We live in an age of media saturation. From every corner we’re bombarded by someone’s message (like this one you’re reading right now). There is an element of freedom with that as well as a danger of information overload. For the most part, our brains learn to filter out and ignore the things we don’t want in. But in this information age, the we are learning our to use less of our brain in area of function as we absorb spoon fed media alternatives. One of these is the television.
There was a study done by Ohio State University which saw a negative affect on children between the ages of three and six when the television was a a major factor in their environment. On the flip side, there has been studies done where the correlation between television and intelligence was a good thing though even in that study there were instances where television was a hindrance.
The reason I start off with that is because the television can be a huge distraction to the novelist. Instead of writing, we’re watching some lame show that is not really stimulating intellectually to help us in our writing though we try to convince ourselves that it’s time well spent keeping up with the fiction that’s out there. Uh uh. Sorry. No dice.
I’m in agreement with the many studies that have been done, that heavy doses of television makes you stupid. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t have cable. Exorbitant prices is at the top of that somewhere as well with meaningless programming on too many channels at the very top. I tend to watch Netflix exclusively. But even with that you can over do it, especially if you fall in love with a television show that you thoroughly enjoy (can anyone say Young Justice? Brave and the Bold? Spectacular Spider-Man? I’m seeing a pattern here). Yes. I have been guilty of this.
So, I’ve decided to challenge myself because I don’t like to waste time because time is life and I have a lot of things to write. So, for the next 30 days, I will not be watching any television with the exception of 24 (I’m so sorry but I’ve been waiting for my boy Jack Bauer to come back for a good minute now so I won’t deprive myself of that luxury). I don’t want much television to begin with but I wanted to use that time to do one of two things: write or read. And increase in both of these is good. One makes it so I get more work done writing while the other exercises my creativity and imagination…which I need for writing my novels.
I invite you to join me and share your experience with me if you’d like. I’ll give you a weekly play-by-play as I go through mine.
Now. Time for me to go and try to finish up this Robert Jordan book.