Well. Believe it or not, the 30-day challenge that I issued a while ago to not watch television has ended. I treated myself to watching BBC’s Sherlock, right after (great show). That was rather fast. I kept to my word and only watched 24 and actually missed watching that a couple of times and had to go back and watch the reruns on Hulu.
So what was the point of the whole challenge? Here are a couple observations I gleaned through that time:
1. Television is a time sink.
This probably goes without saying. Television is a luxury, not a necessity. Yet with the way many people treat it, you’d think it was the other way around. The amount of time that is needed to sit aimlessly in front of a television is an utter time sink. There’s nothing wrong with doing that every once in a while here and there. I saw a report from the Kaiser Foundation that said that kids from 15-18 years old average about 4.5 hours of television a day. In other words, they have a part time job doing basically nothing. Yes, they could be watching it for educational purposes but that much television? I highly doubt that. Also, people 65 and older watch about seven hours of television a day. That’s crazy and an abject waste of one’s life.
2. Productivity goes up.
As I’m writing this, a coworker is watching television on the PC. Talk about being non-productive.
If you remember from the last post on my 30-day challenge, my main computer had gone on the blink when shortly after. So, I wasn’t able to get done with the writing that I wanted to do because of having to backup files, buy equipment, and go through the nightmare of setting all that up. Even so, I did finish three books in that amount of time which was quite an accomplishment and almost got me caught up to my goal of about a book a month. So time that may have been spent watching television was spent exercising my mind and doing me some good. You can beat that with a stick.
3. You can strengthen relationships.
I found myself spending more time with my wife who I already do everything with anyway. But I was calling people more and spending time talking with them as well. There’s a big plus in strengthening relationships even if it’s just a phone call. You have to make sure that doesn’t turn into a time sink as well because you can be talking to people for hours about a whole lot of nothing all of the time. Useless gossipers do this. Investing into someone’s life takes genuine time and care. It’s also a good way to spend your life instead of watching television ‘for an exorbitant amount of time.
I’m convinced that less television will improve your life. Having a movie night with you family and friends is one thing. Spending every day watching television is such an irresponsible use of time (like this guy still watching television here at work). That time spent on watching television could be spent on a multitude of things that do more for your character and life in a positive way. That is always a good thing. Always.