What Happens When You Turn Off the TV?

Posted on January 9, 2008. Filed under: Stop the Drama |

Wednesday is about Stopping the Drama

Photo by Cindy Funk remote.jpg
As my life has gotten busier, I have less and less time to watch TV. Now that there is a writer’s strike and there are lots of reality TV shows on, I find there is less and less reason to watch TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love my TV candy as much as the next person and was really getting into “Flavor of Love” and “I Love New York” for a while. But to be honest, I watch shows because the TV is on, rather than because the shows are so great that I would schedule my day or evenings to catch a specific show. I also limit the amount of TV my children watch–everyone gets no more than one hour per day after all homework and chores are done. So if I am going to limit their TV viewing, I figure it’s only fair for me to set an example and do the same.

So what happens when you watch less TV? Well, here’s what I’ve found:

  • You have more time. A LOT more time to do other things. Having the time to blog is one result of having more time.
  • I am less tired. I used to spend many nights staying up late just to watch TV—and it was often bad TV. Now that I don’t have it on, I am more aware of when I am tired and don’t stay up late as often.
  • I am more in touch with my friends. Many of my friends are like me, juggling work and family and generally busy. However, evenings tend to be the time when things settle down, and I can call my friends and we can spend our evenings talking to one another.
  • I play more with my kids. They have video games that are plugged into the TV. So instead of us sitting around and watching something in silence, we play video games and talk smack. While this is not a beneficial as going out for a walk, it still counts as interactive family time in my book.
  • I am less interested in buying the latest “stuff”. I don’t get exposed to as many advertisements, and don’t feel a need to buy the latest new phone….car….perfume….kitchen gadget….computer….or whatever else is being sold to make me happier, richer, skinnier or just better.
  • I have more time to simply get things done. When the TV is off, mundane activities, like paying bills and household chores or repairs, get done instead of piling up to become sources of drama or huge weekend activities.
  • I have more time for enjoyable activities. Exercise, cooking, knitting, and reading happen more when the TV is off.
  • You become a more interesting person. A friend told me she stopped watching TV when she went to a party and realized the only thing she could talk about was the Apprentice. She decided it was better to spend her time reading newspapers and catching up on current events than to watch TV so she would have something interesting to say.

Yes, there are definitely lots of benefits to turning off the TV. But don’t get me wrong–I do think there are some good TV shows worth watching (anyone else like Heroes?). However, instead of turning on the TV “to see what’s on”, I look up the schedule online and pick a program worth seeing. If there isn’t one, I go about my business and do something else.

I always say I want to live my own life, rather than watch someone else live theirs on TV.



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  • About

    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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