Giving Up TV

It’s been quite some time since I last watched TV as I’ve cut out TV from my life for a couple of years now (I think I started cutting out TV since 2002). As of today, March 30th 2012, that’d make it close to a decade (ten years) of not/very little watching of television.

Some of the basic and simple reasons why I did so included: more mental capacity and clarity, able to free up time to pursue better/newer hobbies, better quality relationships, more energy, more productivity, more emotional stability, and the list goes on.

I’d like to be honest with you up front – in fact, it had never been a struggle for me to not watch TV; to me, it just makes more sense given the pros and the cons that I noted as to watching or not watching TV.

Nowadays I limit myself (unconsciously) to less than 2 hours per month, which is roughly 30 minutes per week. What do I watch? I actually watch a sort of documentary of Japan, called Japan Hour which airs every Sunday 1.05 pm (OMG I even remember the timing still). Why I watch it? I think perhaps it’s taught to me by my mother, who probably dreams of going to Japan but never did, and perhaps that’s why she enjoys watching about Japan.

Hmm. That’s some food for thought, but that’s for another post. =)

I am an advocate to not watching television as I am increasingly aware of what TV does to me as compared to reading, having real conversations with loved ones… After increasing my awareness of the little value TV had for me and my family, the next thing I did was to disconnect meals from TV as Louise and myself used to watch TV whilst eating our meals, and we used to call these sessions as “bonding” sessions.

I started to eat meals without TV, opting to talk to Louise, or read or listen to music or even whilst working. I realised that without food, TV is kinda boring. Without the TV to take my attention away from me, I paid more attention to what I was eating and whatever I was doing, so I actually prepared better quality meals and had better quality work/conversations/reads. If I watch TV I’d usually make something like instant noodles but nowadays we often eat Paleo style meals and more and more interesting stuff. Interestingly, the simple disconnecting TV from meals had raised my awareness of the boringness and blandness of both TV programs and the meals that we were having.

Interestingly as well, one of the commonest challenges in our pursuit of personal development is that sometimes taking a step back helps propels us two or more steps forward. My stopping TV watching and disconnecting meals from TV had increased my awareness of how boring the conversations, food and the TV programs were, which in a way, is a negative result. It’s like being in a bad, sad and unfulfilling relationship where when you acknowledge how bad, sad and unfulfilling it is initially makes you feel even badder, sadder and more unfulfilled…but when we realise that there’s no path to progress in such relationships and awareness, we’d need to admit that our path is a no-go and will not lead us to joy and fulfilment, shift into reverse gear, and reverse out.

Only once we’re out of stagnation then can we re-assess the situation and explore other paths and options where the long-term is more promising.

Once I had the awareness and realization that TV watching were really no-value in terms of education and awareness, I didn’t even bother consider extending my TV fast – TV didn’t become important or interesting to me anymore. I just naturally moved away from TV. My only exception is Japan Hour where I watch it whenever I feel like it, but it’s usually less than 2 hours per month. Sometimes, I’d watch series on the PC without advertisements and nonsense, such as Bones and House, but even for such series I’d not been watching it for the last six months so I won’t be surprise if I move away from those as well.

I noticed that without TV as entertainment, I have greater impulses to seek and enjoy other forms of entertainment such as talking with Louise, reading books that I enjoy, connecting with people I like and love, creating content on this website and the like. We’re even planning to go on more holidays this year. With a recent addition of MovNat to our repertoire, sometimes you’d catch me bare-chested in parks climbing trees as part of our exercise program =p.

We also started getting much more physical with each other too, which is fun in itself. =D

With that, I’m really convinced that TV is a very weak form of entertainment compared to the alternatives that I have now.

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