I can’t watch that.

All we need is love more fear and fighting.

“The Walking Dead.”

Everybody and their brother wants me to watch that show. Josh loves it. Lots of my friends whose taste I respect recommend it and tell me to watch. Try one episode, they say; you’ll love it, they say…

I’ve explained it and explained it: I can’t watch that shit.

Why? It’s SUCH A GOOD SHOW ZOMG!!! Because I’m effing crazy, that’s why. I already hallucinate and talk in my sleep, I don’t need to throw gas on that fire in the way of zombies, dead people, and violence. Can’t do it, boss. No way. I do not need that kind of shit coming back when the Nighttime Crazy hits.

It’s the same reason I won’t watch “Breaking Bad” with Josh (actually, he said I’d really like it, but agreed that I shouldn’t watch it).

I no longer pollute my consciousness with crap negativity.  

(Because let’s be honest, I still take in plenty of crap TV and internet!)

But the negativity? It’s OUT. I have no room for that shit in my head or my life.

It started when I had Ava. Josh and I used to be total “Law & Order: SVU” junkies. Marathons! ALL THE LAW! ALL THE ORDER!

Yeah, having a tiny baby and watching shows about serial-killer-rapist-torturer-sociopaths that like to hurt kids? That doesn’t fly. I couldn’t watch it anymore. And thus began the purge…

I used to watch the local news religiously. We gave up our DVR (I’m not responsible enough to have that many channels) and once I wasn’t watching TV all the time, I wasn’t really watching the news, either. Hey! It’s kind of nice. I get the major headlines from social media online and I skip the terribly depressing shit that is the local news cycle. It’s not deliberate ignorance….but it kind of is. Sure, I miss stuff, but it’s better this way overall. I feel things too much and too deeply to be fed a steady stream of all that is wrong with the world. It will literally keep me up at night.

Having just Netflix and Hulu Plus makes it very easy to control my media consumption (both in quality and quantity!). We don’t pirate, so what we can get on those is what we watch. Not pirating means I’m also careful about what I pay to download on iTunes. Fringe benefit of keeping it all on the up & up. /tangent

So. No shows about kid murder+no local news=much clearer head for me.

loved horror movies and suspense films as a teenager. Books, too; I read ALL the RL Stine books in middle school (‘memba those?!). You couldn’t pay me to watch that shit now. I just don’t have room for that shit in my consciousness, especially my subconscious.

And now, I’ve applied the same principle to most of the media I consume. Music? Positive. Not always, but the vast majority of the time. The lyrics need to say something that I *want* to be kicking around in my brain, that I’m ok having burnt into all the levels of my consciousness. Ragey stuff? Not so much. Occasionally, because there’s a time and a place for it, but not often. Depressing stuff? I don’t need a kick into the rabbit hole I’m already pretty likely to fall down on a good day. The song can sound like anything, but the message needs to basically be positive.

Lest you think I’m all fluff here, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and fluffy stuff. I just monitor what I mentally consume. If it’s going to bring me down, I either skip it, or if it’s something I need to see/hear/read, I tread carefully. I don’t get lost in a sea of clicks from one horrifying news story to the next, or spin down a spiral of one blue song after another. It’s not good for me, and I’ve identified that and changed my behavior accordingly. The thing is, I probably *would* like those shows…I just choose to avoid what they have to offer my brain.

I don’t honestly get the people who are willingly paying attention to the violent/ragey/negative/depressing stuff all the time. Sure, those things are part of life and show up just about everywhere…but deliberately pursing stuff that’s full of those things? I just don’t see how it can do anything but draw you in…and who wants to be drawn into that stuff?

So, who else had to quit kid-violent TV after becoming a parent? And does anyone else deliberately avoid getting sucked into negative media consumption?

Hey. Maybe I’ve just become an oversensitive ninny. It’s entirely possible!

image via AMC.com

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{ 19 comments… add one }

Leave comment love! Or hate. I’m equal-opportunity like that.

  • Jennifer Wieczorek March 6, 2013, 1:18 pm

    WORD TA YA MUTHER,Amy!!! Spot on how I guide my children’s and my outside stimuli.I haven’t had cable in 25 yrs and I KNOW we’re not missing a thing.We have the minds I want us to have.POSITIVE!

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    • amy March 6, 2013, 1:33 pm

      Ha, I love this comment!

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  • Amy December 1, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I’ve never watched “The Walking Dead” either, but my husband and two sons love all the zombie stuff. Also, because my husband teaches Political Science the news is on a lot. More than I want it to be. I get to listen to all the talking heads and the spin. If I’m home alone, I don’t even turn the TV on. I like a good suspense thriller and watch the dark stuff occasionally, but I can see how that could start to change people if that’s all they took in. I think sometimes people take that stuff in when their own lives are like that just to make sense of things.

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    • amy December 1, 2012, 1:37 pm

      I think you’re right about people taking in things that may reflect where they’re at in their own lives. I get making sense of it, but by the same turn, taking in more positive stuff could be a step toward a more positive life, too. Food for thought, I guess.

      I studied poli sci and I’d go bat-shit crazy if I had to hear the talking heads all the time! SO obnoxious. Eep.

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  • Ericka @ Creative Liar November 29, 2012, 11:10 am

    I’ve cut out a lot of ick in my life since having Ava, but The Walking Dead is still a guilty pleasure. I’m infatuated with the idea of a society with no rules and how very quickly people lose their humanity given certain situations. It’s actually quite relevant in today’s world, especially the online world where people act according to a different set of “rules.” I do commend your decision to take a more peaceful approach to how you live, though. Everyone could use a little more of that.

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    • amy November 29, 2012, 12:47 pm

      It seems like maybe TWD isn’t as bad as I think? I don’t know. The more people talk about it, the more fascinated I am.

      Didn’t realize you had an Ava, too. All the best girls have that name. :)

      Reply Link
      • Ericka @ Creative Liar December 1, 2012, 8:47 am

        To be honest, I love zombie movies anyways but this one is really interesting because it’s very true to life. It’s what I’d imagine would really happen although it seems like nobody wears glasses or contacts in it which always disconcerts me. I’m seriously debating Lasik for the sheer possibility of the zombie apocalypse so I don’t trip on a stump and am left for dead. And yes, this is exactly how my brain works.

        Agreed, on the Ava theory. :)

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  • Karen November 28, 2012, 6:36 pm

    I can’t watch any of that shit, but I couldn’t before my boys were born because I’m the worlds biggest pussy.

    That said, my husband won’t watch any crime show now. He gets so angry about the idea of watching child rape/murder/abuse as entertainment. He says he just sees the boys and me when he sees the victims. He is a laid back guy, but he gets crazy angry when the shows are on. I can’t watch SVU either, but NCIS is like crack to me. When I was on bedrest before my first was born it got me through the day. It’s almost as good as an ativan to me, so soothing, so stupid. Z storms out of the room if I have it on….

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:11 pm

      NCIS is usually pretty fake, that one doesn’t really bug me….it doesn’t have the sick/twisted elements of Law & Order. It’s almost a parody to me, actually. Serious Crime Show! :)

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  • John (SocietyRed) November 28, 2012, 4:57 pm

    When my kids were young I pretty much stopped watching everything other than Winnie-the-Pooh and The NeverEnding Story. My grown-up son still gives me crap because I wouldn’t let him watch The Simpsons when it first came out. I gave up on tv news years ago; as trustworthy as a used car salesman…
    You are not alone…

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Hahaha, good on you for saying no to the Simpsons! He should thank you.

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  • Emily November 28, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Oh my, this is me. Exactly me! I had to stop watching Law & Order and CSI when I started having crazy dreams. I have way too much anxiety, and much too much empathy to watch anything of the sort. I just sent your post to my husband, who is no doubt laughing at work, knowing full well I could have written this myself! You are not alone, sister.

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:12 pm

      Good! We can watch rom-coms together and ignore all the sick and twisted shit in the world!

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  • Camille McConnell November 28, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Headphones. That is mainly the change in my viewing. I guess I don’t watch some of the shows I had, mostly because they just weren’t awesome enough. I don’t get to watch “my” shows often enough for mediocre ones to stay in the mix.
    I for sure dislike the twisted sexual stuff. Not for me. As far as horror films and stuff I guess I am picky. If it is warped dark shit, I am not into it, but society collapsing in a post-apocalyptic thing works for me.
    You and your nightmares SHOULD probably stay away from shows like The Walking Dead, I have never seen Breaking Bad so I can’t say anything there. Lucky for you, Josh will know what to do when the zombies come! hahahahahahahaha :) <3

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:08 pm

      I could probably watch society collapse and be OK lol.

      If I had to wear headphones, I’d be a LOT more picky, too!

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  • Jaimie November 28, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I still love watching criminal minds – I can’t help it. And I love the action shows – burn notice, covert affairs, the mor e thinking ones like White collar etc. Don’t watch the news… like ever and if there’s a CM episode involving kids I have a lot of problems watching it. L&O – i find it funny – that’s what was on for like 4 days after I had mikki and in the labor room – only station with anything decent – M can’t stand to watch it now… i’ve also given up on it – just seen enough of them. It’s a balance but I Totally get what you are saying… :)

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:07 pm

      Ha, yeah seeing a certain amount of Law & Order (of any variety)….there’s a ceiling on that!

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  • Christine (Girl on Fire) Reed November 28, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Thich Nhat Hanh writes about this a lot…being aware of “what seeds you water” is how he would put it. We all have fear, anger, etc. in us, and we need to acknowledge and not repress, but do we need to water it and grow it?

    One thing I have learned…I can watch “scary” as long as it’s really fake, like bad horror flicks or sci-fi that is just out of this world. I canNOT watch scary if there is a psychological or warped sexual bent to it. For example, shows with a lot of emotional manipulation, cheating people…that stuff gives me more nightmares than a lot of killing!

    AND I have learned that some of the scary stuff actually has a cathartic effect on my brain and I sleep like a baby afterwards.

    It’s all about figuring out how to water our better seeds. Each of us needs to do this for ourselves. :)

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    • amy November 28, 2012, 8:06 pm

      Exactly. I don’t want to feed the ick, and I’ve pinpointed some of the stuff that is in the “ick” category for me. Like you, super out-there sci-fi like Dr. Who or Firefly is totally fine….it’s when there’s a realistic bent or things are *really* twisted that I get hung up (um, hello Saw movies!).

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