I am a television addict.

I realized this while watching a second episode in a row of Grey’s Anatomy. It was a shitty TV episode, watched right after another shitty episode on a shitty TV show that I quit watching because it was shitty like three years ago. But I couldn’t help it. With online streaming and Hulu, it almost seems like more effort not to watch it.
It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. About a month ago, I binge-watched the complete Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, but once that was done, I felt a compulsion to fill it with something else. Recently, I’ve been feeling the effects that this kind of watching has been having on my concentration and attention span. Anything over a half-hour of television, and I’ll inevitably mouse over to my web browser to check my e-mail, or Fark.com, or something to read while the episode comes on. I can only make it through a movie when I’m watching with other people. At this point, it hasn’t been interfering with my work or music, but I know that I’m not practicing as much as I should be. It’s not where I want to be.
It has physiological consequences as well, especially with my sleep patterns. I often get about a quarter-day off if I’ve been up late with people on weekends, or if I need to pull a late night for school. But it’s gotten to the point where I can’t sleep without the ambient sounds of dialogue to nod off to.
I don’t think that television is evil, or anything like that. In fact, I’m really glad to be alive at this time. There is more, better, television than at any point in the medium’s history, and it hasn’t yet gone to the point where the networks realize that TV will never be as profitable as in the past and stop putting money into it. It’s an art form like any other, and like any other, just because most of it is crap doesn’t mean that there is no value in the rest.
So I think I’m going to just become more selective. I’m going to pick 7 shows, one for every night, and limit myself to watching just one hour during the week (I think it’s ok to relax on the weekends). It’s always been my dream to be primarily a content creator, not a content consumer. I think I can think of better things to do with my time.

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