Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Boob Tube

About 4 years ago my wife and I decided to leave the world of TV watching.  We bestowed the 42 inch flat screen upon a family member and embarked on a journey that eventually was very telling.

All of a sudden we had time.  A lot of it.  We read, we played games, we had conversations, and we listened to music.  A lot of music.  Pandora became our best friend.  It played nearly every waking hour from our family computer in the den.  Eventually, as our daughters grew a little older, we began to download movies and television programs for them to watch.

So much is available online.  From the likes of purple dinosaurs and worlds built with letters to adventure movies and documentaries about the ocean, we had plenty to watch.  But the goal, we felt, was still in tact.  We controlled what was being watched and when.  Our family found, eventually, that we didn't really care that much about sitting for hours and staring at a box.

We made it nearly 4 years without television and cable and 150 channels and local news and, well, you get the idea.  Now fast forward to present day and you'll find, again, a television in our den.  At first it was greeted with reluctance.  But we've softened our views now, and we are again enjoying movies and the occasional PBS special on a 32 inch monitor connected to the world via the internet (Apple TV) and a modern day set of rabbit ears. 

I have to say that the past four years have been awesome without television. We learned to live without it and our lives were better because we turned to other, richer ways to spend our time. Now that Lauren and I have introduced a TV back into our lives, we have discovered that we really don't turn it on. I did watch the weather the other morning and the kids watch a PBS show some mornings, but otherwise it's just sitting there. 

I encourage anyone who reads this to try a week without TV. It's a nice thing to do and I promise, you won't miss it. During your week of no TV, take a look at this article: http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html. You'll be blown away.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The New Age of Picture Taking

It seems that there are now just as many photographers on the planet as there are cell phone users.  And I'm stoked by it.

These days, you will find a camera in the hands of nearly every man, woman, and child.  The number of photographs being taken must be in the millions.  And for me that transfers to the real joy of creating an image.

Thousands of people each day photograph life.  Sometimes the photographs represent great joy and sometimes, unfortunately, great sorrow.  But still, images are being created and these images form a bond between us.  As humans we see that our lives are very similar because of these images.  And if we take a moment to think about that, maybe these feelings of likeness will create an atmosphere of kindness.

For me and my family, we turn to the iPhone and a couple of our favorite photography apps.  Once the shots are taken we all pick our favorite filters and off the images go to the world wide web.  We're sharing our lives more and more these days.  From a run down the beach to words painted on a hotel room wall, we are recording life.  What a joy.

These are just a few of the hundreds of images we took just in the past week.  Enjoy having a look and please please please get out there and take photos.  Life is happening.