I Am Angry At Television (But I Love John Green)

The Husband and I have decided to embark on an experiment together. We are not going to watch TV until Friday night. Not because we believe that TV is somehow WRONG, and not because we’re trying to be annoying by saying “Oh, we just don’t have TIME for television.”

We DO have time, and we LOVE television.

The problem is, we need to spend our time on other things, like, I dunno, playing with our daughter. Making dinner. Working out (because yeah, I’m still trying to do that). And WRITING, for the love.

And you know what doesn’t help you do any of those things? Watching marathons of The Big Bang Theory on TBS.

Cry all you want, Rajesh Koothrappali. It won’t change anything.

As much as I love TV, it just makes me so sad and overwhelmed sometimes. I’m sick of all the commercials that make me feel like I need THIS mascara or THAT toothpaste, because if I use a DIFFERENT mascara or toothpaste, well, basically I’m just a social pariah with inferior eyelashes and stained teeth.

Just because Drew Barrymore is wearing fake eyelashes while trying to convince me that CoverGirl mascara made them look like that does NOT make her a better person than me.

And I’m tired of the news teasers that ambush me with awful things I never wanted or needed to know about. “Four bodies found in a creek! Details at nine.” SHUT UP SHUT UP. There is a reason I don’t watch the news. I absorb EVERY bad thing I hear about and I will never forget it.

No, really. I will never. ever. forget it. My little brain cannot detach itself from tragedy, and the more tragic stories I hear, the more my brain collects and stores them, which results in huge feelings of angsty depression about the world.

So the question is: if TV makes me feel so BLAH, then why am I watching it?

*crickets*

Exactly.

Which is why I’m gonna stop for a while. Instead, I will do things that matter. Because TV, for all its entertainment value, doesn’t really matter.

Things I Will Do This Week Instead Of Watching TV:

–Clean our house and try to make a dent in the laundry

–Work on CREEPY FACES because, if I really want this whole writing gig to have a chance, I need to actually WRITE

–Actively play with Baby Girl instead of just trying to keep her from tearing the house apart until bed time

–Help my husband cook dinner (that’s right, ladies, he does most of the cooking); also, talk to him instead of staring at a screen all evening

–Play the Zumba game on our new Wii (maybe with my husband, if he feels like shaking his hips with me)

–Finish reading LOOKING FOR ALASKA (speaking of which, you guys were right. All of you. It IS really good.)

It’s funny–I can’t figure out why LOOKING FOR ALASKA is such a great book, but I can’t stop reading it. It’s definitely character-driven, which I normally don’t care for, but there is something about the way John Green writes that is just pulling me right in. What is it? Has anyone been able to put their finger on it?

Also DO NOT TELL ME HOW IT ENDS because I am only like halfway through.

It’s super fun to read about the city I live in, by the way. I drive by “Culver Creek” about once a week. I could drive by it every day if I wanted, but it takes longer to get to work that way, so I usually don’t.

But like, I’ve been to the McDonald’s he talks about. Which is very cool and basically means I’m a celebrity.

*clears throat*

Anyway.

I realize this whole No Television thing coordinates with Lent (doesn’t it? Today being Fat Tuesday means something, right? That Lent is about to start?)

(You’d think, being the church-type, I’d know this stuff. But alas, I stick with studying straight-up theology and therefore do not know many churchy customs.)

Well, if it DOES coordinate with Lent, that’s pretty much a complete accident. But it’s cool because now I can say LOOK! I am giving up television for Lent! Please be in awe of my SUPERIOR SPIRITUALITY!

Not that I would ever really say that, because then I’d be forced to punch myself in the face for being a turd.

Have you ever done something like this? Given up TV or something else that you felt was slowly poisoning you in some way? What was it and how did it go?

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31 thoughts on “I Am Angry At Television (But I Love John Green)

  1. Starr Parnell says:

    Crazy you post on this today, but just had major discussion with the hubs about turning off our cable! That doesn’t mean no streaming netflix, DVDs, RedBox or internet shows though ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it is crazy how I think it will free up more of my time even though I say “i just like the background noise”…. ha

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Yes–we’ll still watch movies, just not TV. Sometimes it is just too much! And how crazy is it that you were just thinking about this and discussing it with your own hubs? Great minds, Starr. Great minds. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Mary Brebner says:

    You know, I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. Actually, I thought it as I wasted an entire day off doing not much more than playing on the computer (Pinterest, if you must know) and watching TV. Did I get any writing done? No. Did I get anything off the to do list done? Just the laundry but it’s not put away yet. Did I feel good about it? No. Actually, I was pretty ticked off at myself.

    So, maybe I’ll join you in this crazy experiment. And John Green rocks. His writing is addictive, though I don’t know what the secret ingredient is. I want it, though.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Ooooh doesn’t it make you so mad when you waste days off like that? And the time goes into this weird vortex and suddenly it’s getting dark and you still haven’t showered or emptied the dishwasher, but you HAVE refreshed your Twitter timeline 46 times. I completely get that!

  3. Anna says:

    Yay for you!!! We cut off our satellite because we had 600 channels of nothing, and I am SO glad we did. We have Netflix streaming and Hulu+ now, so we’ve become a lot more selective in what we watch versus just leaving the TV on whenever we’re home. Bonus: no depressing news, and no depressing commercials. It’s so nice! I have certain shows I watch on Hulu+ every day or so, but I watch MAYBE an hour of TV a week instead of the 4 or so I used to watch every night.

    The other benefit is that I’m actually finding time to do things I used to love like crafting.

    Yay Anne!

    1. Anne Riley says:

      I need to check into that Hulu+ thing! I don’t think we want Netflix–we get most of our movies for free at the library, which basically contains an entire Blockbuster–but Hulu+ might be worth checking into. And I’d like to get crafty again too, especially with knitting!

  4. Jodi says:

    Okay…I’ll not spoil looking for Alaska, but definitely think “The Fault in Our Stars” is WAY better — although perhaps more depressing. I will say this, John Green is NOT my choice for helping me stay off anti-depressants. In fact, if I do wind up on some sort of medication, I may well send him a bill for at least a portion of the prescription. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You are 100% right about the news, by the way. Why on earth I need to know every horrible thing that has happened across the globe — especially when it’s something I can’t make better or at least send a check to people who are working to make it better — is something I’ll never understand. Apparently their catchphrase is, “If it bleeds it leads.” No wonder we’re all looking for other ways to spend our time!

    Good for you and best wishes on the Zumba!

    1. Anne Riley says:

      I finished the book. It was sad, but for some reason, it did not depress me. I’m not sure I can handle TFIOS. Maybe one day.

      And yes! The news makes me so angry! They just go for shock value most of the time, and I’m like, why would you tell me about that? Ugh.

  5. Connie Keller says:

    We don’t “have” tv simply because we’re too cheap to pay for cable. But we do enjoy streaming. Which reminds me, it’s time to catch up on Castle. But first, more editing, and then dishes, and laundry, and then Castle…

    1. Anne Riley says:

      We didn’t have it for a while, but then I had a baby and needed something to distract me from the crazy, so we got it back ๐Ÿ™‚ Rob enjoys ESPN every now and then, and it is fun to watch some things. But people might be onto something with this streaming stuff….

  6. Nick says:

    The BBT is one of the few shows I watch. I actually interviewed the cast and crew for a story in a physics magazine a couple years ago. It’s on-line, somewhere.

  7. Katie Anderson says:

    I agree with whoever said The Fault in Our Stars is WAY better, but John Green is a genius either way. And I can’t totally relate to the Big Bang marathons. Ha! I love those guys. I’ll be doomed if there’s ever a Happy Endings marathon.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      I’ve watched a couple episodes of that show, and it seems funny! And yeah, I think I’ll read more John Green. I’ll have to ask for suggestions as to which book I should get next.

  8. Harley says:

    Yay for no TV. It’s a great idea.

    And YAY THAT YOU LIKE JOHN GREEN! I’ll tell you why your drawn to his writing. It’s his raw and nerdly sexual magnetism. It’s his brain smarts. He has his way the words and it’s that you are drawn to. Maybe. Not that I’ve thought about it a lot. Agreed with Jodi, The Fault in Our Stars is even more beautiful and sexy and swoon.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Your crush is getting out of hand. I’m going to take away all your short skirts so you can’t wear them to his next speaking event. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Kidding. I think your celeb crush is hilarious.)

  9. Ansley says:

    You know, I was forced off TV when I moved back in with the parentals (b-t-dubs, that’s a secret, so don’t be telling anyone about that, ok?). My mother KINDA dominates the TV every night. At this very moment, I am upstairs in my little attic hovel (I like to pretend I’m the Little Princess) and I can hear the booms and crashes of the TV…it’s one of the following shows: CSI, NCIS, Hawaii Five-Oh, The Mentalist, NCIS Los Angeles, Castle, insert-your-favorite-predictable-cop-show-here….anyway, I’m not allowed to DVR and she dominates from 5ish to 10ish. Bo-ring. So, the shows I DO follow, I follow on Hulu or Netflix. This keeps me from the fascinating world of marathons a la ANTM.

    So….all that to say….Hulu is your friend. And it’s free. And, I’m good at laundry so if you need a hand, just let me know…I can come over after work and hang and fold.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Hulu is something we need to check into, although I think for a while we’re not going to watch anything except on weekends, when we actually have time. I’d love for you to do my laundry, except that the thought embarrasses me a bit, so maybe you could just hang out with me while I do it instead. Yes?

      1. Ansley says:

        But….I really like laundry! How about this…you can take out all the “delicates” and I’ll do the rest….

        PLUS, I need to get you your books back! I don’t have time driving by Bworld in the am and in the afternoons, you’re prob already gone. Also, I’m pretty raw after school and pretty much need to avoid humanoid contact for at least 30 minutes or I offend people. True life.

        So, books and laundry. Maybe next week? Maybe one of the nights Rob is out? Not that I don’t love me some Senor Riley, but you know how girl talk goes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Jessica Love says:

    I wish wish WISH my husband would agree to this. The TV is on from the second he gets home to the second he goes to bed, and he’s not even watching anything quality. It’s always the same crap. (I actually started a Twitter account where I randomly tweet what he’s watching. It’s @whatyiswatching if you are interested)

    He has actually made me hate most TV. Grr.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Oh my gosh, if it warranted a Twitter account, it must be bad! Bless your heart. Here’s hoping his TV habit dies hard sometime in the near future.

  11. Cathryn Leigh says:

    Zumba totally kicks butt! I’m not sure I could do it at home, but I go to a studio run by a wonderful, full of LOTS of energy, christian woman. Can’t get my hubby to go with me though. he claims he’d feel awkward, personally I think he’d rule (cause he dances, that was a my prerequsite for marriage, his was that I like riding mototcycles).

    Anyway I need to work on some of those things you list you’ll do instead of watching TV (even though I don’t actually watch TV, much)… like cleaning house and actually playing with the kids. Thankfully they are getting old enough where they don’t frustrate me because, um, well I’m a highly organized, play by the rules person and they are fly by the seat of their pants make it up as I go along people… *grin*

    :} Cathryn / Elorithryn

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Your Zumba studio sounds amazing! I went to one class locally and the teacher was kind of a jerk, so I never went back. BUT, I do hope to do it in the privacy of my own home. And I look forward to when our kid(s) are old enough to play on their own!

  12. Amy says:

    Love the new site look!

    TV isn’t so bad with us (although it definitely means sometimes I talk for five minutes until realizing my husband hasn’t even registered my presence), but Twitter is the thing I’ve recently pretty much given up. I was spending A TON of time on Twitter, even neglecting work and other things I should do to see what Twitter was saying. I had it set to update every 15 minutes on my phone, and I would update in between the auto updates, so my phone battery was drained within a couple of hours. I’m like a Pavlovian dog — if I see the red light start blinking on my phone, I have to see what it is, so it resulted in a LOT of wasted time. I haven’t deleted the Twitter app off my phone yet, but I did set it to update only when I ask it to — and most of the time, I totally forget it’s even there, so I only check Twitter maybe once or twice a day now. A total time saver and my phone can actually make it through a workday now.

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