the one-eyed devil

“I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence.
There’s one called brightness, but it doesn’t work.” 

— Eugene P. Gallagher

There are different kinds of things we can see on TV. From movies, to cooking shows, to teleseryes, to game shows and the overrated reality shows. It’s amazing how it showcases different aspects of our lives for about several years now. Imagine what people were doing before TVs were discovered. Playing chess? Hanging out? Having sex? Doing assignments? Family discussions? Sounds tiresome for the present generation right? Why should we do all of that now when we can simply sit and stare at a box that offers us everything?

A lot of people says that a TV has been an important part of them. It was their friend, educator, source of inspiration, and even the gateway to different places around the globe. Yeah, of course that’s true. Television is helpful. We can learn a lot. We can enjoy free movies if we can’t afford to have it in a cinema, we can have a free documentation of history if we don’t have resources to buy a book, and of course we may possibly win from the different contests offered.

Sounds fun? Naaah. It isn’t.                             

It’s not really free. In Economics, “There’s no such thing as free lunch.” How about the electricity? How about the acquisition of the appliance itself? You bought it right? How about your time wasted on every shows? That’s a precious price right? If I know most of the parents are complaining about high electricity bills (Electricity fee in the Philippines is, if not the highest, one of the highest) because of TV marathons. And documentaries? You can mostly find them in cable channels. More fees right?

TV alienates you from the society. If you will only watch TV all day, what will happen to you? You will lose friends, you will lose contacts to your family, you won’t have a boyfriend. You hate it when your parents ignore you but you can’t even eat with them because you will watch your favorite Koreanovela. Working meals, eh? You’re an emo lamenting over not having someone who loves you when in fact you’re not making an effort and get your sight the hell out of that box. You’re the person who keeps on complaining about low scores on exams when all you did was watch your favorite series. And it’s not only TVs, it’s also cellphones, computer games, internet. Try enrolling STS 40 and you can learn more.

Tsk. I quit watching TV since I was in third year high school. I realized it did no good for me. I did not die because I don’t watch TV. I did not get outdated, in fact I can know things through newspapers and internet sources. All I really need was news actually. I will not die if I did not know Lee Minh Ho, or I did not watch the ending of Meteor Garden (too old) or whatever.

I am proud that I (somehow) saved myself from a rotten mass media which only promote self-interests in every aspect of the field. Aside from the fact that they don’t care about the quality of the shows, they don’t care about educating the viewers, and they care about money and ratings; they pollute young minds and isolate us from the real issues the society is facing – like budget cuts, global warming, visiting forces agreement, oil price hikes and land reform.

I don’t hate TV, as I said it’s helpful. I just hate the fact that people nowadays make watching it as a habit. That instead of doing productive things like reading, painting, exercising, planting in the garden, washing your clothes, having a date, arousing, organising and mobilising; they sit, lie or do their best position in front of the TV. I hope it’s not too late for us to think critical about TV and mass media.

*One-eyed devil was the term used by our elementary principal to address a television. He said it offers us almost everything that it influences us to be evil in deeds, in words and in thoughts.


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