In my opinion, we've stopped knowing how to live with others because of television. We expect people to be pretty, solve their problems relatively easily and by the end of tonight's episode. Special problems may require two episodes. The people on TV are rich, have more than enough clothes to wear and a beautiful home. People on TV are interesting, they do interesting things, and have teams of writers making sure they make sense and what they say is funny. People on TV aren't annoying or if they are we just don't watch that show, we choose something else to watch.
If only real life people were so easy to manage.
More often than not we live by ourselves because, I think we compare the people on TV to the ones we deal with in real life. Real people are complicated, need too much attention, don't always make us laugh, can hurt us and can be unkind for many reasons. So instead we come home to television sets and an empty home.
Remember this article about facebook envy? Well how does your supposed facebook envy stack up compared to the lives that you see on television everynight?
Then we wish we had someone to love. If only we had someone to love and everything would be alright because thats what they do on TV - everyone falls in love and gets married. Then the marriage fails because its not like on TV. Marriages on TV are nearly always funny. Real life isn't very funny and when she's no longer as pretty as she was when she was younger or he's no longer as attentive as he used to be, the marriage fails.
Is there anything as glamorous as guns on TV? No wonder the second amendment is the most important. Owning a gun will make you just as cool as John McClane, as cool as Arnie/Kyle in Terminator and Neo/Trinity in The Matrix, right? I am a 100% certain that if Forrest Gump welded a gun, guns would NOT be so popular. But the movie of Forrest Gump with a gun is never gonna get the financing that The Matrix/Terminator or Die Hard are going to get. But if Forrest Gump with a gun is made, people will surrender their guns faster than a speeding bullet.
The third thing needed to suicide is the courage to do so. We're afraid of dying and we must overcome that urge to jump out of the way of oncoming vehicles. We can overcome the horror by becoming numb, and there again TV helps.
there may be a side door to fearlessness: exposure to violence in media. Remember this debate? Well, it’s basically over. “The strength of the association between media violence and aggressive behavior,” the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded in 2009, “is greater than the association between calcium intake and bone mass, lead ingestion and lower IQ, and condom nonuse and sexually acquired HIV infection, and is nearly as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.” In one of the studies reviewed, a social psychologist showed students pictures of a man shoving a gun down another man’s throat, among other images. The people who had been exposed to more violent media didn’t respond. They were numb.
We need each other, we need to be useful, helpful, we don't want to be a burden. As the article says mothers of new born children are the least likely group of people to suicide in the world, because they are totally depended upon by their new-born baby, whereas indigenous peoples are twice as likely to suicide.
We are hopeless by ourselves, we make a nice meal for a large predator, but together we are formidable.
The need to belong manifests itself in many ways. The need to belong can make us fiercely defend our group, as this article says lions will expose their throats to predators to save their pride. Part of this is genetic, and sometimes we chose to join families without any genetic connection. It can lead to devotion to football teams and political parties.
To paraphrase Donald Trump, its not whether your team wins or loses, its whether it wins. This can lead to blindness to the actions of the leaders of our teams. In the case of football, in general it doesn't matter much, but when it comes to politics the effect can be far more devastating. Some of the GOP steadfastly supported W's disastrous presidency as we see some democrats steadfastly support the current president.
Obviously the 1% are loyal to themselves and have little regard for the 99%. The American 1% are earning truckloads of money and could careless whether a large portion of Americans go hungry, are homeless and cannot get work. No doubt the 1% are afraid of us because we out number them 99:1. However this doesn't mean we can't learn from the rich. 67% of wealthy people watch 1 hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% for poor people and 6% of wealthy people watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor people. And apparently 79% of wealthy people network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor people. So the message is get away from the TV and socialize with real people!
As we wrest back some control over our lives from the 1% we must remember to stay together because together we are utterly formidable.