Could I survive a year without TV?
Yes, of course. Technically. We know from historical fact that the world survived at least 350 years before televisions roamed the earth. So we do know that television is not essential to the life essence of a human being, which I count myself as being one.
However, seeing as science has proven we are all mutating to adapt to our environment, I suspect that humanity may have evolved to have formed a symbiotic relationship with television. I think now we may need TV to survive. When I was in Kenya I noticed that most of the houses in the slums had a TV. It seems the next thing one does after finding a corrugated iron roof is find a TV. I think in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Revised Edition) TV now fits somewhere in between shelter and mobile phone reception but well above something as pansy as self-actualisation. Though of course if you know anything about the Maslow’s rainbow pyramid (which I do), one can only self-actualise now with the help of television, seeing as it forms the foundation of the pyramid (along with food, Facebook and excretion).
Now all that said, could I survive a year with out television?
I could survive a year without Foxtel for sure. That’s just like commercial television but with worse programs and just as many ads. I could do away with that. And I have.
I could survive a year without watching free-to-air TV. I don’t have a television aerial anyway, so I probably wouldn’t notice. I might get sad around State of Origin time that I can’t have my hopes dashed once again by another dismal performance from the Blues. But that is perhaps for the best. The only program from TV I watch is Qanda, and I get that on the podcast.
I would find it difficult to stop watching TV programs. Because, I love TV programs. These days, thanks to HBO, television is like the movies only it goes for 43 minutes and has more guns and more boobs than the average movie. I’m not saying I endorse guns or boobs (although I think I endorse both within their Biblical contexts), but that is what HBO has done. Could I go a year without Community, 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, Qanda, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Treme, The Wire and The West Wing? That would be very difficult. I would be forced to watch movies. But that’s alright because I love movies. I’d just have to get good at finding good places to pause because I don’t always have 90-120 minutes free to watch a movie like I often have 22-43 minutes free to watch a TV episode.
Could I go a whole year without watching anything on a TV screen? No movies, not TV shows, no Keno ads at the RSL, no train information at the station? That would be very hard. I would have to read, a lot. I do love reading, but I tend to do it less than I watch things. Mainly because I’m lazy, and books put me to sleep. Still, were I forced to go a year, I think I could do it, it would just be very hard for me. Though I’d probably come out the other end happier and with a much better vocabulary.
That is assuming that my hierarchy of needs pyramid didn’t collapse upon me. Then I’d be dead, crushed beneath the crushing weight of my need for love, belonging and safety. Still I would die with a smile on my face, because who wouldn’t enjoy the irony of being crushed to death by safety?