Lessons in T.V.

by - May 07, 2011

The latest episode of House I watched (not necessarily the newest) addressed an issue I think many people find themselves faced with these days.

The patient - played by the girl who played Donna in That 70s Show - was a blogger. I'll skip the gory details of what qualified her to be a patient of House's...

When I say this woman was a blogger, I mean it in the most intense way a person can use the word 'blogger'. Her blog was like a stage and the words it consisted of were a play-by-play of her actual life. She didn't make a decision on anything without first getting the feedback of her readers, and when I say anything I really do mean it.

As you can imagine, this had a significant effect on this woman's personal life and relationships.

Her significant other was none to pleased to find every detail of their relationship, from their sex life to their fights, being told to a large group of people, nor did he appreciate her asking her largely unknown audience's advice on decisions he felt they should make as a couple.

While House obviously is a medical drama, it also addresses many social issues and this one focused on how the internet can take over a person's life.

At one point, the woman made the observation that it's easier to talk about things openly when no one's looking at you... and that got me thinking.

Have we as a society become so socially inept that we can't openly and forthrightly communicate with each other face-to-face? Are we no longer capable of having fulfilling personal relationships outside of our phones and computers?

Don't get me wrong. A blog is a great way to express yourself or voice your opinion (even if it is unpopular), but it shouldn't take the place of real life. Sometimes getting the perspective of someone unconnected to your present situation can be beneficial (i.e. you've had a fight with your friend/coworker and don't know what to do), but should anyone turn to a group of people they don't know and who don't know them other than through their blog to make important decisions (i.e. surgery, changing your diet, getting married/divorced) that greatly impact your life?

There's this wide world out there full of beautiful, crazy, real things.

Why would anyone want to trade that for a computer screen?

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  1. Blogging can become an addiction. It's like an interactive game that you can get hooked on. Publishing a post is like pulling the handle on a casino slot machine. We all experience a thrill, a high, a moment of validation each time somebody posts a comment in response to something that we have written. Unless the comment is argumentative, it makes us feel good about ourselves. ("They like me! They really like me!") Yet, the high that we experience from positive feedback quickly wears off and we find ourselves repeating the procedure so that we can take another love bath in the favorable comments that we receive. Problems arise when the law of diminishing return takes effect. You require more and more comments and more and more followers to maintain the same high. Chasing that high can prompt a blogger to flood the market with posts (several a day) in an effort to make that connection and experience that high. We must always remember that internet relationships cannot and should not supersede real life face-to-face relationships. Everybody needs to do what you did recently, Ashton, and that was to pause, collect yourself, and allow ample time for the more important aspects of your life.

    P.S. - Please visit my blog on Monday, dear friend. I have an award for you to pick up. It is one that you richly deserve!