Michał Karzyński

The Power...

I have not been watching television for over 4 months now. What helped me most, was the fact that I don’t have a TV here in Bradford, but I wanted to try living without TV anyway. There are TV rooms available for me and most of my friends own receivers, so it would not be a problem to watch ‘the telly’ had I chosen to do so. But I chose not to.

“The power of trust”

I must say that after four months, you look at television differently. If you see it everyday, you get used to it and accept it as it is. However, if you see it for the first time after a long break, what you see is horrifying.

“The power of experience”

I visited a friend yesterday, and his kids were watching TV. When I came into the room I saw two (otherwise very active and talkative) children staring silently at the screen. A commercial was on, showing scenes from movies and shows. Each picture lasted less then a second. Less then the blink of an eye, almost subliminal and the colours were brighter and more attractive than any you could see in the world. The children were sitting there hypnotised, while a soft voice was explaining that they can buy a new packed of cable TV, to get even more shows!

“The power of reporting”

Today I went to buy some food from a restaurant. While waiting for my order, I noticed that CNN was on. First some business news was on. The formula was similar to that of the commercial: pictures were shown (none of the pictures lasted more than a few seconds), while a voice speaking very, very quickly was explaining the rise and fall of certain stock options on the market.
After a few ‘spots’ like that, a commercial came and advertised CNN itself. Formula again the same: sub-second images from various news reports, shown in full colour and a soft seductive voice saying:

“The power of CNN”

A lot has been said about TV making people stupid, so much so, that hardly anyone listens anymore. But not enough has been said about how much you can gain if you just stop watching it.

Why does TV make us stupid?
This is fairly simple and most people know it, yet they choose to ignore it… If you have a screen which displays constant movement, your attention is drawn to it. The images which you see don’t last long, you don’t have enough time to consider what you’re looking at, before the next one arrives. Thus you must resign to sit there mindlessly as your brain is bombarded by superfluous information.

The images we see are meant to be very attractive: colourful, sexy, funny and/or ‘important’. We are taught to enjoy this activity and many people consider it to be a rest! But it is not a rest, it is one of the most draining activities. After watching TV for some time, your brain gets tired because it cannot keep up with all this information.
Many people say that in that situation their brain just ‘switches off’, thus allowing it to rest. I agree that it switches off, but it isn’t resting. How many times after watching tv for hours did you get up with this great feeling of rest? If you stop watching TV do you feel fresh and awake like after you wake up?

The fact is that your brain does switch off, and it stays off.
Watching TV drains you intellectually. How do I know? Well try not watching TV for a couple of months and you’ll see.
I am now more active and creative then ever. After “I quit TV” I suddenly had much more time for myself. More time to read, more time to rest, more time to party.
Suddenly I have all these ideas, all these thoughts come to me, I don’t even have time to write them down, but I enjoy them immensely. You should really try it!

I wonder… Maybe someday people will realize how healthy quitting TV is and we’ll shake this habit like we’re trying to get rid of smoking now.

Do we have to have proof that TV causes stupidity like we have proof that smoking causes cancer? Do we need a ‘Psychiatrist General Warning’? I hope not, because we will have to wait very ling for that…