Take away the binky
What if you just -- stopped?
A little while back I referenced the idea of a media blackout. I didn't say that I quietly put the blackout in place as of that post, and have consciously avoided the hamster wheel of news since then. Unsurprisingly, I'm happier. I pick up tidbits from friends on facebook and twitter, but by and large, the world is passing me by for a while.
Jeff and I are considering taking another, more blasphemous step. We bought a media device that lets us play video files on our house server, as well as Netflix Instant streaming, youtube, and another couple of sites. We're getting ready to do a media overhaul in our living room (our TV is a decade old) and he asked a question that I'd thought about before but never seriously voiced:
"What if we cancel our satellite subscription?"
The idea of more channels, more options, has a cachet of luxury. We both grew up in rural areas where the norm was a couple of snowy air channels, and diving into the realm of cable, tivo, and satellite was a luxury. Shows for our interests! Shows for every niche! Game shows, shows for women, cooking shows, britcoms, monster trucks, and reality shows!
Funny thing about cacophony: after a while, even the most well-meaning babble becomes just more noise.
This weekend, we talked about our usage habits, really and truly, and acknowledged that it was time to reconsider them. The media box could let us access movies and TV shows from Netflix, but it would encourage us (ok, Jeff) from what he termed "junk food" shows. The Tivo has helpfully figured out that Jeff will turn on a West Wing rerun or a home improvement show to pass the time, and there's no real inducement to turn it off. We don't get anything new, just the comfort of the familiar.
So what if we took that all away? I made a crack at work about "putting down the binky," but the statement has merit. What happens to your free time if you take away the TV binky? I admit I'm curious. It'll be more of a change for Jeff than it will be for me, but it'll be an adjustment for both of us.
I think it would be good for the world to pass us by for a while. Let us pick and choose what media we want to consume, instead of absently, constantly grazing.
We've got the media box set up, and I've populated the Instant Queue with some movies I think we'd enjoy. We've turned down what the Tivo is recording. A good mantra: own your tech, don't let your tech own you.
Anyone got a less tacky punchline than "stay tuned"?