The new series of ads Mark Wahlberg is doing for AT&T makes me both furious and depressed.  Here’s the one that really got me going.

(Full disclosure:  We don’t have AT&T and are in no way recommending them. However, we do watch some television.)

 “The entertainment-loving people of America” should be able to watch their favorite TV whenever and however they want. Every room a TV room and when you’re not in the house, take the TV with you.

This is supposed to be a good thing? 

Maybe for AT&T and Wahlberg, but to me, this is not only hell on earth but the deterioration of society.  As the Guess Who put it in one of their hit songs “back in the day”: “No time left for you.”

No time away from incessant noise, often mindless “entertainment, to talk, relax, listen to birds or the wind blowing through the trees or your child crying.

No time for silence, for thinking, creating, reading books, or just doing nothing.

More time for sitting, mindlessly over-eating, and physically/socially/emotionally/intellectually deteriorating.

More time for your children to sit in front of the TV learning how to be entertained by something else rather than talking with you or playing creative games outside, working out problems, learning and practice a sport or hobby, reading, thinking.

You get the idea.

There’s lots of talk about fake news these days.  This is fake living.  I’m part of the resistance.  May I count on your support?

Have one TV, limit your stations (do you really need hundreds?), turn it off.

Get away from ads trying to sell you things you don’t need a/o aren’t even good for you, get away from problems solved in an hour (with commercials),

get outside, look inside yourself, spend time with your children and friends, really talk with someone else while not texting and while actually looking at them ,

get into a book, write your own story, play a board game, work a puzzle, take a photo, walk in the woods, jump in a lake, cut the artificial connection and really get connected to life.

Resistance is NOT futile!

  1. de Wets Wild says:

    Of course you know we are with you on this one, Janet!

  2. Su Leslie says:

    I’m with you 100% on this Janet. We’ve chosen to have one TV which we negotiate viewing on. It means that if nothing else, we talk to each other about the stuff we’d like to watch and have to make a case for it. It also means in practice that I do something else (write, read, knit, whatever) in another room while the Big T watches Top Gear.

    • We watch a few TV shows and then we watch some sports, which is much easier and cheaper than trying to go to the events themselves! My husband watches more than I do and he play PlayStation games, but the games are more a break from his manic and stressful IT job. Sometimes I do what you do and just vacate the room to avoid the noise. 🙂 But when our girls were little, we had a very small TV and didn’t watch much. We read, did things outside, etc.

      • Su Leslie says:

        😃 Sport generally sends me from the room. Which is probably good for the Big T, since I tend to commentate on the inane-ness of sports commentary and it drives him mad.
        Like you, we had only one small tv when the boy was young. I always remember a kid who came round to play once (only once) who couldn’t believe our lack of television and who had a total meltdown when I said he couldn’t turn the set on. He basically didn’t know how to play; all his leisure time was spent passively consuming electronic entertainment. It was really sad and quite scary!

      • Such a sad story and the perfect illustration of the problems of this sort of “entertainment.” I’ve always enjoyed sports, but we tend toward the less popular now: (ice) hockey (love it!!), cycling, rugby (my husband played for a number of year.) Makes it nice that we can watch and enjoy together.

      • Su Leslie says:

        Our shared watching tends to be old movies and documentaries. 🙂

  3. I’ve been a charter member of this group for a long time. 🙂 I have a 36 year old male gardening friend who has a one-year old daughter. He is a Vet and a stay-at-home dad. When he comes to a meeting, he brings his daughter who we all love to see. He and his wife do not allow electronic toys. She plays with toys from back in the day that require pulling, pushing, or her imagination. She can sit at a meeting for an hour without throwing a fit or screaming. It always amazes me. One member remarked that she seemed rather passive. I had to laugh out loud. No, she’s not passive, she’s just not crazed by constant video stimulation. 🙂

    • I think it’s more difficult for parents now with the plethora of electronic toys. I agree that children will need to learn technology, but they don’t need to to be unsupervised and all the time. We had puzzles, Duplos and Legos, wooden toys, and the like and also read to them all the time. All those things are still valuable and necessary.

  4. Madhu says:

    Totally with you! We have cut down our TV watching to primetime news in any case, (except when there is a major sports event happening), but even that is proving tiresome. We are increasingly finding print media more balanced. And we love hotels that have no TV when we travel.

  5. Sue says:

    absolutely right, Janet – that certainly is fake living… Aaargh! What’s wrong with people? I watch very little TV – the news on an evening, and maybe one other thing. Nothing during the day. And nothing when I’m away on holiday!

    • Lenore Brashear says:

      I agree wholeheartedly!!!!!!

    • When we go to Wyoming, we can’t even get TV reception in the mountains, although we have a TV in case we want to watch a DVD, which has hardly ever happened. When I visit my s-i-l in France, I can’t understand anything, so…. 🙂 But we do watch some things in English just because they’re in English, so we saw all three Godfather movies last year. When I’m on vacation, I’m usually doing something else.

  6. julieallyn says:

    Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!!

  7. julieallyn says:

    Oh. And I posted the link for this on my Facebook page. 🙂

  8. barrydjd says:

    “take the TV with you” This means you have to have a smartphone glued to your head all day, everyday, wherever you go. One of my employers tried to tie me to one of those suitcase phones when they emerged in the late eighties. Naturally I refused. Since then I’ve never had or owned a cellphone. Once I’m out the door I’m free!

    • I have a cellphone mostly for the camera, but I admit it’s a struggle to keep from getting on it at other times. It can be useful, but certainly has to be managed, rather than managing me. I’ve seen moms out walking their children in strollers with phones in hand and talking/texting/looking at something. I want to yell, “Turn off the phone! Look around you. Enjoy nature and your child!” And there are people walking along looking at their phones everywhere, even running into other people or almost. Grrrr!


  9. Lindy Le Coq says:

    Totally agree, Janet. I am reminded of Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

  10. doodletllc says:

    Hmmm…thanks for highlighting this for me…I wondered why I was so bothered by this ad, but it didn’t totally click…of course…electronics…eating in restaurants where everyone has heads buried in the phone is obnoxious…you have my vote.

    • I find is sad to see people in a coffee shop “together” but everyone on their own devices and not even talking. Same thing happens in restaurants and even in people’s home.


  11. Allan G. Smorra says:


  12. Well said. It’s gotten so bad ever I who has high noise tolerance and has always worked better with background noise – I’m turning it off. Totally appalling that screens are everywhere and being used everywhere – children raised with all this constant barrage are going to be, behave, and respond very different than those in years past. Human contact/social skills and so much fun is being lost!

    • Exactly! It’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to take cyber breaks when I’m on vacation. When I’m in Europe, I don’t use my phone for anything except photos unless I’m at my s-i-l’s where I have wi-fi. What bothers me the most is people being on their phones when they’re with friends, being on the phone in the sense of not talking or paying attention to the other person. I find it insulting. If someone wants to be on their phone, why meet with me at all?


  13. The “silence” at our house would drive many people insane. The only time the tv is on is at night while we’re winding down after the day. Unless we have a podcast or music playing, all you hear is the sound of nature. Except when the dogs bark or the rooster crows 🙂 It did drive my ex-husband crazy, which is part of the reason he went back to the suburbs, but I love it, which is why I stayed here.

    • That’s a lot what it’s like when we’re in Wyoming, Madison, except that there are people in the cabin area. Not everyone’s cup or tea, but quite nice in my books.


  14. joey says:

    We’re bingers over here. We’re streamers. We read more than we watch tv, but when we do watch tv, we binge, and no commercials.
    We’re definitely not ‘tv people of America’ or whatever, but I can see the marketing and yep, it’s depressing.

    • No commercials is the way to go if you can do it. We just binge watched “Stranger Things” recently, although in two batches. We once binged watched several years of “24”, until my husband said we had to stop, as the tension was just too much without a week between episodes to decompress. 🙂


  15. HonieBriggs says:

    You so rarely bring the fury that I had to laugh a little at the passion in this post. We do only have one tv and we mostly rely on Netflix to deliver our entertainment. Viva la resistance!

    • 🙂 I don’t get as worked up about things as I used to when I was young-er, but this sort of thing is both annoying and, I think, harmful, at least at some point. We have one TV and as I mentioned, we have Netflix, which saves us a ton of money on movies. Thanks for reading and joining the resistance, Honie. 🙂 Hope all’s well with you and yours.


  16. Oh gads you hit a nerve. Watching moms and dads taking their kids on a walk and watching their phone and not talking to the kids. We have one tele, we have Netflix, we read news. Occasionally we can go to CNN on the internet if we want to SEE something.

    • Sounds as though you have a pretty good grip on your viewing and technology. But people walking around on their phones is so annoying and texting while driving, which happens all the time, is just a disaster waiting to happen.


  17. coreys079 says:

    First of all AT&T are too high priced I think, they might be good for some people; not everyone.

  18. Mr R has music streaming all day and I like that background noise. We do our own thing at our PCs during the day – not cleaning the few hours we still do a week. In the evening, we take turns to pick a movie or show from Netflix. We like some of the more sensible reality shows, and get less ads when we watch them using tv-on-demand on our tv-box. The tv is hardly used for commercial stations these days – and then only for some news and football. I love the internet, but I can still chill out when camping without stressing over unread emails. We never miss tv or movies either, while away from home. Nothing like sitting by the campfire having a talk.

    • Sounds like you’re managing your watching just fine, Christine, which is more than many people can say. I finally started not blogging while on trips, so that I can enjoy my time more and not feel guilty about not reading other blogs during that time. Even though I love blogging, that’s made it even better. I just blog about trips once I get back, so watch for blogs about France after mid-June. 🙂


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