Cutting Back TV Watching

Socrates firmly believed that knowledge and morality causes each other, and at times, it is interchangeable. This means that behaviour is caused by knowledge / understanding, therefore a immoral behaviour is caused by poor knowledge and understanding; and good moral behaviour is caused by good knowledge and understanding.

So, if you’re aware of the truths and facts of a given or said matter, you can/could/would expect to behave morally and rationally. To Socrates, ignorance was what that causes immorality.

That by itself it quite practical, regardless if you agree or believe it, or not. Sometimes though, if you can gather all the facts and truths regarding a certain matter in one place, it’d give you enough understanding, clarity and knowledge to make the best informed and reasoned decision you can take.

I’ve always felt that watching TV isn’t good for me, because it seems so passive. I don’t seem to be conscious and aware of time, emotions, thoughts whatsoever whenever I’m engaged in watching tv.

In fact, I become one with the couch and with open eyes and usually munching on some potato chips while watching TV. That’s the reason why I reduced my TV watching significantly (now I watch TV less than 2 hours per month). Nothing more, often less.

If you think and feel that watching TV is not good for you, why don’t you go and gather some facts that support that notion. Find out how much TV are you really watching and what are you really getting in return for that investment of your time and effort.

Take a TV Fast

Go without watching TV for thirty days (30) and use this time to gather and collate data on your TV watching habits.

If you have a TV/digital video recorder either by TiVo or any other solutions you use, use your DVR function to record all the shows you’d normally watch, not just the shows that you plan to watch, but your best and rough estimations to all the shows, dramas and series that you’d usually/actually watch if you weren’t on the TV fast.

Calculate the number of hours and minutes on a daily basis, including weekends. At the end of the thirty days, go through your recorded listings and add up all the time you would have usually spent watching each and every TV show.

Tabulate all the hours and minutes, and understand exactly what kind of value/returns you can/would expect from all the shows you’d watch and compare what else you could have done with your time.

You’d likely find that some shows aren’t really worth your time, and sometimes you watch them because they’re a “bridge” to the next show. Some of them has too low an educational value and return for how much time they take to watch (refer to ridiculous series that lasts for years).

Once you see the data in front of you, consciously decide what you’ll continue to watch and the reasons why. Marilyn vos Savant (the woman with the world’s highest IQ according to Guinness world records) explains that TV decreases our mental capacity for rational thinking because it just oversimplifies reality.

TV presents subjects that are presented in minutes where everything is wrapped nicely and unreal. Reality is reduced to things such as good or bad, serious or comedic, smart or stupid.

This decreases and diminishes your ability to think clearly by slowly but surely conditioning you think expect and think that most problems have simple and clear solutions which if they don’t, then you can expect a super-dramatic solution.

The thing is, real people and real events defy labels. Real life living and experiencing has a much richer experience than TV, and too much TV watching can too diminish life for what it is. TV changes your experience and expectation of reality to something that is abnormal and unreal.

As you go through these thirty days of fasting from watching TV, come up with a list of alternatives to invest the time you take to watch TV. If you weren’t spending time watching TV, what else can you do?

Be bold.

Be creative.

What could you do for your spiritual life, your mental life, your physical health, your relationships, your loved ones, your work, your business, your education?

The list goes on.

A good question to pose to yourself is to ask why you watch as much TV as you do.

  • Is it because it’s a habit ingrained into you because you grew up with siblings and parents and friends who gather around the TV?
  • Is it a default that you revert to when you don’t know what to do with your time?

If watching TV is your default behaviour when you have nothing to do, then you can opt to switch to a different default behaviour such as reading, spending time with real human beings or on hobbies such as gardening, drawing.

You can even start a business on the side with Site Build It .

If you’re watching TV because you’re too tired to do anything else, then maybe you should consider just going to bed to sleep or take a quick nap. If you need to rest, then rest instead of filling your time.

What do you think would happen if you increased the amount of time you spent on watching TV?

If you’re getting good value out of watching TV, then why not do more of it?

Or if you realised and know that watching TV doesn’t add value to your life, why not do less of it, or abolish it entirely?

For the same reason, I rather take my children out to the park, for a walk, to the grocery store - anywhere, anyplace - where they can engage in real life, rather than watch fake stuff.

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