Last month I had my cable, which I spent most of the hot summer months, semi-addicted to, turned off. I hadn’t been watching it for the most part over the past few months and I was just paying far too much for it. Cool on-demand features and all. I’ve gone without TV before. For a year on my mission, and for a time in New York. I enjoy reading, writing, listening to podcasts and music and actually having conversations with people.
But I’m starting to feel it as a different experience this time around. I live alone, for one. Which wasn’t a factor on either of the other occasions. Any work I do is from home. And living far enough away from the rest of my friends and family to make popping over for a quick visit a bit unreasonable, I find myself at home, alone, a lot. Phone calls have been almost entirely replaced by texts, emails, and planning via Facebook. I’m feeling a bit like an island that the waters of the world roll and rumble past.
I suppose I’d gotten used to at least having the background noise of voices rambling on from time to time, making the place feel a bit more…lived in. There’s almost an eerie reluctance to sit in my living room now, where it seems the lifeless thing should be chattering away. But after I think about it for a while, I decide that it’s nice to have one less distraction. One less thing camouflaging the reality of my life. It’s good that I now notice that I spend so much time at home alone. It makes it easier want to make plans to get out of the house and visit friends or even look forward to the social hum of grocery shopping.
I wonder when technology started being such a substitute for the human connection. Immediately, I suppose, but it seems to have grown exponentially in the past decade at least. We feel connected, through our networks and our updates and “knowing” what is going on with everyone we’ve ever met. But are we? And, what will the far future hold? How much is the human race really capable of changing before our nature forces a revolution of sorts? Random thoughts. I know.
As for me and my little experiment… I’ve decided to keep the television unplugged until I no longer miss it anymore.