Yeah, I know, I know, TV is LIFE for 99% of the population. (#thestruggleisreal amiright?) Well, should it be? I mean really? Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE watching a good show or movie. (I have been known to binge watch numerous tv series from time to time…heck I grew up in front of the tv!) That being said, I haven’t owned a tv set in 5 years (or basically whenever it all went digital and stuff). How could I do something so crazy-insane you ask? Well…. actually it was quite easy. We never had money for tv in the first place, so once it all went digital and our tv was no longer compatible, it was a no-brainer. Another huge reason was that our main goals did not require a tv in our life. Who needs a tv on a sailboat? Besides for that, it was taking up too much of our time. Family time, dinner time, we-really-should-be-in-bed-already time, I-have-super-important-things-to-do time, it didn’t matter what it was we SHOULD have been doing, we were watching tv instead.
(“What an AWESOME way to disconnect while pretending to still be interacting!” said no real person ever)
So, We threw that sucker out and haven’t looked back. Instead, we either go out to a movie on the rare occasion, OR we watch shows from our computer. Yeah, it gets pretty cozy when we all have to smush together on the couch so we can all see the smaller screen, but at least we are actually TOUCHING. And the fact is, we don’t do it all the time. It’s kind of like uninstalling Facebook from your phone and only getting on it when you are at your computer. It’s a LOT less tempting when it’s not as easy to access. #FACT
Another good reason to toss the tv? It’s terrible for your health. No really, researchers have found that you are 80% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease from watching more than two hours of tv per day! If that doesn’t make you rethink your tv’s place in your life I don’t know what will!
Not to mention having to watch all those advertisements trying to entice you to add even MORE stuff to your life. Like we need any more of THAT nonsense! NO NO NO.
The good news is, there are a few levels to simplifying your tv situation which depend on how hardcore you want to be with this.
To achieve top level B. A. status like me:
~Take that tv and TOSS IT. (Well that was easier than you thought, huh?!)
WHOOHOO! Take your high fives and move right on to bigger things. You amaze me with your fearlessness.
For those with milder sensibilities who are inclined to keep their tv’s, here are a few more reasonable options to try:
~Try only watching for a pre-set amount of time per day or week. Time management will keep you from overdoing it, so be sure to schedule it in and don’t make too many exceptions. (remember the whole DYING thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah, let’s not do that.)
~Try to avoid commercials. I don’t care HOW you do it, just DO IT. It’s a complete waste of time (and money). We watch a lot of our stuff on Amazon, though of course there is always Netflix or Hulu. Amazon is generally commercial-free though.
~Decide which shows are most important/rewarding and only watch those. Do not settle for mindless (and endless) random shows. Watch with a healthy purpose in mind. (aka keep your Buffy the Vampire Slayer and GOT binges to a minimum) I have cut my show watching down to 3-4 tv series per year. Because they rotate based on when they air during the year, I only end up watching one or two hour long shows per week. Plus since I download them directly onto my computer I avoid the nuisance of watching an excess of commercials. (Did I mention how much I hate commercials yet?)
COMMERCIALS = WASTE OF TIME!!!
~Try to make certain days of the week completely tv free. Like Sundays for instance. This will give you scheduled quality time to spend interacting with friends and family instead of wasting away in front of the screen. The more days that are TV free the better.
~Make a list of things you could be doing if you weren’t chained to your tv watching schedule. Then take that list and make time for the things on it. Make the effort at least once a week to do something on that list instead of watching tv. Read a good book, make art, take a walk, put a puzzle together, invent time travel, coloring books (I’m currently obsessed with this one HERE), exercise, catch some sunshine, play with your kids, write a blog, write a book, play music, learn an instrument so you can play music, hang out with friends in person, or make more friends. If you have NO friends this is your chance to go out and MAKE friends (even if that means whipping out some mad playdough skills…do what you gotta do, but if you have to do it with playdough, you might think of doing a little stop motion video or something so you have an excuse to tell visitors for the weird little people all over your house, yeah? okay then) Whatever, you get the point. BE ACTIVE away from the tv.
~If you are like me and just simply need background noise to not feel completely INSANE (or lonely, or maybe to drown out the sound of children fighting with each other because they are no longer allowed to watch tv all day every day… or whatever) Then grab yourself some new tunes or some old classics- or hop onto Pandora- or Spotify- or even find some youtube playlists and rock out while doing useful stuff! No excuses!
Now if I have freaked you out by suggesting you toss out that REALLY expensive tv you slaved away for years to afford, don’t worry. You DO NOT HAVE TO THROW YOUR TV OUT. If it works for you, it works. I know you probably have a room all set up for this purpose. Most people do. Just make sure it isn’t just an addiction to tv that is making you say NEVER. Moderation is key in everything. You might find that over time you need the tv less and less until it no longer has a place in your life. Maybe you love tv so much you plan on being buried with it. No matter what level you may be on, your life will benefit positively from less tv time.
So, There you have it. Take a moment or two this week to write that tv-free to do list and make time for the good stuff outside of tv land. You will find you probably won’t miss those shows as much as you thought you would when you are finally out in the real world enjoying life and kicking butt doing it. Now, get off that couch and start living baby!
Good luck and happy simplifying!
If you were inspired by this post or if you have any thoughts or tips to add to this discussion be sure to let me know in the comments below!