For the past fifteen years, I have avoided the television. I get my news from the internet, and I don’t watch any shows on TV other than tennis matches. I do watch movies, but I get them from Netflicks, so there are no commercials. My attitude has to do with trying not to be influenced by the spin guys, be it politicians, religious people pushing their brand of crap, or corporations selling products.
My own sense is that the acquisition of self-knowledge has been made more difficult by the modern world. More and more human beings live in vast urban environments, surrounded by other human beings and the creations of human beings. The natural world, the traditional source of self-awareness, is increasingly absent.
Furthermore, within the last century we have come to live in a compelling world defined by electronic media. These media have evolved at a pace that is utterly alien to our true natures. It is bewildering to live in a world of ten-second spots, each one urging us to buy something, be different, do something, vote for some candidate, or to think something different. Human beings in the past were not so assaulted.
I think that this constant assault has made us pliable in an unhealthy way. Cut off from direct experience, cut off from our own thoughts, feelings, and sometimes our own sensations, we are only too ready to adopt a viewpoint or perspective that is spoon fed to us, and is not our own.
My refusal to watch TV is a feeble attempt to keep my thoughts as pure to my experience as possible.