“Today the average person will have spent nine years of their life doing something that is not an essential human endeavor: watching other people, often people they don’t know. I’m talking, of course, about watching TV.
When asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, 54% of 4- to 6-year-olds in the U.S. preferred television. The average American youth spends 900 hours a year in school and 1,200 hours a year watching TV.” This is from an article you can read here. http://www.dailygood.org/2014/09/11/9-ways-in-which-the-culture-of-watching-is-changing-us/
Those in my generation might remember when there was no television and certainly no computers and cell phones. One might say our world was smaller, and it was, but I liked it. Today we are voyeurs, looking at everyone else to see how we should be, should look, what we should eat, and who we should admire or hate. I wonder if and how anyone today grows up with a mind of his own.
Children are constantly influenced by people they watch on TV or online. Sadly, the watched ones are often not the best examples for our kids to follow. When we think about how little juvenile delinquency we had when I was a kid, I think it was because the adults and those we emulated were our own family, our neighbors or perhaps a movie hero we saw on Saturday matinees.
Look at what is watched on television today: graphic crime scenes where people are shot, electrocuted, tortured and cut to pieces. Young people don’t bat an eye when they see murder night after night on TV. When I was a kid I never saw a murder except in a movie and it was a brief scene that alluded to how the man was killed. I didn’t see blood oozing out of his mouth as flies ate away at his eyeballs, or see his intestines spill out on the ground from a horrific slash in his belly. Today those scenes feed some hungry desires of teens and young adults.
I don’t know of many older people, over fifty, who like those gory pictures or shows that rely on them. I don’t know why anyone is surprised when they hear of teenage children murdering their parents or cutting off the heads of an older couple in order to steal from them. This is taught on TV night after night right in the family living room or in the kids’ bedrooms.
Today, in a class I’m taking, the book, Orange is the New Black, was recommended as a good memoir. I’ve not read the book, but the Netflix movie is nothing but Lesbian porn. Although the story and some of the characters entice me to watch, I turn away from the ultra-graphic sex scenes. The movie could have been made without such depictions, and I am disappointed in the producers who allowed this degradation of women. I see this movie as another way to push the progress of women back a step, and the young women viewers of this trash don’t get it. Once again women are made into sex objects on the screen, and I am sure many men watch this only for the certainty that there will be nude women having sex in more than one scene each episode.
Gay women are portrayed in an even worse manner than most heterosexual people could imagine. If women behave in such lewd fashion in prison, I don’t need to know it and I certainly don’t want to see it. This is one case where I’d prefer tell, don’t show. I don’t want to go into anyone’s bedroom and watch them having sexual intercourse. That is a private matter – on screen and off.
We have become a culture of watchers and being watched. Anyone can photograph us at any time without our permission and make those photos available to the entire universe. We have no right to stop it. Our society is ravenous for more people to see or watch. We become more sedentary or if we go to the gym, we watch TV from our treadmills.
I admire the people who still get out there and experience life, who hike, bike, ride horses, walk and run; people who observe nature and the wonders to behold there. I miss being able to ride as I once did. How I’d love to be able to take a long walk in the woods; climb up to the head of a waterfall, or climb aboard a horse and trail ride.
I am selective in the TV shows I watch, often recording the best ones to watch at a convenient time. I am a big fan of public radio and public television now because PBS has more adult dramas, many of them English. I have never enjoyed the reality shows and I don’t think I ever will. But that is what is popular with younger audiences, the voyeurs of today, so I think they will be around for a long time.