“Wait, you don’t have cable?!”
I get that question a lot, followed by the reasons people create on their own as to why I don’t have cable. “You poor thing, are you not making enough money?” or “do you think you’re too good to watch TV?” Both of these sentiments are partially true.
About two years ago I discontinued my cable, partly because it was way too expensive and also because it was extremely distracting. Since I don’t posses much self-control, and giving myself a one hour TV limit never has and probably never will work, I had to go cold turkey.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to different realizations and done a great job at figuring out what’s good and what’s not good for me. I’ve definitely become more conscious of my body (in a healthy way), and can now truly understand that what I put in my system will ultimately effect the way I look, feel and perform. I’ve also realized and become more conscious of what I allow myself to witness and engage in. I’m more sensitive about certain things and I’m not ashamed to admit it, and as I watch reality shows at others’ houses (because I do miss TV at times), it shows me just how sensitive I am and reminds me once again that getting my cable cut off was a great decision.
A few nights ago, I found myself sitting on my friends’ couch completely enthralled in a battle between two “models.” It was a face scratching, hair pulling, Prosecco glass slinging good time! Afterward, we sat and discussed it as though these women were relevant or were positive images who would help us propel ourselves to the next level. I felt disgusted with myself and instantly thought about the quote “great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Dammit! I have a small mind because I loved talking about these pretty-faced chicks with demonic tendencies. But after bingeing on this brawl I felt something else, I felt my anxiety rising and wanted to go confront someone physically. Forget confronting someone physically, I wanted to bust somebody’s head to the white meat, especially the women on the screen and I was completely wrapped up in the petty drama.
I know that many see it as harmless, simple entertainment, but I feel like it’s more than that, I know that media has the power to sway and influence. It’s not by coincidence that there are a ton of Facebook posts and Twitter feeds in honor of these shows that people treat as real life, is it some type of escape from our own reality? Is getting your hair and makeup done and slipping into a pair of six inch heels before going in front of the camera to make your man a sandwich the type of reality we need to escape to? But I get it, we are craving to see brown faces on television and since it looks like we wont be receiving Moesha, A Different World or The Cosby Show remakes anytime soon, it seems as though the reality show cesspool will only continue to grow. While I’m sure it isn’t all bad, there is absolutely an overabundance of black girl pain.
It doesn’t just stop there, conversations, ideas and thoughts about the plight of the black woman, Facebook, forwarded emails, frivolous gossip, family, significant others and coworkers are all energy inducing entities and while they can provide positive energy, they can also produce negative, toxic energy that can leave us feeling drained.
If you question or compare yourself to others in an unfair, unrealistic way, especially to those on television, then you probably shouldn’t be watching this stuff. No you don’t need to wear red bottoms, a pound of M.A.C. and a 50 foot long weave every day. If you feel down after reading friends’ statuses about how their lives are the flawless epitome of bliss because their man wakes them up every morning with a foot rub and a surprise trip to Turks and Caicos then you probably need to be happy for them and unplug. If being surrounded by people and in the midst of certain conversations you feel your skin crawling and start to wonder why you remain in the presence of these individuals, then you probably need to start slowly purging these individuals from your life or limit interactions with them.
We can’t underestimate our brains ability to process information. There has to be a direct correlation between what we mentally ingest and how we feel afterwards, so just like we know it’s not smart to go through our lives chugging sugary soda and fat laden foods on a regular basis, we can’t mentally feed ourselves junk on the daily either.