tv addiction

Why Quit TV

Those 11 years I mentioned are entirely real.  According to NY Daily News, the average American now spends 34 hours per week watching TV.  I repeat: 34 hours per week.  That's nearly as much as a full time job.  It's no wonder no one can ever find the time to do anything: exercise, build a business, walk the dog, play with your kids, we're literally working a second job actively staring at a screen.  If that isn't an addiction, I don't know what is.

With some math, this adds up to over 11 year wasted on this insidious addiction to TV.  Beginning at age 20, we take 34 hours, and multiply by 4 weeks, then multiply that by 12 months, then multiply that by 60 years (for a total life span of 80 years).  Take this product and divde it by 24 to convert the hours into days, then divide that by 365 to convert the days into years.  It's actually 11.17 years!

Now, just imagine all of that time sprinkled into your everyday life, just under 5 hours per day. This time can easily be used to get in the best shape of your life, find new passions and hobbies, which could lead to building a business on, the possibilities are endless, but so long as you remain addicted to TV, your possibilities dilute down to only one: wasted potential, and a boring life.

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing."  - Benjamin Franklin


Ask Yourself

How much TV do you really watch per day? Are you addicted to TV?  I know it may be hard to admit, addiction springs up drastic connotations that mean you have no power over your actions, but that might not be too far from the truth if it's an habitually integrated part of your day. 

So answer the question honestly, you're the only person that's going to know.  Besides, the only way to solve the problem is to admit there's one in the first place, so don't let your ego get in the way here.  And no excuses.  It doesn't matter that you only watch two hours after work to "relax", it's either yes, or no, no other variables will determine the answer.


How to Beat TV Addiction

  1. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away.  Like smoking, cold turkey has the highest success rate.  You have to treat this like a legitimate addiction if you want to get rid of it.
  2. Exercise.  It doesn't have to be much, you don't need to lift weights - although you should, but taking a brisk stroll for 30 minutes a day will help significantly with your mood.
  3. Find interests and hobbies.  The main problem with going from 34 hours a week of TV to 0 hours is boredom.  Guess what?  That's the whole point of quitting.  Remember how excited you got when you first read the title?  It's real.  It's so real, that when you magically gain all of that extra time, you literally wont have a clue what to do.  You must find new, productive interest.  It doesn't matter what it is as long as it interests you and most importantly makes you happy.


Withdrawals of Beating TV Addiction

While withdraw is a bit of a strange term to use here, it does make sense.  Withdraw simply means withdrawing from something, not necessarily drugs.  And quitting TV definitely has withdral symptoms.  They don't occur in any particular order, but they can mostly be solved as they come.

  1. Extreme boredom.  Again, the third note above is absolutely critical, I can't stress this enough.  Find something constructive to do.
  2. Emptiness.  This is tied to the boredom, but it's caused during any major habit shift.  You're basically reconstructing how you spend the bulk of your free time, and it takes a while to adapt.  This is the main reason smoking is so hard to quit, it isn't the physiological addiction to nicotine, it's the emotional habit of having one when you do this, and that.  Similar to TV addiction where you watch TV while eating, while waiting, while reading, while drawing, while doing literally everything maybe.
  3. Sadness or depression.  Again, one of the major determining factors for this is the third note in the previous section, and the second is specifically added for this reason.  Exercise will keep your mood up, and outlook positive.

I'm going to get a little philosophical here, so bare with me.

One of the biggest causes of mental withdraw symptoms is attachment by the ego.  Watching TV is the least stimulating thing you can possibly do with your time, and we're all typically lazy, it's simply our nature.  Overtime watching TV becomes part of who we are, causing attachment, meaning the ego is now using the act of watching TV as part of the definition of who you are.  

This is what causes a feeling of emptiness, like a piece of us is missing when we stop, because the ego loses a massive defining characteristic of what it thinks it is, causing pain.

Depending on how much TV you watch a day, it will take around one to three months to not miss it, or anything on it, but I promise that as time goes on it gets easier and easier, the 1 to 2 month time frame is for a completely cured status.


My Story

I gave up TV when I was 18 years old.  Honestly because it broke, but that incident turned out to be a deciding factor in my life.  

I'm now only 21, but I've got a job paying more than any of my friends have, I'm fit, and getting stronger all the time, I'm building two businesses simultaneously (nothing huge, mind you), and I've begun producing electronic music recently.  

I'm by no means bragging, nothing I've accomplished is anything extraordinary, I'm mearly showing the power TV really has over your life.

Your productivity and creativity will explode if you quit shutting down your brain for 5 hours each day, I guarantee it.