A Teen believes in TiVo

Connor - San Rafael, California
Entered on January 10, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

When trying to determine one’s beliefs, the mind often jumps to the traditional themes such as faith, life, morality, and humanity. While philosophers such as Buddha, Thoreau, and Plato spent their entire lives trying to grasp beliefs revolving around such ideas, I have thus far spent my life trying to ignore them. As a sixteen year old, I am supposed to be “finding an identity” and “harvesting a sense of justice”. But upon writing this essay and having to think about what I believe, I have never felt more like I posses no beliefs whatsoever. Whenever I pause to think about who I am and the morals I live by, my brain begins to throb as existentialist and philosophical thoughts bombard it mercilessly. In my head, the voice of my Christian upbringing shouts things I learned in Sunday School while facts about evolution and human emotion are read off a list by a voice of scientific reason. Who am I to know the answers to questions about life? Socrates argued, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. Well sorry, but this old Greek guy must have skipped being a teenager. I change too quickly to examine who I am and what I believe about my existence. For now at least, the only thing I know I can fully believe in is my TiVo.

The foundations of my belief in this digital video recording device lie within it’s many abilities, all of which I lack in my own life. First, I believe in my TiVo’s ultimate power to record and document everything that happens on television, even when I am not there. If I have too much homework on Monday night, my TiVo is there for me, recording Heroes on NBC. If I am eating a late dinner on Thursday, my TiVo is on ABC in my stead, recording Grey’s Anatomy. As a junior in high school I find myself wishing that I could record the events in my own life. With school, volunteering, sports and work to occupy my attention, I often miss out on things such as family dinners and hanging out with my friends. But unlike with my TiVo, there is no record button to go back and live those moments I miss because of other commitments.

Second, I believe in my TiVo’s efficiency and organization. Every time it records a program, it files it away in little folders in the “Now Playing” section. Each folder contains the different episodes recorded of a show and even includes a description about the plot and actors. In my own life, I fail to organize my thoughts and possessions on a daily basis and suffer the unproductive results. My TiVo is the only thing that I know will not forget anything and organize everything.

Finally, I believe in my TiVo’s control. With it’s remote in my hand, I have complete control over my TV. I can pause to savor a scene, fast-forward through one I do not like, or even rewind to relive a favorite moment. There is no TiVo through which I may view my own life, and as a teenager I can only dream of having such control over my reality.

While I live in a world of confusion and change, my TiVo indulges me with a semblance of structure and control. It provides me with a network of shows through which, if just for a moment, I am able to loose myself. When I watch my television I do not have to think about the meaning of life or the validity religion. Ignorance is bliss after all, and my TiVo provides me with precious moments of respite from an over-analyzed reality. For that, I believe in TiVo. Unless, of course, there is a power failure.