It is okay to watch TV, as long as we are doing so with our critical thinking turned on (we use the Trivium), since most programs are meant to bypass our critical thinking and pull at our feelings, so that they can then condition our minds with their programs. Our critical thinking acts as a type of virus protection and firewall against the external programs that seek to make our minds their home, but without our virus protection and firewall, we are completely defenseless. Watching TV with our critical thinking filters on allows us to look for the patterns that are being conveyed within the programs, so that we can analyze them, and even remove our susceptibility that they are attempting to exploit. Each television program (it’s called a program for a reason) has a theme that it is meant to convey and program into the viewer; let’s examine the CBS hit television show “The Big Bang Theory” as an example.
In most episodes, we get to see one of the characters acting in an entitled and usually obnoxious manner towards one or more of their friends, at which point the one who is getting overtly offended stands up to the perpetrator, and offends the perpetrator for having good boundaries. At some point in the show, their peers will put pressure on the one who attempted to protect themselves from the obnoxious behavior, to coerce them into apologizing to the obnoxious bully for their self-care. Again and again we are shown the pattern of bad behavior being enabled, and it is repeated in funny and comical ways. In the end, the bully always wins because that’s what friends are “supposed to do” to support each other.
This pattern has far reaching implications within social settings, but also within the context of our compliance to our government and authoritarian structures. For example, if our government acts in an unreasonable fashion towards some of its people, our patterning that was reinforced through network television and media will cause us to act in submission and servitude, to make peace with our government, since it’s the “patriotic” and responsible thing to do as a citizen.
In social settings where we are treated irrationally, we then reason, “they are after all our friend or partner, and we chose to have them in our life,we should support them, right?”
When our government treats us irrationally, we then reason “they are after all our government, we ‘elected’ them into office, we should support them, right?”
Definitely NOT, for we as sovereign beings are allowed to say no to unreasonable requests, and we do not have to feel guilty or ashamed when we feel that it is necessary to enforce our boundaries. It is not our duty as a friend, lover, or citizen to enable poor and irrational behavior to unreasonable bullies. While saying “NO” is a good first step, it is important to treat each situation as a mirror that’s reflecting back to us one of our own susceptibilities to such behavior; so that we can discover why we are vulnerable to the attacks through asking ourselves questions, and processing our emotions. The process of self-analyzing our thoughts and feelings empowers us to upgrade our virus protection and firewall, just as watching these shows with a critical mind allows us to reflect on our own state of being, and to be introspective of our emotional triggers.