Jun 24, 2022

Tune into this channel

 Which is your favorite channel?

When I was a kid, there was only Doordarshan, for a few hours in a day. Then came DD Metro, Sun TV, and 100 other channels. The 90s and 2000s saw more and more channels getting added to DTH. After the penetration of smartphones, many OTT platforms added more to our list of things to watch. Since 2016-17, Youtube channels also got added to our list - it is no longer 100 channels on TV, we have now 10000+ channels on our smartphone.

We now have access to some fantastic, useful, and inspirational content. My cooking skills have improved over the past decade, thanks to food bloggers and YouTubers.

When Youtube was getting popular in India, many of the channels were focused on a particular topic - recipes, home decor, fitness, programming, personal finance, etc. But in the last few years, vlogging has become a trend - some of them create vlogs daily, sharing every single detail of their day, garnering millions of subscribers. I'm clueless why would a "Bathroom tour" video gain a million views!

As our Agila Ulaga Superstar Shiva says, "marakkaama surprise pannunga", Youtube channels keep giving us surprises for the sake of "content". TV serial makers and ad creators can take inspiration from vloggers.

I used to follow a few such vloggers, back in 2017-18. When I asked myself what did I gain by watching such daily vlogs, the answers that came up were - menu planning, home organization, positivity, inspiration, travel ideas etc. Some of them were for just time pass.

These vlogs are carefully curated, edited and made to look pretty. No doubt, they take a lot of effort. But it doesn't convey the complete picture of his/her life. Moreover, someone leading their lives a certain way can inspire us to an extent, but when the intention changes to copying or imitating a certain vlogger's life template, that's when it becomes an issue for us.

Such an intention (consciously or unconsciously) leads us to desire the material objects they use, places they travel to, restaurants they visit and more. One might argue that such vlogs help us in discovering new objects or experiences. But they also inadvertently increase our desire for things we don't need.

More than the above reasons, what's more concerning is this fact -

The more we spend time looking into other people's lives for inspiration, the less time we spend looking into our own lives.

Sometimes, I wonder if we are consciously using these distractions to avoid watching our "inner channel" with a Subscriber count of 1.

Why do we avoid or ignore our channel?

Is it the fear of facing our thoughts?

Is it boring or uneventful?

Is it the fear of facing uncomfortable questions from our conscious mind?

Is it because of the perceived effort that seems daunting?

When we start tuning into our inner channel, we start to understand ourselves better - our needs, our feelings, our emotions, and our body's signals. Our intuition starts to get sharpened. We feel comfortable being who we are. Our self-esteem improves. We feel confident to take on new challenges.

The benefits are plenty. But to experience them, we need to go within - every single day. How?

By "doing nothing" - Just sit for a few minutes, preferably with eyes closed and just observe.

By consciously reducing distractions and cutting down the external channels we tune into every day.

Techniques like meditation, self-inquiry, journaling, self-expression through art, being in solitude, going for a walk outside, and being amidst nature - prioritize these activities and schedule time for them.

Tune into your inner channel. It will "surprise you" :)

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