Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What are you giving up for Lent?

How about television?

Now that would be a penance for most of us. And it would probably do most of us a lot of spiritual good. While I was in college -- not so long ago -- I didn't have access to a television my senior year. It was amazing how much I didn't miss it after a while, and amazing how much I started to get a distaste for many of my "favorite" shows. Suddenly, it was like the mask was pulled away and I realized "This show really is senselessly violent. This other show really does mock my core values. This show is simply a waste of my time."

It's not that I don't enjoy several television shows right now, but when I read the beginning of a recent CNS story I had to read the rest:

Television is like the weather. Everybody complains about it, but nobody does anything about it.

But what if the one thing that could be done about it is nothing?

You could simply turn off your TV. And keep it off.

Later, there is this interesting tidbit:

Chris Rose, an attorney who lives in Sutton, Alaska, in an essay published in the Anchorage Daily News, cited a study by Rutgers psychologist Robert Kubey which found that millions of Americans are so hooked on TV that they fit the criteria for "substance dependence" as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Those symptoms include using TV as a sedative; indiscriminate viewing; feeling loss of control while viewing; feeling angry with oneself for watching too much; an inability to stop watching; and feeling miserable when kept from watching.

"It's really not too far of a stretch to liken people being 'on' TV with people being 'on' drugs," Rose concluded.

If you quit TV for Lent, you may be doing yourself and your family a favor.

If you feel like you're watching too much television, think about giving this a try during Lent and get the rest of the story here

1 comment:

Ann said...

That is so funny. My daughter is giving up tv for Lent and last night we all sat in the den last and had a real conversation.

It was pretty cool because we always complaing we are too busy!!