5 Reasons I Stopped Watching TV (or at least watch less)
I found the recent Yahoo! Finance article 7 Extreme Ways to Save Money pretty interesting. It basically discussed various (extreme) ways to cut costs. For me, the last one mentioned is the simplest:
Ditch the TV
The Yahoo! article says by trashing the TV, people would be saving money because they’d no longer be bombarded by ads, which makes sense, right? However, I think the idea of either no longer watching (or watching much less) television is worthy of an entire post.
Disclaimer – I DO Watch TV
First of all, I will admit that growing up, I was a TV junkie. My summers were often spent watching reruns of everything from Leave It to Beaver to Gilligan’s Island to Star Trek and Monkees. So, yes, I’ve watched my share of TV, and a lot of who I am did come from the influence of TV shows (see my post on Star Trek).
Today, my weak spot is Heroes.
But really, with our society so bathed in media 24/7, sometimes it’s a good idea to simply…disconnect.
Benefits of Foregoing TV
Being self employed and with a family as well, I find I have very little time for TV anyway. If it’s on these days, it’s really only for the kids.
For me, here’s what not watching the ol’ tube has allowed:
- I’ve Regained the Opportunity Costs – for me, this is the most important. This means that instead of spending time watching TV, that time is now used for something else that’s more productive, such as spending time with the family, doing chores (brownie points from the spouse), working (good for clients), or sleeping (good for me )
- I’m more Proactive – TV is a passive medium. You sit there and simply get spoken to. When it’s on, I get into the mindless and time-wasting habit of channel surfing, trying to find something worth watching. Now, I either read, do some exercise, or go out for a walk.
- I Free my Mind – When I’m not watching TV, I no longer have to get enthralled in some reality show, listen to a get-rich-quick-scheme, hear about the latest diet fad, or be cajoled into calling right now while operators are standing by to get the extra free knife set (still have the pay shipping)! When I think about it, those shows serve no real good purpose except to eat up my time. I’m not going to be on Jeopardy! or do anything where useless TV knowledge will come in handy, and I certainly don’t need to buy more stuff. Because it’s easy to access, cheap (or free), and there’s a lot of it, TV is like junk food for the mind. Free yourself from its grasp, and now you’re able to think.
- I Have a Quieter Household – In the old days, I used to turn on the TV, and it would be on for hours, even if I was doing something else. But now, with it usually off, it’s much more peaceful — and I can even listen to music.
- I Can Appreciate the Good Shows more – Now, on the rare occasion I do watch a show, it’s more of a well-deserved break from my busy day. I’m sure the experience will never be like in the Golden Age of Television where families tuned into live shows, but at least I am more in control of my own life. And I pick and choose more carefully the one or two shows to watch for simple entertainment.
Try Less TV
Television is a powerful medium, with great influence on people who watch. I am not saying we should completely ban TV, either. I have simply just found that now that I really don’t watch TV that much, I have more time to simply be myself, and to think for myself and do the things I want to do in this life.
If you watch more than an hour a day, try taking a break for a week with the mindset you’ll do some of the things you’ve always wanted to work on (read that book, work on that painting, go workout, etc.)
You might like it.