“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
(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.
I 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