“Where’s your TV?” is usually one of the first questions asked by those touring my home. I received that question again last week and realized it’s been three years since I sold my TV. How’s my life changed since then? I’ve saved over $2000 on the cable bill and I’ve recaptured 5,500 hours (that’s 7 ½ MONTHS of continuous 24/7 screen time!) of my life that otherwise would have been wasted sitting in front of the tube.
The average American spends over 5 hours per day watching TV. Typically, this is spent watching “news” which is either negative, promoting fear or hate, and “entertainment” that is oftentimes simply stupid, degrading, or otherwise distracting from a positive life. Any valuable information or experience I used to get from TV can be gathered from a quick daily scan of an online news site, or read in a book.
My thoughts are now more positive, my outlook on humanity is more optimistic, and my mind is more clear. I live in downtown St Louis which has a reputation for violence, and my co-workers routinely ask if I’ve heard of the latest crime they saw on the local news channel. I always say no, and follow that up with how I walk around downtown all the time and feel it’s a relatively safe place. In fact, I even talk to the “shady looking characters” and homeless people on the streets and find they are usually just normal people looking to go about their day peacefully. I don’t live in fear like some people who don’t even venture downtown because of the media coverage they see on TV.
Our culture is incredibly accustomed to a TV humming in the background constantly spewing subliminal messages and energy. It’s in airport lounges, doctor’s office waiting areas, at work, and almost always one of the first things you turn on when you come home at the end of the day. I challenge you to break this stereotype and keep the thing off —and see how long you can resist turning it on. Unplug it so you can’t flip it on easily with the click of a remote. Stack a few books in front of it, and when you get the urge for entertainment pop one open, or call a relative or old friend, write a diary, go outside to watch the sunset, do anything other than turn the thing on.
Do this for a few months and I guarantee you won’t have missed anything substantial. Eventually you’ll stop participating in the workplace chatter about the latest TV series or movies because you won’t be exposed to the advertisements promoting the next thing—and you know what? You won’t even care! It’ll actually be liberating when you realize how much emotional energy, money, and time people spend getting sucked into this fake electronic world that you have now reinvested back into your life.
Bottom Line: Free time, save money, positive energy…what’s stopping you from ditching your TV addiction?
If this post added value to your life, read: The True Cost of Your Vehicle.