We had some good times. The whole family gathered at 8pm (9 Central!) for the new episode of Babylon 5. My mom and I, bundled in blankets with Korean hot pot during a blizzard, watching the updates on the first Gulf War from our little apartment. Rooting for the little baby foxes in Nature. And the Superbowl. So many Superbowls.
I stood up for you, Television. When my step-mom banned MTV and refused to explain why, I snuck it in after school before she came home. When I discovered that you had porn, I charged it to my friend’s mom’s account for you, even though I could easily have gotten it for free on the Internet. I even watched the ads, TV. All of them. I never muted. Not once.
But something’s changed over the years. Those nights when I couldn’t sleep and I stayed up with your infomercials – I finally bought those Miracle Blades, by the way – they’re now spent with my MacBook, compulsively scrolling through pictures of cute cats. Or link-surfing on Wikipedia. Or reading about stuff I’m actually interested in. Or writing. You know, stuff that sort of requires brain waves.
I’m not saying you made me feel stupid all those years – more like you actually made me stupid. There were times – hours, days – when literally not a single synapse in my brain fired. Those were the days I spent with you. Sure there was Nova and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, but those were few and far between, and usually inspired heavy drinking.
I’m doing a lot better now. Without you. Don’t blame yourself – you’re just a box with a plug when it comes down to it. A product of a century that created much worse things, when you really think about it. And you did a lot to help us all get where we are now, don’t get me wrong.
But now I can watch whatever shows I want, for free, whenever I like. And yeah there’s still ads, but I never muted those anyway. The Internet has almost everything you had, and more. Way more. It’s made learning fun again. It’s made me feel like a part of society again. It’s… nicer to me. And funnier. And it does things my way. It understands me, TV. In ways you never did.
I can’t say that I miss you, TV. But I’ll admit the Internet will never have your little quirks, your eccentricities. No rabbit ears or snow – though I heard you don’t even have those anymore. I hope you’re not trying to be like the Internet. I never meant to make you feel like you needed to change who you are. I mean, if Radio still has followers, I’m sure there’s someone still out there for you. Someone who appreciates you, who doesn’t mind limited news viewpoints and endless reality programming. There will always be people who enjoy being in a near-comatose state for hours at a time.
The last year without you has been, well, amazing. I’ve done so much. Learned so much. Interacted with actual human beings. I hope you can see that now – that we were wrong for each other. And I hope you can move on.
I just thought I owed you an explanation. This is the last you’ll ever hear from me.