I don’t watch television. We haven’t had a television for more than 13 years.
Before you dismiss me as a crank (too late?), ask yourself this:
How much television do you think Bill Gates watches? What does Warren Buffet do when he has free time? What is Steve Jobs’ must-see TV? Did Mother Theresa watch Friends? Will you, on your deathbed, wish you’d seen that one last episode of 24?
You will never learn anything about yourself
while watching television.
There is surely nutritious programming. But a life spent watching a box is a wasted life.
The very idea of a show called Friends is revealing. The message: You don’t need friends. Here are your friends.
For there to be growth, there must be change.
The message of television is clear: stay tuned, don’t touch that dial, don’t change that station, don’t change. Stay right where you are. Don’t change.
Stand by for a new message:
Cut the cord.
Turn off television.
Turn on life.
If you must watch television, watch any show once, for fun. Watch it a second time to understand the art, the direction, the production values, the cleverness of it all.
But, if you are watching it a third time, you might ask yourself, “Why? Do I really have nothing better to do? Is there no friend I can find to love? (A real friend, not a televised “Friend.”) Does no charity need my help? Would I be better simply sitting quietly and reflecting on life? What am I afraid I might learn about myself if I turn off the distraction?”
This was originally posted in January 2008, then quickly removed because the Youngsters thought it might be bad for business. It’s back because it’s truer than it is bad for business.