Television was left on, like a running tap, from morning till night.
–Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
My Mom likes to say I live in squalor. The exposed cinderblock makes my apartment look like a bat cave; albeit, without the glamour of Bruce Wayne’s accessories. The lighting is harsh in some spots, and ironically, dull where I need it. Poorly insulated walls leave me exposed to Iowa’s elements – both hot and cold extremes. The reality is that this is my home, for now.
While I won’t leave the cold walls of my oh-so-humble abode (affordable housing from university), I’m reevaluating the things I own. What do I need and what could I sell? I started with my car (which is still for sale). Then, like a lion on the prowl, I stalked my apartment for things to sell. It felt like there was little left – I had already done so much paring down.
I thought about needs and must-haves versus wants. As I focused on this, my television stuck out like an eyesore. It was lurking in the corner and cost me $400 after all was said and done. Do I need a TV? Does anybody? My television is the most expensive, optional item in my home, and I hardly ever use it. Should I sell my TV?
Broadcasts were designed in a different era. The word “tune” actually meant something. To have a TV meant being connected with the world around you. Nightly news and programs were shown at certain times and channels.
Maybe it’s purely generational. Maybe it’s technological. Either way, televisions are dying off in favor of computers and tablets. This epoch includes the Internet. Instead of watching at a certain time, you can watch what you want, when you want.
But there’s a reason I can’t part with it just yet. The television can be a social avenue in the right circumstances. How many times do you lean over to your iPhone-carrying friend and ask to watch with him or her? These portable devices that we now accept as commonplace are strangely isolating when it comes to sharing content (they were only ever designed for individual consumption).
A television, on the other hand, is designed to be open and viewed by many. Whether it’s the Presidential debates, a sports broadcast, or a movie with someone special, TVs are still the best option.
That black box takes up a precious corner in my apartment, normally dormant (I don’t really watch “TV”). Maybe it’s time to invite some people over? Or, maybe it’s time to sell it?