Idiot Inside (Or Outside)?

Interesting topic, isn’t it?

I am sure all of us watch TV on a daily basis… Dont we?

Some of the people I know, don’t.. and neither do I! At least, not on a daily or weekly basis.

Why? Well… Long story, but to cut it short, we have only one TV in our house, so usually I dont get the remote in my hands…! Yes, that’s true but not the only reason… Frankly, I don’t watch TV because i think most of it is  a waste of time!

I know that is a huge claim I am making..  But this is my blog, isn’t it? hahah… kidding.

Now you will start off by saying, not everything on TV is a waste of time…That IS true…
However, how many of us watch our favorite program on TV and then leave the room or turn it off?
If you do, then hats off to you! I am impressed!
The problem with it is that its very addictive…

Since we have now hundreds of channels to choose from .. To even surf and find the channel that one is interested in, takes much longer than it used to… (‘Used to’ as in PTV and much later STN! Two channels to choose from! Power of choice!)

Some of us watch it to keep up to date with the ‘news’… My two cents on this are: try and watch a news channel for 5 minutes every hour and you will realize that how fresh is the news. All of them keep repeating the same news, clips and even interviews that they showed 3-4 hours ago… Agree? If not then just try it…
New content is something that all of these channels seek, they want us to be glued to them so that they can earn their revenues in billions… AT OUR EXPENSE! If we don’t watch them, they wont make money!

Watch this brilliant video by Alisa Miller on throwing light on what the news media is all about!
Some of you must have heard of Google Alerts. It is a FREE service that Google provides. The idea is that you can request it for any number of keyword that you want to be updated on and Google Alerts will email you about anything happening IN THE WORD about that keyword. On a ‘as it happens’, daily or weekly basis, depending on your choice.
Try it, you won’t regret it.
So much for keeping ourselves informed!

Mobile alerts from some of the news channels is also useful to know what is happening around you. 

Some of us watch it for the entertainment: Sure, by all means… only if you have a handle on it… I am not saying that after a hard days work one should NOT relax, chill out, be a couch potato….By all means!
But is there a time line? An hour? Two hours? Or as long as one you don’t doze off?

Some of us do it for the knowledge. The documentaries, intellectual discussions etc… Good, keep it up! But then, you’d rather do something that you feel passionate about. And if watching outstanding documentaries/discussions for hours is your passion, then by all means you should.

Another reason could be Spending Time With Family….
Quality time?
Farhad Karamally said this beautifully a while ago:
We have hours of quality time with the family every evening…WE WATCH ‘Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thhee’ TOGETHER! Hahaha…. get it?

Watching TV together? Family time? Something seems wrong here… isn’t it?

Did I mention Cartoon Network? Well, that’s the name my dear wife has give to the hundreds of talk shows airing on almost all channels which discuss politics or current affairs. They invite a lot guests and our elected representatives and ask them about where the country is going. Their answers would definitely give us an insight into their thinking process and love of the nation, however, don’t we already know them?
They also invite experts in every field asking them for their opinions on various subjects.
Its all good, but do you think an expert on a subject could actually predict as to what’s precisely going to happen? (Read The Black Swan… brilliant book about what people say and what actually happens.. The crach of 89 and other great stuff. A different worldview altogether)

If all the experts knew about everything then why do we have recessions and tsunamis and other things that could have been predicted and avoided but weren’t. Maybe some of the people saw these catastrophes coming, but no one listened to them coz they were either not popular or no one believed them

Coming back to TV… Now what did I leave? News, entertainment, knowledge… Anyone else?

Yes… What happened to the lots of reality shows, serials, mini serials et al… How captivating, mesmerizing, interesting, elfy-ing! You bet! But then, what do we get out of them? Get entertained, but know when to draw the line… Stop, when done! Instead of going on and on… surfing.

We all are united on one thing:

The internet has changed the way we do things… Most of the stuff that we are interested in is available online… And we can watch, read, browse through it in our own time… At our own convenience… 

Only if we could reduce the number of hours we sit front of the tube, we could do wonders with our time!

Spend it on things that are closer to your heart…Whatever happened to hobbies, past times, passion..
Taking care of our bodies, exercise? Reading? Pursuing life long learning? Following your dream?

There I go… I didn’t mean to do ‘bhashan’…. But….

DO think about what you are watching when you watch it!

At least Give it A THOUGHT!

Keep smiling…

 Be Happy…

Have a great life..

Dare to dream!

Nuruddin Abjani

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  • Mehak Khan

    Hi Sir, 

    This is the first time I am writing on some one’s blog, its fantastic, fabulous and yes too the point and one thing in that if we all just see and think what we see …will definitely do magic….. We all must calculate what we spend on what ??? 
    One more thing just want to add .. if we all just for one day write o piece of paper and then minus it fro 24 Hours …just do a magic .. bet it will change your mind of doing what you do 


    Mehak Khan

    • Thanks for the beautiful comments, Mehak.

      Good advice! If we only wrote down how much time did we spend on various activities in a given day, we could actually increase the hours in our day/weeks/life!

      Thanks once again. 

      Stay blessed.


  • My office timing is 9:30 to 7:00, So during these hours i can’t see TV and i used to watch TV only on Sunday and during holiday. Your every post is really helpful in my regular life. SO please keep sharing this type of articles. Thanks again for this good work.

  • Saleem Chandani

    Well said Sir.

    Some time ago I read an article with following list that suggests replacing few negative habits/practice with positive once. It may help readers to look at this and reflect.

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Eating Junk Food Exchange for a Piece of Fruit or Veggie

    Being Sedentary Walking Anywhere for 15 Minutes a Day

    Over Sleeping Awaken 30 Minutes Early and Meditate

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Scanning Depressing News Reports Reading a Classic

    Watching Too Much TV Learning a Skill
    Being Close-Minded Considering Another Point of View

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Decreasing Personal Contact Seeking New Acquaintances
    Growing Angry Focusing on Peace
    Preferring to Be Alone Seeking Out Community

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Losing Friendships Acquiring New Acquaintances
    Declining Social Invitations Hosting a Get-Together
    Failing to Communicate Listening More

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Spending Money Saving Money
    Wasting Funds Investing Funds
    Losing Control Documenting Control

    Instead of This: Do This:
    Lacking Gratitude Noticing Gifts
    Refusing to Look Deeper Considering the Source of Life
    Refraining from Rituals Trying New Approaches

    With regards,

    Saleem S. Chandani

    • Thanks Saleem for your extraordinary advices…

      God bless you, always.


  • Muhammad Aslam Samejo

    Till today, I spend four to five hours watching TV , from today, that time I will give to my self study .
    Thanks SIR .

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  • Anonymous

    Television is fast, cheap, and totally addictive. Television addicts exist everywhere from the Far East to the USA. The dangers of television addiction are really bigger than what you could imagine. Television is hooking an über-demographic beyond our Sub continent’s wildest dreams: It includes a wide range of viewer pool. These people watch television on daily basis for three hours or more and sometimes have to drop important activities just to be able to watch television. These wide viewer pool — and the endless post-show analysis that goes on at dinner parties, in green rooms, and even at the workplaces. Romours really dupe the wide viewer pool into believing that so and so television actor is a rich guy living in a Rs 300 million house? Did one of the chunky co-star of a certain show really performs in Xrated flicks? Did Parvathi on Ek Mulakat lie about her age? ) — is vaulting the shows into Nielsen-record territory. Last month, Star Plus’s Bidai posted the highest ratings of any show besides cricket in Indian network's history. In essence, this may as well be network crack.
    The business model is a fix that's already altering the economics of television programming. Networks are flooding their schedules with sequels to hits like~Baa Bahu Aur Beti ~ These episodes cost less than half of what it takes to crank out a single vapid episode of Sociology or Culture issue. And now, Best-Selling, Renouned writers have been sidelined along with Fussy and cranky actors and actresses demanding seven star hotel facilities in their designer made dressing rooms. By vaulting nobodies into overnight celebrities, these shows appeal to the flip side of our Sub continent’s fascination with stardom.
    Peoples resentment at being shut out of Bollywood or Lollywood’s seven-carat system, the showmakers are satiating people's needs for gossip, Peeping Tomism, and the pathetic desire to feel superior. The programs' unrehearsed moments are like fantasies, appealing to the peoples desire to be on television in the Sub continent where there is no greater achievement.
    But at what cost? As crack television 's popularity spreads, causing smart, educated people to slough off their good taste in favor of gutter glitter. The more popular the shows, the more they become selective in their casting and scripting. Masses seem more passionate about this stuff than the latest dispatches from Current Affairs and General Knowledge shows.
    Why do people want to get rich in six months? Why do keywords such as "How to become a millionaire over night" are among the popular search keywords? Why do people feel really bad when they get rejected for the first time?? Television have taught us that good guys fail, face problems, but usually solve them before the end of the serial. It never takes the Good guy more than few episodes to move from poverty to wealth, from being unknown to fame and from being sad to being absolutely happy. When your beliefs about life change, you start to assume that life events should be similar to the events you saw on the show, but unfortunately this only results in disappointment.
    Disappointment will link you to depression and so a cycle of depression and television addiction is developed. Once you have been linked to depression you will feel guilty. Usually television addiction is associated with delaying important tasks or wasting time that should be allocated to your family.
    Watching these shows will program your mind in such a way that you will became eager to do something that you have never done before. Watch a lot of drama and you will become a cry person, watch a lot of action series and you might become violent or watch a lot of horror shows and you might start to believe in ghosts. The problem with television addiction is that it might not appear as dangerous as nicotine or drug addiction but when taking a deeper look you will find that it could be a Weapon of Mass Distraction on your life. It changes your beliefs about life…Break this habit before it breaks you.

  • Ahmed

    So true Nuruddin.
    I am preaching that for years to all my friends and family here in the U.S.
    Ahmed Sayani

  • Vidit Jain

    Thats really interesting ………however I watch only one prog of 60 min on regular basis and off/on business channels. But yes most of our family members – its a part of their life…even a few hours disconnect from TV creates the unhappiness of months ……….

  • Anonymous

    nice thought Noordin Bhai..I totally agreed with u…