Not new to us, but a crazy concept to most people is that we don’t watch TV. In fact, we don’t even have one hooked up now. We have a little TV and DVD player for school movies and some kids movies, but the actual TV wasn’t on since my husband watched a basketball game this spring.
What is crazy to me is that the average American spends 4 hours and 49 minutes a day watching TV and the average household spends 8 hours and 21 minutes (
I read a book last year called
The Other 8 Hours . The idea was that we sleep for 8 hours, work for 8 hours and have the other eight as the only real time to work with. He didn’t seem to take into account travel time, eating time, cleaning time…etc that eat into that 8 hours. How then do people spend almost 5 hours in front of the TV? That is taking the last available minutes of their life and giving them away too!
This is the time when you grow. Grow as a person, grow relationships, grow new business ideas, grow education… or truly relax (watching TV isn’t the best way to relax).
Depressingly, this isn’t the full picture. TV is also where we get the most brain washed by marketing. TV is where we get the idea that we should be able to eat and spend, leaving people dealing with a conflict of weight obsession and financial strain. Both of these things end up sucking so much time, energy and happiness out of people. This isn’t the only place where marketing targets people, but it is a major one.
So turn it off! Get rid of it…. especially the extra ones all over the house. Get back your life (all that remains of your day after sleep, work and surviving).
The process for us to cut down on TV was slow. First, it was in the basement where it was to cold to sit for long in the winter. I also got frustrated with the scary commercials that would play when the kids were watching. Slowly, between having other things to do and not wanting our kids to see what the TV was showing we watched less and less. Now, we don’t even notice it. Sure, I can’t talk intelligently about the latest shows, but people I talk to are always saying that “there is nothing good to watch” so I don’t figure I am missing much.
Having the computer allows for small bits of news coverage. If a huge earthquake happens or war breaks out MSN or Yahoo tell me about it. For the most part news is just news. I can’t do anything about it, and it doesn’t really affect me.
What you do with your time is up to you. I love reading, or sitting in a hot bath with tea and chocolate. Playing games or going swimming with the children. I enjoy sitting with my husband after the kids go to bed and talking. I have been able to work at setting up this blog (not at all a skill I had before). Right now, I am sitting in a quiet house (kids are asleep and hubby is working late) and I treasure the silence after listening to the kid at high volume all day.
I think lots of people go to TV as an escape. Whether an escape from pain, from making tough decisions, from guilt, or from something else. This isn’t a long-term plan for life.
TV just steals time, and time is the most important resource we have. I can find more money if I work hard enough, but I can’t find more time.
I am so glad that we said ‘no’ and got our time back.