Thursday, March 30, 2017


“You have earned 10,000,000 points!!!”

"Subscribe now and get 2X points with each purchase."

"Use our Rewards Card and get free [Whatever] for a year."

Sound familiar?

You probably get something in snail mail or email every week—if not every day—offering you all kinds of stuff FREE. And if you order $XX in items, you get FREE shipping!

Rewards are only a click away . . . .

My least favorite offer du jour is the one that my communications company wants to “give” me—I can bundle telephone, Internet, and television, for a mere $XX per month.

I get this offer at least every other week, sometimes more often. What they don’t know is: I don’t watch TV. If I want to watch whatever free television stations I can get in my town, I can install a big old antenna on the roof. Had one for years. Didn’t always work. I quit watching. I'm told there are other options, but if I don't want to watch TV, why would I install an antenna?

It isn’t only because I'm a dinosaur.

I used to be a TV watcher. My family got our first television set—black and white, of course—when I was 12. All that summer I watched game shows and drooled over the prizes the contestants won. (Well, I was 12, after all, in those long-ago days.)

But something has happened—both to television broadcasting and to me.

Television programming has ceased to interest me. If I haven’t seen that type of show decades ago in another incarnation, then I’ve seen its brother, sister, and cousin. And didn’t like it then.

The best televised programs for me are on PBS. Many come from the UK. Many are dramatizations of books I’ve read, by authors I like. (And these often become available on DVDs or through the Internet. I can watch, if I like, at any time suitable to me.)

So why should I pay for television service?

I have a set—in fact, I have two, because I watch them in different places in the house. The TVs are needed to play DVDs of the shows and movies I’ve enjoyed and still enjoy. They also play CDs of music I can listen to while I sew, cook, or even read.

The other reason I don’t watch television is about Time. How much time do I have left to live? (Nobody knows the answer to that.) How much time do I have each week to do all the things I enjoy? (The same amount everybody has—168 hours.)

So the question becomes—How do I allocate my 168 hours?

Your answers will be different from mine. But think about that a while. Do you have to give up something when you take on a new project? I do. Every single time someone asks me to try a different activity, go on a trip with them (even a day trip), visit a new place to have lunch—I have to pause and consider. And that means I’ve used up some more of my 168 hours.

There are just no slots available to slip in something new. If I make a place for quiet time--reading, meditating, writing--then the hours are filled.

I’ve given up fussing about the offers I get in the mail. If they’re cardboard, they go in the recycling bin. If they’re not recyclable, I trash them. Yes, that takes time also. But I can multi-task; while I fill the trash bin I can give myself an "atta girl" for rejecting the magnificent offer I've just binned.

As to rewards: Do we really really really need rewards? Do we actually earn all the stuff we’re promised? You can tell I’m from the era of merit—if you were good enough to earn a medal, by golly you got a medal. If you didn’t earn the points, then you didn’t get the reward.
Sometimes, I think the old ways were best. They certainly made us work harder.

And if that’s being a dinosaur, then I am one.

Hello, my name is Judith and I’m a dinosaur.

No comments:

Post a Comment