“Religion is the opiate of the masses.” ~ Karl Marx
“Karl never saw television!” ~ Me
I used to watch a good deal of television. Aside from what I watched with Lori, when I was working nights I would often rent a movie to watch and unwind before I went to bed. I gradually realised how much of my life I was sacrificing to television and made changes. Now Lori and I usually watch one show (45 minutes as we usually avoid commercials) a night. Sometimes I still think it’s too much, but we do it together to relax, and it gives us some interesting conversation.
All of the above to say I get watching a lot of television. I think “relaxing” and “unwinding” are mostly excuses. Granted most of us are far too busy and stressed, but television is more of a way of hiding than anything else. It’s a way to numb out our minds so we can stop thinking about the things we don’t want to think about. I think men are both better at this numbing and more desirous of doing it, which may make us particularly susceptible.
I think one of the major underlying issues is running from our sense of failure. Not just failure as you may think of it, we also feel we have failed because we have let life get away from us. Too much boring life and not enough adventure is something any man wants to forget. Television does more than let us forget, it also allows us to live vicariously. Sports, science fiction, adventure, and some reality TV give us the chance to feel the thrill second hand. It’s not the real thing, but it’s better than nothing, right?
Of course, it’s actually worse than nothing because it eats our time and saps our motivation. Rather than getting out there and doing something new and exciting, we watch others do new and exciting things. I have mentioned men’s need for adventure a number of times on this blog. A lack of adventure may be a cause of his excessive TV watching, and a bit of adventure could get him away from the TV.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’ve decided I have better things to do!