I used to be a hardcore couch potato. Depending on the show playing, I can tell you the day of the week and the time of the day. I can even tell you the ordered listing of shows to at least ten different cable channels at any given day.
But then, one day, our cable got busted and I was left with local channels on bad reception. Each hour, each day, I spent watching the local channels, I felt my brain cells shriveling up and dying one by one due to the inanities forced upon me in the guise of entertainment. I looked like I was having seizures as I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling with each improbable scenario presented as facets of everyday life. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and the only choice left was to go cold turkey and pass on the tv.
Four years after and I'm not regretting my decision. We do have cable again, but the urge to watch had passed. There may be relapses from time to time, when I seat in front of the tv and just channel surf till the wee hours of the morning, but those instances are rare.
And every now and then, I am given reasons to assert my decision to give up on television.
I was at work when the hostage situation was reported by persons I follow on twitter. Powering up my browsers, I reached for the first web article I could find that showcased gist of what was going on. I read the article and left it at that. I went home that night (after a few hours overtime) and didn't even bother catching up on the news. Thus I was spared seeing the series of embarrassing decisions that led to that fatal and tragic aftermath. And I choose not to see how the police and the media are trying to pass on the blame to one another on national TV.
Right now, it is enough that I get to read the least bit of news about that terrible fiasco that I get from my timeline or as headers on my various mail accounts. I feel it a blessing that I do not have to deal with newsbreak after newsbreak of every little detail, some of it only remotely connected to the incident.
I do feel bad about the victims of this needless violence. Had there been people in complete control of the situation at the very start, so much of what happened might have been avoided. But what's done is done, all this talk of should-have-been's will not help our cause, it can only worsen the situation. What we need now is to pick up the pieces, move on, and maybe just this once, learn from our mistakes.