Does TV Really Matter?

I know I spend too much time watching TV and I frequently say I'm "addicted" to certain shows. But it came to my attention this week that it's not so much about addiction as it is just laziness or habit.

I'm a huge American Idol fan and I've been pulling for Chris Daughtery, hometown North Carolina boy and rocker extraordinaire, to win. If you watch the show, you know that Chris--to the astonishment of the nation--was voted off this week. Blair and I were chatting about it and I was speculating on who might win now. Then it hit me.

"Oh my gosh," I said. "We're going to miss the finale. We'll be on our trip!"

Blair looked at me and shrugged. "I don't really care," he said. "Do you?"

I thought for a moment and realized to my surprise that, eh, I really don't.  Not when there were so many other exciting things for us to be doing. But that's what I mean about habit and laziness. I'd watch the show if I were home, even though I just admitted I don't really care who wins or not.  I'd watch it because it's there. Now, is that "addiction" or is that I'm just too lazy to find other--better--things to occupy my time?

Same realization with The Amazing Race--another show I'm "addicted" to.  We forgot to record it on Wednesday night and then realized that we didn't really care that we missed an episode. That kind of freed us up to admitting that if we didn't care about an episode, we really didn't care about the final outcome, which we'll also miss while we're on our trip. It got me to thinking that if I don't care about the final outcome of these shows, why watch in the first place?

Don't misunderstand--I'm not saying TV is bad or wrong. Sometimes vegging in front of the TV is the exact right thing to be doing to blow off steam and relax. My point is that convincing myself I "must" see these shows isn't doing myself any favors. A big trip isn't going to come along each week to remind me that I really don't care that much about them and could be spending my time in more fruitful ways.