Sunday, May 12, 2013

TV, Consumerism and Lifestyle Copying

We already know television distracts us with mindless, creativity-sapping "entertainment." But there's another enormous problem with TV, one that wastes an enormous amount of creative time.

That stupid flickering screen teaches us to buy stuff. Television induces consumerism. And quite often it does so in laughably unsubtle ways. Who hasn't watched young kids see a toy on TV and instantly demand it?

Have you ever witnessed a child do this? Did you chuckle inside, and gratefully thank your stars that you've grown up and are no longer so easily manipulated? Thank goodness this kind of thing never happens with adults.

I'm kidding. The same exact thing happens with adults. In fact, we're more easily manipulated because television works on us in more subtle and subversive ways. It frames a reality for us. It shows idealized ways to live, and we find ourselves copying aspects of this reality without really thinking about it.

How does this waste our creativity? Because it takes energy--creative energy--to copy someone else's ideas on how to live. Imagine if we directed this energy at producing our own ideas.