The television has come a long way in its time, with hundreds of channels all providing something interesting for almost every type of person it is hard not to watch it in our day and age. I was just like the majority of other people, I would come home from work and watch 'My Shows' whenever they were being shown on TV. I would sit on the couch and would be hardly more responsive then a turnip, there would be times more frequently then I'd like to admit that my wife who was sitting right next to me would say a whole sentence or ask me a question and I would not hear a word. I would have no recollection of what she said, and I'd be rudely brought back from my 'coma' with a "love tap" on the shoulder.
A couple years ago I started thinking about what the actual benefits were I was getting from watching the TV. The only things that really came to mind (other then a sore shoulder from my wife trying to get my attention) was the fact that it was an 'escape' from whatever was currently on my mind. Television for many people becomes such a large part of their lives because they use it to escape their lives and live the more exciting lives of the fictional characters they watch. After sitting there and thinking more about it, and not coming up with any real benefits (one benefit was the knowledge learned from specific 'real' shows, for example Survivorman or Nature shows) but as far as your everyday shows and sitcoms, I couldn't think of anything worth while. So, I thought I'd try to go a few weeks without watching any TV, and then I'd re-evaluate whether it was worth it to spend all that time in front of the television.
The two weeks quickly went by, and I had failed in regards to not watching any television, but I had drastically reduced the amount that I did watch. (I ended up watching 2 hours worth of TV) It turns out, that it was a lot harder then I thought to stop watching my normal programs. Even though I did not completely remove TV from my life, what happened in those two weeks was enough to really open my eyes at just what a waste of time it is to spend your free time in front of the TV. To this day, I very rarely watch TV anymore, I do watch it every once in a while while I am doing something else in the same room but my life has really improved from mostly removing TV from my life. In those two weeks I was able to cross off many of the items on my to do list and not only that, I was able to start and finish a couple books that I had been meaning to read. I crossed off items that I had been putting off for a long time because I thought that I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO DO THEM.
When it came time to re-evaluate the benefits of watching TV vs the benefits of not watching TV, well, you can obviously guess what route I decided to take. As far as TV being an escape, I found that just keeping busy at home was an escape in itself, and reading a book is by far a better escape. There are so many more benefits of skipping your 'shows' and living life to its fullest. These benefits will differ for everyone reading this, but take a few minutes of your time to write out a list of pros and cons of watching TV. Then take two weeks and try to not watch any TV at all, once these two weeks are through, re-evaluate your pros and cons list. And I think you will be surprised to know that you're outlook has brightened and you are more willing to go longer without watching any TV. After a couple weeks you'll find that it doesn't really matter to you if you miss the next episode of your shows.
I feel that one of the most important things that you can do to help yourself get away from the television is to start a hobby, or pick an old one back up again. Some of my hobbies that keep me busy include researching stocks and investments, writing articles, sports, woodworking, and reading books. If you want to become more active, start a sport or start going out for walks or bike rides you will not only be doing something enjoyable, you will be exercising which is so much better for you then sitting on a couch. If you are reading this, and you are overweight and watch a lot of TV, read this next sentence and never forget it. "One of the biggest things you can do to lose weight and improve your health is to stop watching TV!" take half, or even one quarter of the time you usually spend watching TV and go for a walk instead. In a few short months time you will be thanking me for the impact this will have on your life.
As you can probably tell, I have strong feelings about this subject. The reason for this is because it was a big eye opener in my life when I took this step to remove television from it. I know we have all read or thought about this before, and how we all know it is better not to watch, but I hope that my experience will be able to convince you to take that first step. Try going one, two or even three weeks without watching any television, it really isn't a lot of time and if you 'must' then record the shows that you think you have to watch, just make sure that you DON'T watch them during this time. Hopefully you will come to the decision that is best for you.
This is an original article written by BullishD for InfoBarrel.com, It was published on December 24th, 2010