NEZEL PADAYHAG: “It’s Better To Do Nothing Than Do Things For The Wrong Reasons”

It is but human conditioning to do desirable things to avoid doing things that are not desirable. This is the dilemma for most of us. In so doing, when we have done the things that are desirable by every human soul, we expand our egos and secretly tell others: Look at me, I’ve done it. I’m good.

We then become self-righteous, judging others for their meager progress. This is most especially true for most people who offer service in religious or other similar advocacies.

Glorifying people for their good deeds while not bad in itself, it still coupled with negative effects, especially when the person receiving the glorification is spiritually immature.

It’s better not to do things than do it for the wrong reasons. I desire heaven because that is where I come from. There is no need for me to avoid hell because, heck, I’ve been there!

 

~via Medium.com

Advertisements

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “10 ‘Spiritual’ Things People Do That Are Total Bullsh*t”

“My vibration is so high, man. My chakras are so aligned. F***ckkkk, I’m a spiritual beast, bro.”

 

No one ever told me spirituality could be a self-sabotaging ego trap.

I spent about three years reading about spiritual teachings and incorporating them into my life before ever learning that spirituality has a dark side.

Naturally, I was taken aback. I felt kind of betrayed.

How could something that seemed so pure and good be harmful?

The answer has to do with something that psychologists call spiritual bypassing. In the early 1980’s, psychologist John Welwood coined the term “spiritual bypassing” to refer to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid confronting uncomfortable feelings, unresolved wounds, and fundamental emotional and psychological needs.

According to integral psychotherapist Robert Augustus Masters, spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, to hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices. He says it “not only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own
 authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of
 exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”

Painful Realizations: My Own Spiritual Bypassing

In Robert August Masters’ groundbreaking book, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters, he writes:

“Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated
 detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, 
anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous 
boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead
 of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s
 negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the
 spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”

I encountered the concept of spiritual bypassing for the first time in Masters’ work. Although I was reluctant to admit it, I immediately knew on some level that this concept applied to me.

As I continued to reflect on spiritual bypassing, I noticed more and more shadow aspects of spirituality, and I realized that I had unknowingly been enacting many of them at one time or another.

Though painful, these were some of the most important realizations I’ve ever had. They’ve helped me to stop using a warped form of “spirituality” as an ego boost and to begin taking greater responsibility for addressing my psychological needs and the issues that arise in my life.

10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Sabotage Their Growth

The best way to understand spiritual bypassing is through examples, so now, it’s time for some tough love.

I’m going to go into detail to describe ten specific shadow tendencies of spiritual people.

Caution: Some of these may hit pretty close to home.

Remember: You need not feel ashamed to admit that some of the items on this list apply to you. I suspect some of them apply to everyone who has ever taken an interest in spirituality. Most of them applied to me at one point or another, and some I’m still working through.

The goal here is not to judge, but to increase self-awareness in order to progress toward a more honest, empowering, useful spirituality. Let’s get into it.

1. Participate in “spiritual” activities to make themselves feel superior to other people.

This is probably one of the most pervasive shadow aspects of spirituality, and it takes many forms. Some people feel superior because they read Alan Watts. Or ride their bike to work. Or refrain from watching TV. Or eat a vegetarian diet. Or use crystals. Or visit temples. Or practice yoga or meditation. Or take psychedelics.

Note that I’m not saying anything about the value of partaking of these activities. I love Alan Watts and think meditation is quite beneficial. What I’m saying is that it’s alarmingly easy to allow your spiritual ideas and practices to become an ego trap — to believe that you’re so much better and more enlightened than all those other “sheeple” because you’re doing all of these rad #woke things. Ultimately, this sort of attitude toward “spirituality” is no better than believing you’re better than everyone else because you’re a Democrat or a Lakers fan. This dysfunction actually inhibits genuine spirituality by causing us to focus on one-upping other people, rather than cultivating a sense of connection to the cosmos and feeling poetic wonder at the sublime grandeur of existence.

2. Use “spirituality” as a justification for failing to take responsibility for their actions.

The essence of the point is that it’s very easy to twist certain spiritual mantras or ideas into justifications for being irresponsible or unreliable.

“It is what it is.” or “The universe is already perfect.” or “Everything happens for a reason.” can all function as excellent justifications for never doing much of anything and never really examining one’s behavior. I’m not commenting on the truth or un-truth of the above statements. I’m just saying that if you’re consistently hours late for appointments, if you frequently neglect your close personal relationships, and your roommates can’t count on you to pay rent, you might want to stop telling yourself, “Whatever man, reality is an illusion anyway.” and start becoming someone others can depend on.

In a similar vein, it’s surprisingly easy to deceive yourself into thinking that anytime someone has a problem with your behavior, it’s because that person “isn’t honoring my truth” or “just needs to grow spiritually.” It’s much more difficult to acknowledge the moments in which we act brashly, selfishly, or thoughtlessly and inflict suffering upon someone else. It’s much more difficult to admit that we too are far from perfect, and that growth and learning are never-ending processes.

3. Adopt new hobbies, interests, and beliefs simply because they’re the latest “spiritual” fad.

Human beings want to fit in somewhere. We all have a deep need to feel that we belong. And we form groups of all kinds to satiate this need. Spirituality is one interest area around which people form all sorts of groups. This is potentially a great thing, but it also has a shadow aspect.

For many people, “spirituality” is little more than a hip thing that a lot of people seem to care about. These people get the idea that they want to jump on the spiritual bandwagon, so they start practicing yoga, wearing New Age fashion items, going to music festivals, drinking ayahuasca, etc., and they tell themselves that this makes them “spiritual.” These “spiritual scenesters” dilute the significance of genuine spiritual inquiry, contemplation, experience, and realization. They also, in my experience, tend to be the “spiritual” people who are using “spirituality” as a reason to feel superior to others.

4. Judge others for expressing anger or other strong emotions, even when it’s necessary to do so.

This is one of the first patterns I noticed in myself after being introduced to spiritual bypassing. I realized that when people became upset or angry with me, my response was to say things like, “Getting angry doesn’t help anything.” or “I feel we would have fewer problems if we could remain calm.” Internally, I would silently judge the other person, thinking, “If only they were more enlightened, we could avoid this drama.” In many situations, this was my way of avoiding deep issues that needed to be addressed.

When you become interested in spirituality, one of the first quotes you’re likely to encounter is: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you are the one who ends up getting burned.”

This quote is commonly mis-attributed to the Buddha, though it’s actually a paraphrase of a statement made by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century. The subtle point of the quote is that we shouldn’t hold on to anger; we should feel it, express it if necessary, then let it go. However, it’s very easy for the lay person to assume that this means that anger, in any form, is a sign that one is unwise, un-spiritual. This is untrue. Anger is a natural human emotion and a perfectly justifiable response to many situations. Often, anger is an indicator that there are serious issues that need to be countenanced within oneself or one’s relationships.

Ironically, many spiritual people repress all “non-spiritual” emotions and artificially heighten “spiritual” emotions/traits such as compassion, kindness, and equanimity. This leads to inauthenticity. One struggles to constantly present oneself as calm, gentle, nice, and in a state of perpetual peace, and ultimately ends up looking and feeling like a fraud.

5. Use “spirituality” as a justification for excessive drug use.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that psychedelic drugs can occasion mystical experiences and enhance (secular) spirituality. That’s all fine and good, but some people take this realization too far, using it as a way to rationalize self-destructive patterns of drug use and to blind themselves to the dark sides of various substances.

In the most extreme cases, “spiritual” people end up “performing cannabis ceremonies” during all their waking hours; taking psychedelics too frequently or in unsuitable contexts; and completely denying that these substances have any negative effects. Now, HighExistence tends to be pro-psychedelics, but let me give it to you straight: Psychedelics, including cannabis, have a definite dark side. If you’re irresponsible or simply unlucky, stronger psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms can occasion traumatic experiences with long-term negative ramifications. And cannabis, a mild psychedelic, is a seductively habit-forming drug that will subtly cloud your mind and erode your motivation if you indulge too much, too frequently. Respect the substances, and utilize them wisely.

6. Overemphasize “positivity” in order to avoid looking at the problems in their lives and in the world.

“Just be positive!” is often employed as a deflection mechanism by “spiritual” people who would rather not do the difficult work of confronting their own internal issues, wounding, and baggage, let alone the problems of the world. The “positivity” movement has exploded in Western culture in recent years. The Internet is overflowing with seemingly endless memes and articles repeating the same inane messages: “Think positive thoughts!” “Just be positive!” “Don’t focus on the negative!”

Though there is surely value in cultivating gratitude for the many marvels of the human experience, this movement seems to overlook something critical: The darker aspects of life do not disappear, simply because they are ignored. In fact, many problems in our individual lives and on the global scale seem only to worsen or complexify when they are ignored. In the same way that it would seem absurd to offer a heroine addict the phrase “Just think positive!” as a solution to their problem, it is absurd to believe that positive thinking offers any kind of solution to major global issues such as climate change, poverty, industrial farming, and existential risks.

This is not to say that we ought to take the world’s problems onto our shoulders and feel shitty about them all the time. It’s healthy to recognize and feel optimistic about the fact that in many important ways, the world is getting better. However, we need to balance that optimism with a willingness to confront real issues in our personal lives, our communities, our world.

7. Repress unpleasant emotions that don’t fit their “spiritual” self-narrative.

“No way, I can’t possibly be depressed or lonely or scared or anxious. I love life too much, and I’m too [Zen / wise / enlightened] to allow that to happen anyway.”

I ran into this issue when I moved to South Korea to be an English teacher for a year. I thought I had cultivated an unflappable chill, a Lao Tzu-esque ability to just “go with the flow” and float, bobber-like, atop the rising and falling waves of destiny.

Then I experienced culture shock, crushing loneliness, and acute homesickness, and I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t some kind of Zen master after all. Or rather, I had to realize that the ability to “go with the flow” and accept whatever is happening is perennially valuable, but that sometimes that will mean accepting that you feel like a steaming pile of shit.

It’s easy to delude oneself into believing that spirituality is going to make life feel like endlessly floating upon a cloud, but in practice, this is not the case. Life is still full of suffering, and in order to really grow and learn from our experience, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re feeling and let ourselves feel it fully. In my case, my desire to always be “Zen,” to “go with the flow,” and to project an image of inner peace to myself and others prevented me from seeing the truth of various situations/experiences and taking responsibility for dealing with them.

8. Feel deep aversion and self-loathing when confronted with their shadow side.

I noticed this in myself pretty quickly after learning about spiritual bypassing. I saw that my narcissistic image of myself as a wise person who had attained “higher” realizations was causing a ridiculous amount of cognitive dissonance. I judged myself scathingly and felt colossal, crushing guilt over any less-than-virtuous decisions.

When you become interested in spirituality, it’s easy to idolize people like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama, and to believe that these people are Perfect Humans who always act with complete awareness and compassion. In actuality, this is almost certainly not the case. Even if it’s true that some humans reach a level of realization at which they uphold “right action” in all circumstances, we need to acknowledge that such a thing is reserved for the very few. I personally suspect that such a thing does not exist.

In actuality, we’re all fallible humans, and we’re all going to make mistakes. The deck is stacked against us. It’s virtually impossible to live even a few weeks of adult human life without committing a few blunders, if only minor ones. Over the course of years, there will be major mistakes. It happens to all of us, and it’s okay. Forgive yourself. All you can do is learn from your errors and strive to do better in the future.

Paradoxically, the seemingly spiritual lesson of self-forgiveness can be especially difficult to internalize for people interested in spirituality. Spiritual teachings can leave one with stratospherically high ideals that result in immense guilt and self-loathing when one fails to live up to them. This is a major reason why it’s so common for spiritual people to deflect responsibility — because being honest about their shortcomings would be too painful. Ironically, we must be honest with ourselves about our mistakes in order to learn from them and grow into more self-aware, compassionate versions of ourselves. Just remember: You’re only human. It’s okay to make mistakes. Really, it’s okay. But admit to yourself when you’ve made a mistake and learn from it.

9. Find themselves in bad situations due to excessive tolerance and a refusal to distinguish between people.

This is me, 100%. For a long time, I’ve taken very seriously the idea that every human being deserves compassion and kindness. I don’t disagree with that idea nowadays, but I’ve realized that there are numerous situations in which other considerations should temporarily override my desire to treat every other human compassionately.

In multiple foreign countries, I’ve found myself in potentially life-threatening situations because I was overly trusting of people I did not know or overly kind to people who I should have recognized as shady characters. Luckily, I’ve never gotten hurt in these situations, but I have been robbed and swindled several times. In every case, I wanted to believe that the people I was interacting with were “good” people at heart and would treat me with kindness if I did so for them. That line of thinking was terribly naive, and I’m still trying to re-condition myself to understand that in certain contexts, being warm is not the answer.

The sad fact is that although you might be insulated from it, the struggle for survival is still very real for vast numbers of people on this planet. Many people have grown up in poverty, surrounded by crime, and have learned that the only way to survive is by preying upon weakness. The majority of people worldwide seem not to have this mentality, but if you find yourself in a city or country in which poverty is fairly prevalent, you should take certain common-sense precautions — basic things, like:

1. Don’t walk anywhere alone after dark.

2. Try to stay away from vacant areas.

3. Don’t stop to engage with people who try to sell you things.

4. Make distinctions between people; let yourself know that it’s okay to trust your brain’s highly evolved pattern-matching mechanism when it tells you that someone looks like they’re on drugs, deranged, desperate, or dangerous.

10. Want so badly for various “spiritual” practices to be correct that they disregard science entirely.

There’s a pretty heavily anti-scientific streak in a lot of the spiritual community, and I think this is a shame. It seems to me that many spiritual people become hostile toward science because certain beliefs and practices they find valuable are considered unproven or pseudoscientific within the scientific community. If a belief or practice is unproven or pseudoscientific, this only means that we have not yet been able to confirm its validity through repeatable experimentation in a lab setting. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or valuable.

The scientific method is one of the best tools we have for understanding the mechanics of the observable universe; it allowed us to discover the profound truth of biological evolution, observe the far reaches of space, extend our lifespans by decades, and walk on the moon, among other things; to discard it entirely is to lose one of our most powerful lenses for understanding reality.

As Carl Sagan memorably put it:

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

We’re All Learning…

I think that in order for the various interconnected global spiritual movements to be maximally impactful and useful, they need to address their shadow aspects.

In this essay, I have attempted to illuminate some of the blind spots that seem to be prevalent in the spiritual community. As I’ve said, most of the items I discussed applied to me at one point or another. It’s decidedly easy to fall into some of the traps of spirituality and to harbor various limiting beliefs and behaviors while feeling like one has reached a “higher” level of being.

The lesson here is that growth and learning are unending processes. If you think you have nothing left to learn, you’re probably sabotaging yourself in a number of ways. It can be profoundly difficult to admit that for a long time one has been incorrect or misguided, but the alternative is much worse. The alternative is a kind of spiritual and intellectual death — a state of perpetual stagnation in which one endlessly deludes oneself into thinking that one has all the answers, that one has reached one’s Final Form. In a rapidly changing world, continual learning is of paramount importance.

At its best, spirituality is a force that can help humanity realize our common identity as sentient beings, gain ecological awareness, feel connected to our cosmos, and address the most pressing issues of our time with compassion, ingenuity, equanimity, and what Einstein called a “holy curiosity.”

At its best, spirituality is a force which propels us toward a more harmonious, cooperative, sustainable future. Here’s to refining our collective spirituality and co-creating a more beautiful world.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com

DERIC LEWIS: “3 Signs You Have A Strong Personality That Might Scare Some People”

Have you ever encountered someone with a powerful, independent personality? Did you feel like it was off putting, like the person might be hard to like? Chances are you simply didn’t understand the kind of person you were interacting with. Often times, these types of people can come off as aggressive, rude, overly opinionated or just plain bitchy. Chances are it feels like they are trying to dominate you, or make you feel insignificant. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. .

Dominant, aggressive, rude, arrogant. These descriptors actually do not typify a person with a powerful, independent personality at all. In fact, strong people are often some of the biggest teddy bears, and emotionally available people you will ever have the chance to meet once you make a genuine effort to get to know them. It’s just that people with strong personalities tend to give the meeker, more mild of us a bad rap.

Those people with strong personalities do not have to win, nor do they want to necessarily. It’s not about being better than anyone else. They typically just are not willing to let other people walk all over them, or put up with being used and abused.

Sure, sometimes strong people might be intimidating to you. But that is only as a result of you noticing their outward manifestation of their inner self confidence, and lack of need to seek validation from their peers. Do you have a powerful personality? Here are eight signs that you have a strong personality that might scare some people.

You Are Cautious, Maybe Even Picky About Who You Let Into Your Life

As a person with a strong personality, you do not rely on other people to define who you are, or what you are capable of. You recognize that some people need to put others down to make themselves feel better. Here’s the thing about being picky: it forces you to have high self-esteem and you build a great connection with your own self: you build your own voice of what you want and what works for you. Its not that you don’t necessarily get along with people, its just that you know exactly what you want in your relationships and social exchanges, and you aren’t willing to settle for less.

Even if you are still trying to discover your own identity, you know that you do not need a significant other, boss, best friend or family member to tell you what you’re capable of, or how to accomplish your goals.

You Can’t Stand Trivial Conversations

Conversations about the weather, and trivialities are often unbearable, and uncomfortable. If you have a powerful personality, you probably spend a lot of time thinking deeply, and have a lot of ideas to share. You do not want to waste time talking about things that in the long run don’t really matter all that much, when you could be spending your energy changing the world.

You might feel like you are bad at small talk. But that is not true. Anyone can make small talk. You are simply uncomfortable with meaningless pleasantries. Unfortunately, our culture has deemed small talk a social necessity. Wikipedia even goes so far as to describe it as a “social lubricant”, which makes it sound a whole lot more fun than it actually is. Small talk is meant to be light and fun. It flees from depth and meaning. Personal questions are considered inappropriate. Likewise, any emotion besides happy or neutral is discouraged. Consequently, authenticity dies on the vine. The truth is that small talk allows two people to have an entire conversation without really getting to know each other. Instead of being light and fun, the conversation is flat and boring. It is like a game of chess where both players always know each other’s next move. It is a predictable exchange, with predictable results. For people with a powerful personality, it is one of those annoying hurdles we must cross to get to the good stuff.

You Are Irked by Insensitivity, Idiocy or Willful Ignorance

Strong personalities are the result of being thoughtful and well-informed, as well as being confident in their mental prowess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANNA LEMIND: “Why Do We Feel Lonely In An Over-Connected World?”

I believe people who feel ‘lonely’… are the ones who are ‘disconnected’ their Higher Self… but I get the gist of this article… 😀

Why Do We Feel Lonely In An Over-Connected World?

The world has never been so connected as it is now. Communication and internet technologies have made it possible to stay in touch with anyone no matter where they live. Today, it’s probably impossible to find a person who doesn’t use social networks and instant messaging apps, which have become an integral part of our life. Many people can’t even imagine their daily routine without online communication and feel incomplete if they don’t chat with their friends and don’t see their updates in the Facebook feed st least once a day. We are basically never alone and yet, we are lonelier than ever.

This is not just a claim – studies show that the number of people who feel lonely is constantly increasing. For example, a survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one out of ten people in the UK often feels lonely while 48% of the respondents believe that modern people are getting more and more lonely.

It seems that the feeling of loneliness is a real epidemic of our society. But why do we feel this way while numerous ways of communication with other human beings are available to us at any minute of every day? To answer the question the title of the article asks, first of all, let’s figure out what loneliness actually is. While the dictionary suggests that it’s a state of being alone paired with the feelings of sadness and isolation, loneliness is far more complex than that.

Have you ever been in a company of people you didn’t have much in common with? Or maybe in a company of strangers/acquaintances who were good friends with each other and didn’t pay much attention to you? If you have been in similar situations, you will agree that in those times, you were feeling lonely without being alone.

This is what loneliness really is – a lack of connection and understanding, no matter if you are alone or not. In fact, this feeling may be even more intense when you are among people you don’t resonate with rather than when you are by yourself. Let me cite Robin Williams here: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”

So isn’t it the reason why we are so lonely in an over-connected world we live in today? Popular culture and our excessive reliance on the social media have basically made us believe that human communication is about quantity, not quality.

To demonstrate this contradiction, let me ask you two simple questions: How many friends on Facebook do you have and how many of them do you have a really deep connection with? I bet that most of you have hundreds of Facebook friends and yet can name only a few individuals you are truly close to.

As you see, what we lack in the modern world is a deep and meaningful connection with other people, which inevitably makes us feel lonely. We are constantly surrounded by people (if not physically, then at least virtually) and yet, we rarely feel truly close to someone mentally and emotionally.

If you think about it, it makes sense why human communication has become so superficial, since the entire mainstream culture is based on superficiality and shallowness. We are made to believe that all we need is to satisfy our physical needs and fulfil our selfish desires.

To sum up, remember that the only way to avoid loneliness is not about being and communicating with people all the time. It’s about establishing a deep connection with the right people along with being a self-sufficient individual who doesn’t need approval from others.

Note from Ascension Avatar: IDEA: How about BEing and communicating with Higher Self?😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~TheMindUnleashed via IN5D.com

 

 

 

 

TAMARA PEARSON: “13 Reasons Why We Hate Television”

  13reasonswhywehatetv_730x410

It’s not very meaningful

Television won’t bring you any of the change you want in your life or in the world. The Alternative Daily CEO Jake Carney commented that when he started this website, he didn’t turn a TV on for two years.

It promotes lazy thought

Television shows and advertising are aimed at the lowest common denominator. They recycle tired plot formulas that oversimplify characters, problems and the big issues. They promote easy and quick happiness (just buy a thing, just propose in a really clichéd way in public) and they rarely challenge viewers to think, criticize or question. Alternative Daily writer Megan Winkler commented that “most series really love characters who are self-destructive in one sense or the other. That’s a bummer. I’d like to see people recycling aluminum and plastic the way some writers recycle the same tired tropes again and again.”

It makes you eat unhealthy food

People tend to snack on unhealthy food while watching television. A professor of health sociology, Steve Gortmaker, noted that the advertising also “tends to increase intake of a range of unhealthy food products.”

It creates a world for you

“I hate the fact that I am being fed something by some Hollywood producer that probably makes a ton of money off me sitting on my ass, mouth wide open. Create your own world, create your own adventure instead,” Carney adds. When people watch television, they aren’t being mindful of themselves and their surroundings. Instead, they are attached to the story, visuals and sounds of the screen in front of them, he points out.

It promotes a sedentary lifestyle

According to author Bonny Rockette-Wagner, research indicates that we move even less while watching TV compared with other sedentary activities, like sitting at work. People watching television may not stand up for several hours, but even standing up for a minute every 20 minutes can help your body regulate important substances such as glucose and the hormone insulin.

It causes unrealistic expectations in relationships (and in most aspects of life)

The way television shows portray emergency rooms, police, romances, friendships and even weight-loss is unrealistic and can lead people to have false expectations in their own lives. “The more you believe in popular portrayals of romance on television, the less committed you may be to your real relationship,” the Huffington Post noted, based on research from the journal Mass Communication and Society.

It literally makes you dumber

People who watch more than three hours of TV per day over a period of 25 years were found to be more likely to perform poorly on various cognitive tests, researchers of another study found. Further, children under the age of two who watch television are likely to have decreased language development, according to David Hill, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media. 

It promotes stereotypes and discrimination

From dating shows that objectify women to news shows with almost exclusively white male news anchors or young while blond female ones, to law and order shows where the criminals are destructive stereotypes of Latino and black criminals, television tends to reinforce racial and gender stereotypes, give voice to those who already have a disproportionate say in the world and ignore poverty and the working class altogether, instead of promoting human diversity. Even outside of the United States, American programming can dominate airtime, leaving little space for local identity, culture and issues.

It’s isolating

A few hours watching a movie with a partner or friends can be really nice, and even a bit of alone time with one’s favorite characters can be relaxing. But binge-watching can be a harmful addiction, an avoidance and distraction technique that is socially isolating.

There isn’t a lot of choice

There may be a lot of channels to choose from, but apart from the occasional good documentary or engaging historical drama, most of what airs on television is low quality, under-researched, badly written rubbish, leaving viewers with a false choice of many slightly varied types of crap.

It leaves you with less time for life

Everyone at The Alternative Daily agreed that too much television is a waste of time. A writer for The New York Times wrote in 1939, “TV will never be a serious competitor for radio because people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it.”

How wrong they were! And I have to admit, I don’t understand how people who work one to two full-time jobs manage to squeeze in that average five hours a day of television. But they do, and while it makes sense that people who are exhausted find television an easier leisure activity than a trip to the park or cooking, moderation is key. Most of those five hours a day could be spent doing something much more rewarding, useful or truly relaxing.

It’s expensive

Americans spend more than $6 billion per year just paying for the electricity alone to power their television sets, according to Becoming Minimalist. And around $73 billion is spent on advertising every year in the United States. That’s more than the whole economies of many countries, just spent on manipulating people into buying stuff they don’t need and often things that objectively are bad for them.

It sets the bar low for who we look up to

Rather than admiring teachers, firefighters or other people dedicating their lives to helping others and to justice, a lot of people look up to the actors and actresses on television — the “celeb” culture. Idolizing these overpaid people for the most superficial reasons (who really knows them?) can be harmful to one’s self-esteem, with teenage girls in particular aiming to look like someone whose hair was professionally styled every 30 minutes.

We all need down time, time to relax and recharge and to process our day and our troubles. But you’re not processing much when you watch television, and there are lots of alternatives, such as a walk in the park, listening to or playing music, having a daydream (something that’s actually very creative), dancing, taking a bath or shower, getting a massage or having a cuddle, reading a book, taking part in a sport, walking a pet, having a chat over a hot chocolate and simple playing (yep, adults should do it too — it promotes curiosity). Mucking around with your photos, doing some craft or adult coloring, even finger-painting can be both good for your mind and relaxing.

—Tamara Pearson

 

 

 

http://www.TheAlternativeDaily.com