In 1992, Robert G. DeMoss Jr. wrote a book called, Learn to Discern. In it he addresses various topics including music, television, and advertisements aimed at destroying the self-image. Today i was reading part of the book, and this is what
I wondered, would Jesus watch “Wheel of Fortune?” Would Jesus watch TV at all? What would He watch? These questions ultimately led me to rewrite Psalm 23, with soap operas in mind.
TV is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It alloweth me to lie down in my reclining chair.
It leadeth me beside Luke and Laura.
It entertaineth my soul.
It leadeth me thru many a dull afternoon-for the advertiser’s sake.
Yea, though i walk thru the valley of the shadow of boredom, I will fear no evil.
For thou, TV, art with me.
Thy game shows and soap operas, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a daily program schedule before me, in the presence of my TV Guide.
Thou anointest my head with a sea of sensuality, my discretion runneth out.
Surely, good times and mindlessness will follow me (and “All My Children”) all of the “Days of our Lives.”
And we will dwell in the presence of thy “Guiding Light” forever!
This was in 1992. How much worse has TV programming gotten since then!
DeMoss also did some number crunching. At the time (1992) the average person watched roughly 3 hours of TV a day. That makes 21 hours a week, and 1,050 hours of TV watching every year (DeMoss calculated 50 weeks a year, and writes, “Assume you are on vacation two weeks without a TV.)
He then adds, “For the sake of this mathematical analysis, we’ll limit our focus to the sixty-year period between ages five and sixty-five. I do this because we all know that viewing TV under age five is bad for early childhood development, and most of us have to stop watching at age sixt-five because our eyes have dried up and fallen out!” (I realize that last statement by DeMoss may be a little “tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless…) With an average of 1,050 hours of TV watching per year, when you multiply that by a 60 year span, you get 63,000 hours of TV watched over that 60 year period. To put that in perspective, divide 63,000 by 8,760 (The total number of hours in a year (24 hours/day x 365 days/year) and you are left with 7.19 years of TV watching in that 60 year span.
As DeMoss notes,
If you view 63,000 hours of TV by age sixty-five, that is the equivalent of watching more than seven years of television around the clock. What else could you do with 10 percent of your life? How about going to college two more times? Thoughts of pursuing a second career? How about all of those projects you never had time for? Not to mention the time you didn’t have for your children or spouse.
DeMoss’s calculations are from 1992. They only factor in television viewing. The don’t factor in video games or time spent on the computer watching mindless drivel.
The numbers don’t lie.
I know i’ve watched my fair share of television, played video games, and even spent time on the computer. Corey Russell calls it “The Stupid Room.”
Increasingly more i have been careful about the tv programs i watch, and the movies that i put on. But after reading this book by DeMoss, i realize how much time i have spent on nothing. It’s time to get out of the stupid room.
Don’t have enough time for devos; for prayer; for reading the bible; for spending time with God: Get out of the Stupid Room. That’s where I’m heading. I’m only sorry i didn’t catch on years ago.