A few days ago I read in a newspaper that on average, a person spends about 30 hours a week watching television. Furthermore, this average was 20% more for the holiday season.
The article reminded me of my teenage years, where I spent more than 7 hours a day watching episode after episode. Eating in front of the television, homework in front of the television…. At the time, it seemed like the “best drug” I ever found!
A decade later, I am proud (& relieved!) to say that I am not that person anymore! The transition didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy. I thought of sharing my insight on how I managed to regain those hours.
When an innocent hobby/habit becomes a problemWhen engaged in watching television, time “goes by” quickly (unless the program is very boring!). Can you recall a moment where you sat down to watch one episode and then saw highlights of the next program and thought “might as well watch this one too”. Before you know it, an hour has passed; and then another and another…. So, once you are ready to get yourself out of the couch, it’s time to sleep. Or you have fallen asleep on the couch itself!
Although watching television can be a great way to unwind after a hectic day, laugh out loud, or even learn something new, it is, generally, the biggest time vampire in modern society. It took several “not so good” grades to make me aware this!
Evaluating a “healthy” levelTake a few minutes and write down all the shows you watching during the week. Don’t cheat! Write ALL, even the shows you would not admit to watching! For each show write how long it is. Add up the total hours. Is the number too high? Or are you satisfied?
How many times have you decided NOT to do something (socialize, study etc) because something you liked was coming on television?
Reasons why we watch televisionThe reason for watch television may vary from person to person. It might even be a more than one reason. These are a few reasons I can think of, for the moment.
1. Tired.. want to relax
2. Don’t want to spend “alone” time, alone!
3. A diversion from your life (television has you believing that life’s troubles are over in 22 or 42 minutes plus commercials!)
4. Have nothing better to do – bored
5. To increase sociability
All my friend talk about the latest heroes episode at lunch
I find it difficult having conversations with people who say “Did you watch…?” or “Do you watch…?”
The bitter truthOther people are being paid to do what they love (acting, directing, producing etc!)
You are watching other people, do what they love!
Why spend most of the time watching other people live their lives?
Why it’s so… difficult24 hours a day, 365 days a year… . There are hundreds of channels, catering for every conceivable taste.
“I’ve felt very compelled to give up TV for, like, a year now, and I just don’t, partially because I adore some of the shows on TV”…. Sounds familiar?
If you can’t totally eliminate watching television….Most of us have always had TV in our lives so it is hard to imagine life without it. So what can be done, without giving it up entirely?
1. Watch ONLY want you WANT to watch, WHEN you want to watch!
Look back at the evaluation exercise you carried out before.
Decide on the programs you really want to watch.
Perhaps, it will be a good idea to rent those television series. It will prevent you from channel hopping and “settling” from watching “what’s on”
2. Use television as a reward
For example: If you finish writing a report, cleaning the house etc
Once you have finished doing what you intended to reward yourself to a few hours of television.
3. Find new ways to occupy your time
How does one get to a point where they are too busy to watch television? “I am way too busy to watch television”
May be a new hobby, a project .. surely there must be something that you always wanted to do but never got around to it?
I don’t recommend this for important tasks. Perhaps, you can have the television on, while doing choirs, exercising etc
Have there been occasions where you realized that you have to cut down on television? Were you able to do so?
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