Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pandora vs TV

Easy access to a plethora of TV and movies has become a bit of a problem as of late here.  We do not have cable, only local channels...but we do have a Roku device and so our library of available shows and movies are abundant between Netflix Instant Watch and Amazon Instant Video.  We even dropped that part of the Netflix plan that allows us to get dvds because the list of shows and movies available to watch instantly was so great.

Therein lies the problem.  I find myself getting sucked into watching season after season of show after show. I recently went through watching all the Biggest Loser episodes....150+ episodes.  I would just sit and slowly go brain dead watching episode after episode of whatever show I was watching.  Oh, I have watched some really good, quality TV.  I love shows from BBC like Doc Martin, Land Girls, Rosemary and Thyme, etc.  But, I am not sure what I got out of shows like Biggest Loser.  The recent show I found myself sucked into was Roswell, a show about teenage aliens....yes, teenage aliens.  At the end of the day, I will find myself with a headache and I feel like such a loser.

Ah, but there is something else about the Roku.  It has a Pandora app.  You put in a favorite band and it will find music from other bands that are like the band you like and you have a 30 second commercial every 6 or so songs.  Oh, I have loved Pandora for some time and long ago gave up listening to regular radio stations.  Recently, I decided to put Switchfoot into Pandora and do some cleaning.  The bands that have been coming up have been incredible.  I find myself dancing around the house as I go from task to task.  Or, I grab a book and sit down and let Pandora play softly as I immerse myself into whatever story I am getting into.  At the end of the day, I may have a headache from reading too much or from scrubbing the floors too much, but I feel satisfied that I did not just let my brain rot out.

I was telling my husband just last night, I love having music playing all day and getting things done...why don't I do that more often??  Why do I allow myself to get stuck in a TV show when there are so many other things I can be doing??  My house is brain is fresher....I am happier.  I am still watching TV, but I am limiting it.  I am falling in love with music more and more each day.  My new favorite band is Lifehouse. I am reading a great book.  I am getting curriculum organized.  I recommend Pandora.  You can have it on your Roku or on your smartphone.  Personally, I love Switchfoot radio and Relient K radio, but you can put in whatever band you like.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What your kids watch

Today, I was looking through the movies available to watch on Netflix instant watch and Amazon prime instant watch.  These movies are free to watch at anytime through your computer, Wii or other devices and are very easily accessible to you or whoever uses the devices.  Our daughter has a Roku device in her room and has open access to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Now, I am more flexible of what my kids watch than most parents and more strict with what they watch than others.  Some people I know shake their heads either outwardly or inwardly when they hear what my kids have seen....and I sometimes shake my head when I hear what other kids have seen.

Summer is upon us now.  Kids are bored.  Some kids are left at home alone while mom and dad work.  As I looked at what was available to watch on these two programs, I was pretty scared of what is available for my daughter (and your kids) to see.  There is no way to filter what they can see.  It is all just out there.  I do not know which is worse, Amazon or Netflix.

Now, I am not here to tout the evil that is either of these companies.  It is not up to them to censor what they put out there, it is ours to protect our children.  It is supply and demand with them.  If people are watching these shows, than they will keep making them available.  But, I any of us check up on what our kids watch?  Are we making sure that they are protected within the walls of what we have set for their viewing?  It is scary!!  A lot of good tv and movies are available in these programs.  Matt and I look forward to a Jack Ryan marathon soon as all of these movies are now available on Amazon (well, not Hunt for Red October, but then we own that one).  Lots of good British shows/movies are also available on each and we can not forget Spongebob and Phineas and Ferb which are staple shows for our viewing pleasure.

But, as I stated, my concern is our children (young and teen)...left on their own.  Curiosity is a dangerous thing. Curiousity killed the cat....and could kill your child's innocence.

I just wanted to state that in hopes that parents might look at the viewing history from time to time...make sure nothing is sneaking by.  There are some crazy, bad shows out there.