Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Confessions of a Former TV Addict
Some time around age nine, television supplanted books as my main diversion. I was finished with "The Babysitters' Club," "Sweet Valley High" and "The Secret Garden." In their place was "Thundercats," "Gummi Bears," and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." During summers, I watched "Another World" and "Days of Our Lives" (only the latter soap opera is still on; it's amazing how little has changed).
We didn't have cable, so my options were limited to the five or six over-air channels, but I memorized the programming on each of those stations. I even knew what was playing in Dayton, which was usually staticky, but came in handy when a Reds game was preempting my shows (this was long before I was a hardcore baseball fan).
Through junior high and high school, I wasn't a social creature; rather than my classmates, I hung out with Brenda, Dylan, and the gang from Beverly Hills: 90210 on Wednesday nights. I could easily watch four hours a night, doing my homework during commercials.
Luckily, I weaned myself off of heavy television-viewing during college; now, I mostly watch it streaming, over Netflix (we're currently on the second season of 30 Rock), just a half-hour a day, or Sundays at my grandma's, where we watch the Reds, some cable news, and HGTV.
Sometimes I think about all those lost hours. I could have read a couple hundred novels--or perhaps written two.