There have been several times in my life when I've been accused of watching too much TV. I grew up with very little TV, mostly only being allowed to watch Sesame Street as a kid. I remember in college, I had a boyfriend who claimed all I wanted to do was watch TV and the only thing he knew about me was that I liked The Drew Carey Show. (In my defense, I didn't own a TV and he did, and I really didn't like Drew Carey all that much. I kept a blog then that I wrote in daily, which he read, and never once wrote about TV.)
Then in my fourth year of medical school, for a couple of months I subletted a room in some friends' house who had a giant TV. It was fourth year and I was bored, so I watched a fair amount and I somehow got a reputation as somehow who watched a lot of TV. Like, they would make jokes about it.
And now, my husband alternates between asking me if we can watch a show tonight and complaining we watch too much TV.
All these experiences with being nagged and teased about watching TV have led me to worry: do I have a secret television addiction? I really don't think I do, but am I simply in denial?
So as an experiment, I've decided to apply the CAGE questions for alcoholism to my TV watchage:
C: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your TV watching?
Not really. I never felt like my watching of TV ever got in the way of anything else.
A: Have people annoyed you by criticising your TV watching?
Yes. But in my defense, people can be very annoying.
G: Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your TV watching?
Hell no. TV is awesome.
E: Have you ever watched TV first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or as an eye-opener?
No, I usually just drink vodka.
My score of 0-1 indicates no apparent problem, so I think we've proven I likely don't have a problem with television. I just use it recreationally.
It does really irritate me though when people try to tell me I have a problem. I mean, from age 18 to 25, I didn't even own a TV and didn't miss it at all. I only bought a tiny one during my third year of medical school because my mother insisted it would make me feel less lonely. In 2011, I read over 40 books in my free time... it's not like all I do is sit there staring at the TV. Sheesh.