Television isn’t bad. I disagree with the experts when they say TV is bad. I don’t think it is bad. I think it is misunderstood.
People think TV must be watched. People think that when they get home, if the TV isn’t on, then something is wrong. People think that TV will allow them to unwind from a tough day. People think TV will help their kids, or keep them under control. These are all false.
TV is a form of entertainment. And just like any form of entertainment it is meant to be enjoyed, in moderation. I enjoy my TV. I watch Heroes, The Unit, and Criminal Minds religiously. If I miss the episode, and don’t DVR it I will catch it online.
What I don’t enjoy, is when I have a remote in my hands, changing channels without finding anything I like to watch, and then settling on a channel just because I am ‘watching TV’. That is when it switches from entertainment to compulsion. You HAVE to watch TV, because you are sitting in front of it, remote in hand. Not because you are enjoying yourself, but because that is what you are doing.
Think about it, if you were reading a book, and you found it boring, would you ruffle through the chapters, or scan your book shelf for something else, then settle on another book because you are reading? No. You’d get up and find something else to do. You may indeed find another book you enjoy more, but you feel perfectly normal switching to blogging or cooking.
TV isn’t bad. Where else can you spend $1.38 for one hour of entertainment night in an night out? (based off the Average cable bill in 2005 of $43.04) Where else can you find movies, music, sports, and educational programs from your home? TV is good. I love my TV shows, and there is nothing wrong with that.
The compulsion to watch TV is bad. Sitting in front of your TV night in and night out because it is there is bad.
A few possible solutions:
1) Limit what you watch. If you limit your TV to one hour a day, you would free up a ton of time to do something you love.
2)Don’t Surf. If you find yourself flipping through channels or find that your just not satisfied by what you are watching? Hit the power button. Turn it off. This goes for TV or Radio on your drive to work. I do this in my car. If I go through all 12 of my stations and can’t find a song I like, I shut the radio off. I’ll turn it on again after a few minutes, if I get the urge. For that minute though there is nothing on, so why keep flipping? When I shut it off I instantly exhale and feel better. You’ll feel better if you turn the TV off too. Trust me.
3)Consolidate. Have TVs in multiple rooms of the house? Cut that number down. Have just the TV in the living room. This will reduce your likelihood of watching random shows, or have it on in the background while your cooking, cleaning, or spending time with your spouse at night.
4)Go cold turkey. Cancel your cable bill. You don’t need it. All the prime time shows you can watch for free online. You can even find some of the old re-runs if you are really bored and need a Family Guy fix. Just wander over to Hulu.com and watch an episode, then go back to life.
Remember TV is entertainment, and as such it is a fabulous form of it. I LOVE my TV shows. I am responsible for my whole department watching Heroes every Monday, and I’m proud of it. I love the show and it makes my Mondays better. However, other than my three TV shows, I don’t really watch that much TV. There are other things better to do.
TV is entertainment, meant to be watched when you need to be entertained. Turn it off from time to time. And do yourself a favor, if you’re not in front of it, turn it off. You’ll be less inclined to sit down and watch it unless you know of a particular show coming on.