My TV Time Is Bombarding Me With Messages


I am too young and impressionable to watch TV anymore. It’s not the shows. It’s not even the news. It’s the ads.

We got cigarette ads banned. Why can’t we do the same with all these prescription products? I am so tired of hearing “Ask your doctor about ____.”


How about this? My doctor tells me what to do. That’s her job. My job is to stay as healthy as possible so she doesn’t have to tell me anything, so I don’t even have to go visit her.

There’s a reason Netflix and Hulu and YouTube are doing so well — the general population is sick of commercials. Literally, sick.

On any given night, I settle into my sofa for a relaxing distraction from the events of the day (which, frankly, carry enough drama), and I am bombarded with malady after malady and symptom after symptom. Pretty soon, I am scratching an “itchy, flaky scalp,” which was just fine a moment ago. I have “patchy, burning skin” inside my cozy slippers and a “hot, dry mouth,” which I could previously soothe with a big glass of chilled water. It no longer seems enough.

When I turn on the tube, it’s usually my intent to sit there and relax while being entertained for an hour. Instead, I am putting my shoes back on and rushing over to urgent care. I can’t relax, I’m on death’s doorstep!

Of course, we know what happened. By saving our children from the horrors of smoking, we took away a big chunk of the television industry’s income. And they need money to produce high quality programming like “The Bachelorette.” Lots of money. Bachelorettes don’t come cheap.

So, they turned to the prescription drug industry, and they did a really good job turning that into a cash cow. Now, instead of cigarette addicts dying of lung cancer, we have drug addicts overdosing on opioids.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince ourselves that television is not “the real opiate of the people,” just like Edward R. Murrow said way back in 1957.

The real question is, why are we so easily led? Is it because TV is what we turn to when we’re at our weakest point — tired, lonely, depressed or, heaven forbid, all three? All of a sudden, a commercial that promises to turn our frowns upside down by way of twin outdoor bathtubs sounds pretty good.

We need to snap out of the stupor. If I was staying overnight at a friend’s house and they told me “the bathtubs are out in the backyard” and “someone will be joining you shortly,” I’d hightail it out of there and seriously rethink that friendship, not say, “Sign me up!”

We’ve got to start taking responsibility for our actions. We’ve got to think before we act. We’ve got to mute the commercials and look away.

We’ve got to switch over to YouTube and see what those adorable little kittens are up to.