In 2016, I’m breaking up with television.

 

Last weekend, as my boyfriend and I began planning the move from respective sharehouses into our own place, I said something that shocked me to my very core.

We were listing all the things we’ll need in the new house – couches, fridge, washing machine, bed, tea towels, kettle, ironing board, dining table, chairs, TV, dryer, wardrobe, washing line, pegs, Tupperware, oh god, why do adults need so many things – when the words slipped out.

“Do we even need a TV?”

I regretted it as soon as I said it. I rushed to my television‘s side (where did it live again?) and caressed its dusty exterior, muttering sweet nothings in its ear.

I will never leave you, I whispered into its little speaker holes. Of course you’re coming to the new house.

And I meant it. I really did.

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TV is my late night procrastination tool. My friend when my other friends aren’t answering their Nokia flip phones. My passive-aggressive way to ignore my mum when she’s telling me to do my homework.

God, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Come to think of it — the last time I actually turned on the TV was quite a long time ago. The opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics rings a bell. Something about Guy Sebastian winning Australian Idol?

“Not to worry,” I thought, settling myself in on the couch. “We’ll just have a good, long catch up right now.”

Turns out I’d forgotten a few things about the TV-watching experience. Like that you need a remote to turn it on or change the channel or, actually, do anything.

And that remotes are notoriously sly and difficult to locate.

breaking up with television

And that the only things on during the day are talk shows, infomercials and 80s movies.

And that other people can wander past and engage you in conversation while you’re watching and you can’t tap pointedly on your headphones until they leave you alone.

And that, when said people decide to sit down and join in, you have to agree with them about what to watch.

And that, if you ever do find a show to please everyone (an impossible feat) and adjust the volume to everyone’s liking (see above re: impossible), you’ll invariably be hit with a commercial break so loud it will burst both your eardrums.

breaking up with television

Dearest, darling TV: It’s not you. It’s me. I’ve changed. I’ve grown up. My expectations have shifted.

As much as I hate to say it, I think it might be over between us.

I’m no longer interested in commercial breaks that last longer than the program.

If I can’t pause and rewind what I’m watching, I have to actually pay attention, and that’s a big ask.

I’m fed up of the reality TV finales running so far overtime that I miss the bus to work the next day.

I really don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m done with cliffhangers.

Wait, I take that back. I love cliffhangers. But I only love them when they last exactly the amount of time it takes for me to completely lose my mind, send a terrified text to everyone I know along the lines of, “HOLY SHIT I ACTUALLY CANNOT BELIEVE IT I CAN’T DEAL OH MY GOD WHAAAAAAAAT,” and press play on the next episode.

Television. My oldest, dearest friend. I’m sorry, but you just can’t deliver the variety and speed I’ve come to expect from television in the Netflix era. (I know, I know. You are television. Don’t give me that look).

It’s not your fault.

I know you did your best.

But you’re not coming to the new house.

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