This post was written for the Rocket City Bloggers monthly blog carnival. This month's theme is "Pop Culture Dissonance".
Given a laundry list of ways to spend an afternoon, watching TV will come in dead last every time. Reading, sewing, baking, blogging, home improvement projects, calls to friends, walks in the neighboorhood...I have no end of things that I find more enjoyable, more rewarding, and more entertaining.
And yet. Television watching is culturally assumed. The question is not "do you watch TV?" so much as "what do you watch on TV?". Do you like fluff or intellectual substance? Grit and gore or sappy romance? "Reality" or scripted? Which is why when you answer "Oh, I don't watch TV." it can get mistaken for a moral judgement. "I am so sanctimonious and pure that I do not stoop to the level of common television."
In my case though, it has very little to do with the merit of the programming as it does with the delivery method. I don't like sitting still. I don't like having to watch something because it means I can't do something else. And I don't like the lack of a tangible result.
This does, however, lead to some interesting conversations. Because television watching is so assumed, well known characters, snippets of dialogue, and catchy ad jangles become part of the common language. The most popular will eventually make their way to me (I will catch a reference to the Seinfeld soup nazi although I never saw a single episode of the show) but for the most part I'm left with the "smile and nod" response.
Thankfully though, we now have Twitter, which keeps me up to date on disastrous award show gossip (Kanye West dissing Taylor Swift) and buzzes with the juiciest television bits (Kurt and Blaine kissed on Glee!) which means I can feign just enough knowledge for water cooler conversation. Saved by the interwebs.