I pride myself on not having a TV, and having brought up my kids pretty much without one. Yet now I find that my home is filled with telescreens, and we are constantly watching them. How did that happen?
Each person has their own mobile phone and a laptop. That’s two screens each, it used to be one for the whole family. I always hated the way the TV commands people’s homes and stops social interaction, but any telescreen can have the same effect. It also sends people into a sort of hypnotic trance state. Perfect for being programmed.
Outside the home, I find telescreens on buses, trains, cafes, pubs, in shops and shop windows, in the street, in the dentist waiting room, at the leisure centre, and of course the cinema.
The auditory equivalent is radio and iPods.
They are all programming our minds. Just like the television does. They all take us to another place, another time, take us out of the Here and Now. They are distractions from interacting with what’s happening around us. It stops us occupying our own time and space. I have learnt a huge amount the last year from the internet, but I still see it as second best to my own direct experience.
A main topic of conversation amongst people is discussing what was on the tele last night. It can make you feel like you have to watch the tele to keep up, to be part of society. Now I notice there is the same thing happening with other Telescreens. Have you seen the latest film? (there are new ones every week). Have you watched the latest YouTube about 911 Truth? Have you read this? What do you mean, you don’t know about the latest on the Savile scandal, you are not keeping up. The telescreen world is replacing the TV world. The TV is but one part of it. Overall I would say people are watching screens more and more, even those of us without TVs.
There’s an endless amount to look at, far more than there ever was on just the television. I can’t keep up, I never will. It’s constant catch up, and the more I am on the telescreens, the more my life is governed by them. Meanwhile I don’t talk to my kids, or cook, or grow veg, or get outside as much as I would like, the very things I advocate as being part of a better world. I end up becoming part of the virtual reality.
Some say the computer is a temporary stage in the evolution of the world. But each of us can choose to quit or do less any time we like. Same as with the TV. They have OFF buttons. They are not compulsory to own. A life without them is possible, perhaps a better life.
The Internet is an incredible resource that is enabling people to communicate across the world and share huge amounts of information, but there is a price to pay for this, and it’s worth keeping careful track of how much you gain from the telescreen world against how much you are losing from the Here and Now.
I see the U.S. as gun crazy. How would another time or place see us? Telescreen crazy perhaps? It’s become a very normal part of everyday life, just like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
(See also Big Brother of 2012, Closed Circuit Information, Gun Crazy, Nature’s Free Internet)