Watching TV and Living, For Real

I was watching a TV episode, and a guy was killed by a group of vampires, in a jacuzzi. The vampires were female, and of course he thought they were just women who were interested in him. One minute he thought he was going to get some action, and the next minute they attack him, he tries to get away, and they tear him apart. The water turns red with his blood, they pan out, up high, then they move on to another scene.

It’s a horrible scene to think of. And even though they didn’t show every detail, but I still ended up feeling bad for the guy, and bothered by the scene. I took a breath and had a “…man, what did I just watch,” moment.

What is it like when each of us watches something disturbing on TV? I’m sure some of us just stop watching and move on. Some of us tell ourselves it wasn’t real. Which it wasn’t.

But does that desensitize us a little bit to what we just witnessed? Does it put us in a situation where we care a little less about the pain and well-being of others? About others happiness and pleasure? About their frustration and their fear?

Does TV make us a little less empathetic to others? Everytime we process something and we have to tell ourselves it isn’t real, does it make it less potent when it really happens?

Or does it make it more potent, more immediate, and extreme?  What if watching TV makes the outside world seem intimidating?

Are people more real, more intense, and more lively in person, because we watch television? Or are they less interesting? It depends on how television affects you, and how respond to repeated contact with something.

Some people turn off to the things they see, both the negative, and the positive ones. Some people are emotionally open to the things they see, and their understanding deepens, the more they experience. These people reflect on their lives, and they grow. They are more than just spectators.

They live their lives, and don’t just experience them. What if life, versus mere experience, is the difference between reflection, and growth… versus stagnation, which is a process of entropy.  Both are processes of change, but growth is supportive, and moves us forward. The other, stagnation, is about moving backward.

What type of life do you want to live?