I've realized in recent months that the amount of television I've been watching has greatly decreased.
There are still a handful of shows I check in on regularly, but, for the most part, they are only on during the so-called "primetime" hours, and some of those are after I go to sleep. Thank goodness for On Demand, I guess.
At some point, it became more of just something to have on for some noise while I worked on other things. More a habit than anything else.
I stay completely away from cable news networks. Most of the newer shows out there haven't really appealed to be too much, either.
One of the biggest peeves for me is on the weekend mornings.
It's a struggle for me to stay asleep past 4 a.m. these days, even when I don't have to get up for work.
I'll usually just stay in bed with my eyes closed knowing perfectly well I won't get back to sleep. But, eventually, I turn on the TV just for some noise or to check out some weekend morning news coverage.
Then I see them. There are always about a dozen or so infomercials on at any time. Usually it's for some hair removal system or new makeup or hair care product. But, there are also those workout videos someone is out there trying to sell.
The big thing right now seems to be Insanity. Flipping through the channels I see this particular infomercial on at least three channels at once, telling me how I can get great six-pack abs in 30 to 60 days.
I don't buy that, and I won't buy the tapes. There is more to becoming healthy than exercising furiously over a two-month period, and that's something you don't get from buying a set of DVDs.
Then there are the hair removal systems. Some of the latest guarantee once you buy their contraption and use it so many times, you'll never have hair grow in those spots again.
But, if everyone bought one of these and their unwanted hair never grows back, they won't need it anymore. Eventually, there won't be anyone needing to buy this product, right?
I know they have their products they're trying to sell, and they have their particular type of buyer they're trying to get. I just guess I don't fit into most of those categories.
There used to be a network I'd spend a good bit of time watching. It's called G4 and it used to focus on new gadgets and technology, comic books, movies, science fiction, etc. Basically, it was the channel dedicated to nerds and geeks like myself.
Now, it's being changed to Esquire Television with a focus on what makes the "modern man." Not too sure I want some network telling me what I'm supposed to be like.
The scripted reality shows out there have been out of hand for quite some time, especially those on cable. Those networks just tend to oversaturate our screens with the same two or three shows. I don't know about you, but there is only so much I can take of warehouse auctions, house flippers and hoarders.
It can be entertaining for a short amount of time, but I would much rather watch something from which I can learn.
Anymore, I check out cooking shows or something on the History Channel. At least that way I'm gaining some knowledge or possibly cultivating a new skill.
New technologies are putting us in a place where, eventually, we probably won't even need television sets, or cable anyway, at least not in the traditional sense.
In the not too distant future, we'll be able to watch all of our favorite programs on our computers or smartphones. Everything will be integrated into only a couple of devices, so we'll be able to take it with us and watch any time we want.
Even news casts are starting to stream online, with some archiving their broadcasts for a few days.
It's a great idea for technology and entertainment, but will it really change anything.
Even if television does begin to entirely merge with our computers, such as has long been rumored as the next big thing from Apple, will we get any better quality of programs, or will we still be stuck with five different types of house hunter programs, 10 straight hours of "Dance Moms," or the same reruns of "Two and a Half Men" on three different channels.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Maybe I should just go find a good book instead.
(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)