What knowledge about the outside world did your parents shield you from?

What an interesting question — thanks!

My parents divorced when I was barely a year old, and I bounced back and forth between them for all of my youth. Their parenting styles were very different, and they were very different kinds of people with very different interests and values, but interestingly they both tried mightily to shield me from the same thing: Television. Radio was fine, but they felt TV was corrosive. I’m not really sure why they both felt so strongly about this, and they are both gone now, so I can’t ask them. But my sense is that my mom didn’t want me exposed to violence and horror (both fictional and in the news), and my dad just thought TV was a frivolous waste of time — a trivial and valueless distraction. My mom didn’t have a TV in her home at all, and the one at my dad’s was a tiny black-and-white set that spent most of its time stored in a closet.

As a consequence, even as an adult, when a TV is turned on in a room I am mesmerized by it. I can’t hold a conversation with someone or really even take my eyes off the screen. I’m fascinated! I never got into the habit of watching much TV — perhaps one or two shows during the 90’s when I was living alone. Even then, I always found the advertising very invasive and frustrating, and would usually turn off the show I was watching as the frequency and duration of commercials increased towards the end of the show.

One of my primary recreational activities, however, was watching movies in the theater. Oh boy did I love movies! And now that digital streaming is available I do gobble up movies from my living room couch.

But as for broadcast TV, or even cable, I just don’t watch anything they offer except occasional news broadcasts.

My 2 cents.


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