some sociopath on Madison Ave. picks out for you.
Kill your TV - because that's what it's doing to your humanity.