- Do Young People Watch Too Much T.V.? -

"Nothing's worth doing if you're not on television, because nothing's worth doing if you're the only one to see it. So, if being on television makes you a better person, then if everyone were on television, wouldn't that make everyone a better person? Wait a minute, though, if everyone were on television, there would be no one to watch -- and nothing's worth doing if no one's watching, right?"

-- About the only insightful thing said at the end of "To Die For"
Do we, as young people, watch too much television? Do we, as individuals, watch too much television? Do we watch too little? Isn't thirty hours a week just a little excessive? Not if you look closely at it. At least that's not the real problem in todayUs society. You see, it's not necessarily how much we consume -- how much television we watch, in this instance -- but how we discern what we view. If we were all more adept at discerning the content of the media, perhaps we would watch less in the end anyway. What I mean is that we, as a people, have been consumed by what was originally created for us to consume. Mesmerized by pulsating electrons, we are being pulled ever so slowly, yet forcefully, into an intriguing and sometimes frightening world of fantasy and distorted fact, of which we know little in reality, if anything at all.

People have stopped caring about things that don't seem to directly affect them, but that are more real concerns than anything produced by Disney or Columbia lately. There are so many Rgood causesS out there to name, and it becomes that enough sometimes really is enough. People get tired and fed-up of having to fork over thirty dollars to help save the whales and whatnot to even bother listening anymore. They slam their doors, and plug their ears until they reach their living rooms. Turning to the tube for entertainment and relaxation can be one thing, but people now seem to care more about the lives of the fictional characters portrayed on TV, while ignoring the people they meet in their day-to-day lives. It's sad, because in doing so, even the news media cannot get through to these zombie-like creatures, so quickly multiplying as more seemingly useless information comes their way.

The more people chew on information they donUt ask for, the closer they come to choking without ever even swallowing a mouthful. And this information, when you consider that 80 percent of it is blatant advertising most of the time, is pretty useless in the grand scheme of things -- yet we love it so much, and consume mass quantities of said garbage. Why? Because it's one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Someone once said that to get whatever your message is across to as many people as possible, your best bet is on television -- the medium of choice, in North America at least. But why is that? I think it has to do with the illusion most of television creates. An artificial feeling of belonging with no real obligations. People can watch the news all they want, or any show for that matter, but no person can force them to care (this is what I was getting at at the end of the previous paragraph) -- they can always pull the plug if they like. Advertisers know this, so they cater to these zombies instead of producing quality, and in doing so, create more and more zombies -- which leads, ultimately, to . . . oh gosh, sorry, gotta go . . .Seinfeld's on!

Chebucto Connections YOUTH CORNER
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Last Month: May 1996