Television has become like sleep; you just can’t do without it. Every day hundreds of millions of people around the world sit down and spend time watching their favorite shows. In fact, people love TV so much they might even spend a few hours watching programs that they don’t even like! No where else does this happen. No body goes to a baseball game if they hate baseball. But people will watch bad TV just because they love TV.
In this post I want to show you why TV is your worst habit. I want to talk about why I think millions of us will regret the day we ever turned that thing on. Hopefully someone out there learns to say “no” to television.
How much TV do you watch?
Before I get into the meat of this post I want to ask you all how much TV you watch. Now be honest. Take a good look at your week and think about how many hours you have spent laying on the couch just watching whatever is on. Did you catch the news at six? Did you make it up til Letterman? Did you catch Lost or Scrubs or any of those prime time shows? Perhaps you got them all?
Once you have figure out how much TV you watched last week I want you to leave a comment and tell us. Be brutally honest. How many hours of TV do reader of The Daily Mind watch per week?
Why TV is your worst habit
Now that you have established how many hours you are watching I would like to give you a few reasons why I think TV is a bad habit. If you agree with me or disagree with me please share your thoughts.
1. You can’t get that time back
Life is short. It is fleeting. You have no idea when you are going to die and with that uncertainty comes a real sense of urgency. You will never get that time back. All those days you decided to just watch a few more programs are gone forever. Those hours of your life are gone.
2. It takes away from important tasks
All throughout my childhood my father watched a lot of TV. I remember getting up every morning and getting ready for school while he sat and read the paper and watched the finance news. Then he would come home around 6pm and turn on the new again. We’d eat dinner and I’d go to bed. The whole day I would spend no more than 20 minutes with my father.
And then I moved out. Now I never see him. Maybe twice a month in a good month. And I know he regrets it. He has actually told me that he wished he turned the TV off and just want to a game with me or played some chess. Now we never see each other and he regrets it. You will too.
3. It is never ending
Television is very addictive. You get to sit on a comfortable couch with a nice drink and some snacks and do exactly nothing while the networks get better and better at keeping you there. During the good TV shows like Scrubs and 30 Rock you get commercials for the crap that is going to be on afterward and so you sit there instead of going to bed. And then you are too tired to get up in the morning and do something useful.
But it doesn’t end there. Television stations suck you in for new TV programs that are about to be launched. So instead of being satisfied by a good TV show you are now thirsty for the next thing that is going to be on. TV watching is never ending. You are never satisfied.
4. It makes you numb
Television makes you numb. And it makes you numb because you have spent years now watching everything that has ever been invented. You watch comedy, drama, movies, reality TV, documentaries, porn… everything. Any human experience that you can think of you have already seen it on the TV. And now you are numb. Things don’t excite you as much. Life doesn’t give you the same innocent buzz that it used to. The media has killed that buzz and replaced it with an urge to sit and do nothing.
Your brain is less active when you watch TV than when you sleep. It is numbing. It is relaxing. But you never really get more relaxed. You just want more.
5. It makes you lazy
Television, more than anything else, makes you a lazy person. Going to the gym seems like climbing Mount Everest because you have spent so much time sitting there with a numb mind doing nothing. And when you finally realize that you are out of shape and quit unhealthy you are too lazy to do anything about it. Sad.
I believe there is a direct relationship between how much TV you watch and how much you accomplish in life. The more TV you watch the less you will achieve. Whether it is a happy family, a good career, a fit and healthy body or a loving marital sex life – TV compromises all of those things. And it is not just because it takes up all of your time, it is because all of that stuff seems far too hard.
6. It changes your personality
How many times today have you quoted Bart Simpson or said something from your favorite TV show? My best friend and I are constantly quoting Scrubs lines. When something good happens we say, “Eagle!” like Turk and JD and when I answer the phone he calls me Vanilla Bear. I often wonder what we would talk like if we had never watched Scrubs.
Television changes your personality. You absorb so much of the characters on the screen that you forget to think for yourself. You just mirror what they do. You might be cynical like House or funny like Liz Lemon or witty like David Letterman. But where are YOU in all of that? Where have your own original thoughts gone? What about your political opinions? Are they are own or are you just mimicking Bill O’Reilly or some other talk show host? TV changes your personality to the point that you forget to think for yourself. And that is scary.
Say “No” to television for one week
I am proposing a radical plan. Turn off the TV for one week. Just for seven short days. See how much more you get done. See how much more exercise and sleep you get. Feel how much happier and healthier you feel. Discover how much more you can do with your time on Earth. At first you will feel the separation anxiety. The TV will call you. Resist it and find out how strong you really are.
Will you do it?