The Amazing Effects of a Weekend Without Televsion

Something strange happened this weekend. My roommates both went to the beach, leaving me with the apartment entirely to myself for the first time all year. After dinner I settled into the couch and turned on the television. A depressed, lethargic feeling came over me as I prepared to sacrifice the next couple hours to the plasma screen gods.

At that moment I decided to do a little experiment: no television for the entire weekend. I did this because I plan to live alone when our lease expires in July. I don’t own a television and I don’t plan to buy one (in fact I never plan to buy one) so living alone will mean many solitary hours without television for entertainment. I needed to know if I could handle it. Part of me was worried that the hours of isolation would drive me insane with boredom.

It did — for the first fifteen minutes. Out of necessity I found alternative ways to keep myself busy. These are some of the things I accomplished that I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

  1. Overhauled Site Design – Most of you regular readers have probably noticed that the PickTheBrain design has seen some major improvements. I changed the top right subscribe box, create a new favicon, pimped out the sidebar headings, created new styles for the sidebar links, blockquotes, and footer, and fixed a dozen other little things that had been bothering me. I also created an entirely new home page and an introductory video.
  2. Got a VA Driver’s License – This is something I’ve needed to do for months. I finally bit the bullet and went to the DMV first thing Saturday morning.
  3. Entered the Next Internet Millionaire Contest – This is something that I’d planned on doing before, but I could’ve easily been persuaded to put it off. In addition to making the video (vote for me!) I also wrote a blog post explaining why I decided to do it.
  4. Optimized Site Monetization – I spent a few hours tweaking the color and position of the GoogleAds running on this site, added a new unit to the sidebar, and switched out the unit at the bottom of each post to a couple of book recommendations from Amazon. It remains to be seen how well the changes will work, but experimentation is the key to optimization.
  5. Read – I finally finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell which took me an embarrassing amount of time considering the size of the book. I also started Barak Obama’s first book, Dreams from My Father. By the way, Obama is a tremendous writer and it’s likely I’ll write a post about him in the future.
  6. Wrote – In addition to this post and the post on Next Internet Millionaire, I also wrote guest posts for Tim Ferriss’ blog and for Daily Blog Tips that will hopefully be published next week. Usually I’m fortunate to muster one post on Sunday evening.
  7. Relaxed – I spent several hours at the pool and also took a few long walks around the neighborhood. Although I would have gone to the pool regardless, it’s likely much of that time would have been lost to TV.

I could keep going but you get the point. These are all things I’ve wanted to do but could never find the time for. This experiment shows that television consumes an amazing amount time. Eliminating it probably increased my productivity 1000%.

The most amazing part is that I haven’t missed television at all. After I built some momentum I haven’t felt the slightest temptation to regress. I’m more energetic, I’ve been in a great mood, and getting things done has left me with a feeling of accomplishment. I look forward to making this a permanent change.

Unfortunately, that will have to wait a few weeks. Once my roommates come back the TV will once again be perpetually turned on and I doubt I’ll be able to avoid it. We’re so used to living with television that we don’t realize the impact it has on our lives. For many people, turning on the TV is the default action after sitting down. It’s a constant presence — during meals and even when we aren’t paying attention it’s still there in the background. A weekend without television made me realize the impact it has on my behavior, mood, and outlook on life.

I recommend a weekend without television to everyone. You’ll be amazed what you’re capable of when you stop being a passive observer and become the star of your own life. We’ve been the victims of the most ruthless thief of time for far too long.

  • http://www.richminx.com Rich Minx

    Nice. TV’s an enormous time-waster. I’ve also worked through a to-do list this weekend and found that because most people are away having a long weekend, I’ve been less distracted and so it was easier to focus. I’ve just finished reading The 4-Hour Work Week and have written a four-part synopsis and review. I’ll keep a look out for your guest blog on Tim’s site.

  • http://www.JugglingFrogs.com clkl

    Go for it! You won’t miss it at all.

    We junked our television over seven years ago, and haven’t missed it since.

  • http://www.educatedbeing.com Rise

    It is blissful when I don’t have to touch the remote of the TV, cell phone, and even my laptop for the whole weekend. I am either alone or with people who matter. Without laptop it becomes difficult but raw life has its own taste.

  • http://blog.datamanagementsolutions.biz/dms.html Steve Schapel

    Good for you, John. However, a word of warning, if you persist with this… I have been TV-free for many years now. After a while, it gets so if you are in an airport lounge or someone’s house or something where there is a tv on, you feel like the zap of the tv is overwhelming and you can’t think straight or even carry on a normal conversation. I’m not exaggerating, and I know from discussing with others that I am not the only one. Of course, regular tv addicts are de-sensitised, so they can function normally in the presence of “the set”. It reinforces, of course, the decision to steer clear, but unfortunately you sometimes have to be a bit rude to people in order to preserve your sanity.

    As the father of a 6 year old, I am certainly aware of the importance of children not being exposed to television. I could write a lot about that topic. But I also have a 30 year old son (yes, really), and a couple of years ago he gave me a birthday card where he said how appreciative he was that he had grown up in a tv-free home. So that was nice.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Steve,

    I don’t have any trouble believing you. I’ve actually already started to notice it, and it really has reinforced my sentiments. I don’t look forward to being rude to people, hopefully I can bring a few over to the good side. :)

  • http://www.essentiallifeskills.net ZHereford

    Wow, how inspiring!

    I credit my love of reading to not having had a television in our home until I was 11 years old. I must say, however, that I love watching sports and I wouldn’t give that up.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    You’re right, ZHereford, I enjoy sports too. The problem is that TV is so addictive, it’s hard to get away from it unless you banish it completely. I think I’ll try to get my TV fix at other people’s houses but keep it out of mine.

  • http://blog.datamanagementsolutions.biz/dms.html Steve Schapel

    LOL! Well, are you aware that sports are played on fields and courts?

    Here’s a hint, John… If you know anyone who has struggled with smoking or alcohol, or whatever, you will be able to easily translate people’s comments about tv. “I really know that smoking isn’t good for me, but I can’t quit because I just enjoy that after-dinner cigarette so much.” “I know I drink too much, but I think it will be ok if I just stick to gin.”

    Of course, part of it is related to the embedding in our culture of the enormously over-inflated value of entertainment. Like so many things that lose their true value if they become too easy to obtain, it takes a lot of self-discipline to keep it in perspective in your own life. A lot of people don’t even realise that tv news is essentially entertainment, which they watch for the stimulation and titillation and emotionalism, and they delude themselves that they are being responsible citizens by keeping themselves informed – informed about what the media moguls think will sell the most advertising. Ok. I’ll stop raving.

  • http://www.JugglingFrogs.com clkl

    I’m so out of the television habit, that when I *try* to watch something at my parents’ house, I find I’ve forgotten HOW to watch…. I keep jumping up to do other things. I find it difficult to sit still for an entire program.

    The radio, however, is always on at our house. But, with a radio, you don’t have to stay put. It doesn’t claim my head direction. (I can iron, wash dishes or cook with the radio on, without being distracted or making mistakes…)

  • http://www.JamesTadeo.com/whereisjames James Tadeo

    Werd.

    I’m gonna post this on my fridge. TV does have way of slowly and methodically killing your time without you ever noticing it. After a bit, you realize you just killed off a few hours.

    Glad I read this.

    Now, what to do about surfing the Web.

  • http://www.essentiallifeskills.net ZHereford

    Yes, I watch sports in fields and courts as well!
    I don’t consider myself addicted to TV at all and really I’m not. I do understand that it can become an addiction, in which case best not to even watch.
    I find that I can walk away from, it no problem.

  • http://onlycrook.wordpress.com Jude

    I love television. I can easily spend a week on a mountain without any electronic distractions, but TV makes me happy, so I hope to never be without it. I feel that *I* use TV instead of letting it use me (in other words, I’m a selective watcher).

  • Tyler Prete

    In your case, it seems TV was your distraction, but I can say that TV is by no means the only source of distraction. I don’t own a TV either, and rarely watch anyone else’s… but it is surprisingly easy for me to read reddit and other social news sites for hours on end if I am not careful. So while I agree with you, just be careful not to replace TV with another time-waster.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Tyler,

    You have a good point. I waste an enormous amount of time online too. The difference though, is that while online I also learn a lot and do many productive things. Nothing productive ever came from TV.

  • http://www.iheartthat.com/ Paul

    I used to watch 8 hours of tv per day (when I was younger and had that much free time). Then some time during college, I did a little experiment much like your own. Since then, I never let TV ruin my productive hours of the day.

    That being said, do you have any recommendations about how to deal with a girlfriend that takes the other productive hours out of the day? Her site kills my time when she’s away, and she… well, utilizes my time when she’s with me.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Break up with her? Haha, only kidding. I don’t think I’m qualified to give relationship advice.

  • http://blog.datamanagementsolutions.biz/dms.html Steve Schapel

    Paul,

    My advice: *Don’t* let her see this blog, where you have publicly stated that she is a waste of time!

  • http://TurnOffYourTV.com Ron Kaufman

    Kill Your Television: http://www.TurnOffYourTV.com

  • Ryan

    I’ve been without television for two years now. I do miss my Cold Case Files, but I know I’m better for it. I’ve been able to focus on my guitar a lot more; getting myself out of a rut I had been in. I’ve also been able to read more and, of course, save a little money each month from not subscribing to cable.

    Now that it has been so long, if I were to have TV again, I don’t think I’d be able to find the time to watch it.

  • http://ea.literacycoach.googlepages.com/ Hammer

    I agree with most of you. However, some television programs have taught me something new (i.e. Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel). I only watch programs on TV that teach me something. Last week, I viewed a great program about NASA’s attempt to get a manned space mission to Mars. Granted, a large majority of the television programs are time wasters, a few of them can teach you something new.

  • http://www.sethigherstandards.com/seattle-experiment-check-in/ Ravi

    I have a TV, but no cable service (I don’t even have an antenna for local stations).

    In this way, the I just use it watch DVD’s (I love netflix!) for which I have full control over what I watch and when.

    I think this is a good comprimise for those that want to have the option of watching some quality programming (in fact, many of the good TV series come out on DVD as well) without the temptation of just turning the tube on for background noise.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Ravi,

    I agree with your compromise, as I really like movies and think they can be very intellectually stimulating. What I think I might do is get a nice big computer monitor, so whenever I want to watch a movie or online video I can just plug in my laptop.

  • http://www.best-of-time-management.com Pamela

    You’re right. We don’t have to sacrifice other things in order to be entertained by TV. There are several ways of keeping us entertained like reading our favorite book. All we need is to eliminate the root of our problem.

  • http://oekotopia.com/ Oekotopia

    There are a lot of physical and psychic implications as well. The missing movement of your eyes while watching TV for example makes your brain switch to alpha-waves, which is similar to a light hypnosis. In this state, your mind is open to subliminal messages etc.

    Eye-Movement is essential for processing information as well. That is why REM-Sleep is so important to us – without Rapid Eye Movement you would go insane… not so smart to suppress this process in your daily life.

    I’ve written an article on that topic (in german): http://oekotopia.com/2006-08/fernsehen-macht-dumm.html

  • T.

    And I recommend watching no television at all. Read the papers or subscribe to a magazine for your daily news fix – it’s intellectually worth the switch, difficult though it may be to make, especially when no one is hogging the television and actively (or perhaps passively?) preventing you from acquiescing to the plasma screen gods.

    Remember, folks – even the Printed Matter Pantheon can be bad for you. The most important thing is not to be sucked into an endless vortex of meaningless activity. If you’re doing something for more than two hours a day and it’s not directly giving back to this world (now or later – investment counts as giving!), chances are something’s seriously wrong.

  • T.

    Oops. I pressed the submit button twice. My apologies.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    No worries, I just deleted that first one. :)

  • Sjefke

    Didn’t\don’t your roommates read this post? But then, if they are the ‘average audience’, they go for sports, shows and series – meaning it never stops: there are ‘new’ seasons every season :-)

    I now only watch movies (there are few good ones, actually) and NatGeo, Discovery and History channel (no shows, sports or series) – very irregularly, but it is a good distraction from the internet, though, as that is the true ‘time-waster’ – everything is ‘interesting’…. links within posts and articles make you sometimes wish for this one: http://www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm

    Don’t go read the papers or magazines: only bad news sells in these days of information overkill, so they are full of it and only make you feel miserable and inadequate: you see ‘solutions’, but you are in no position to change anything (no, voting doesn’t help).

    Thanks for your post, good reminder!

  • http://blog.josiahmugambi.com Josiah Mugambi

    Hi. I don’t live in the US. But in Kenya, seems that more and more people are getting hooked to TV.

    After learning that 7-11pm is prime time – better work on your wealth rather than watch others make theirs (Denis Waitley) , I decided to do my own projects, read etc during this time. It’s much more fulfilling and productive. I do watch TV :) just very selectively, mainly some soccer games and 1 or 2 others.

  • J

    I will soon be TV-free for 2 years. I spend a lot of time on the Internet and playing computer games though; time I would have spent watching TV. I still think it’s preferrable to TV as it involves slightly more brain activity.

  • got_u_shook

    TV is only good for Sports – 2 hrs a week tops. Occasionally though i bump into some interesting documentaries.
    No soaps, series, comedies, movies, music videos etc

  • http://flutterbot.blogspot.com Tawnya

    I loved that book! But don’t be embarrased it took me 6 months to get through Catcher in the Rhy. I think it was mostly because I was in my early 20′s, and I’m female. I think that it appeals more to adolescent males.

    Cheers!
    Tawnya

  • http://sanethinking.com Paul E. Coughlin

    Well, on the plus side, at least with TV you don’t get RSI scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, (remember ‘Rawhide’ anyone? ((= “Rolling, rolling, rolling, keep them cattle rolling” the theme song, TV series, while back) endlessly scrolling…

    Seriously though. Not watched it in over 2 years. Can’t say I do anything actually ‘productive’ instead though, unless just variations on thinking count. I do a lot of that alright but for me that’s always great fun.

    Also got a small stack of DVDs (films) – not watched even one yet (in two years also).

    Funny thing is I don’t actually feel mentally ill, strange huh. (Like: I surely must be mustn’t I?)

    Oh and I was quite a fan of red wine (at least a bottle or two a week for over a decade) and guess what, I gave that up too, just stopped.

    Bottom line? I think when you do a routine often enough it eventually gets boring unless it actually is useful in some meaningful kind of way – and, when it comes down to it, well, humans are at their best when they have gotten rid of the rubbish in their lives, (esp. in their minds!) and maybe that’s what it was in my case, but (as with “Rawhide” (tv… tv… tv…) ) it’s ‘horses for courses’ I s’pose.

    There is a final point: Programming, I mean Mind Conditioning or Thought Conditioning. Deliberate or accidental – I make no asssertion. It is surrepticious and renders us intellectually homogenized – of one kind or type of mentality – I only point this out because of realizations, sudden, powerful, extraordinary and of global importance that hit me in January and the thing that puzzles me is that people seem to be choosing to be oblivious to this knowledge and that is a somewhat disturbing phenomenon to me.

  • http://www.aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com Catherine, the redhead

    I went 7 years without watching cable television, then allowed my son basic cable for his 10th birthday. It was amazing how little we both watched it. I had it disconnected to make the move over to Direct TV, and in the wait found we don’t miss it. I am now questioning if we really need to do the Direct TV…
    I could go on, but I think you have already made the point.
    Catherine, the redhead

  • http://www.60in3.com 60 in 3

    I gave up on television about five years ago. I still watch about two or three shows, but I watch them via downloads, iTunes or DVD’s. Which means I can watch on my own time. Otherwise, the TV isn’t on at all. I saved money on cable and I find that I’m a lot more productive.

    Yesterday though, I tried to work while my fiance was watching an episode of charmed in the same room. It really is distracting. I couldn’t concentrate at all and had to stop working until she was done. It just reinforced my opinion of TV as nothing more than a time waster.

    Gal

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  • Kodijack

    I refuse to pay for cable so we watch infrequently. Its nice to have when there is a mighty snowstorm, or some national tragedy. My kids do not watch television. We rent movies or approved shows from the store or get them at the library.

    I agree, its a huge time waster. My girlfriend moved in six months ago and at first she was a little dismayed at how much more time she had. It turns out that she use to spend a lot more time watching television then she thought.

  • http://www.ianfernando.com Ianternet

    that is great! – I live on my own and I rarely watch TV and if I do its teh discovery channel – lol

    just do other things that are more productive and that will enhance your thought and success!

    great post

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  • Maria

    Dont be a slave to the box! Read, learn guitar, listen to NPR…

    I went without television for about 7 years myself and had the same problem getting reacquainted after I was given a TV. The speed, the editing, all kinds of new techniques were in use and I just got headaches when watching. I still cant watch many children’s cartoons – its just too much data.

  • http://www.TheVoipProviders.com Fran

    True. We just have to identify the cause of the problem and eliminate it. Identifying it may be hard because we don’t see a problem with it until we realize that truth behind it.

  • http://www.JugglingFrogs.com clkl

    I guess, if you have to watch, you might as well use this:
    pistol remote

  • http://www.marksdailyapple.com Sara

    Steve, I hear ya. I don’t even think my TV is plugged in at this point. After my last roommate moved out and I got the place to myself, it was suddenly so peaceful not having TV on all the time. I could save 600 bucks a year if I canceled cable but I like to have it “in case”. One thing I’ve noticed is that now I get frustrated and bored right away if I try to watch TV at a friend’s – I don’t like that it’s not really learning, not interactive (to echo Oekotopia). I start looking for something to read, anything. (Dork alert.) I especially detest the “girl” shows now. I kinda can’t believe I used to watch stuff like Sex in the City. They’re so melodramatic and needy, they make me wanna hurl! The social conditioning is really apparent if you go on even a brief TV diet. Advertisers don’t need to produce commercials; shows are so powerful and manipulative. Good for you, John. Although Mythbusters is pretty fun. :)

  • http://workathomemomrevolution.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    Just wanted to let you know I linked to your article on Music and Focus. ;) I love your blog!

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  • Joe

    I have subconciously stopped using the television except to see about events in my country recently ,since I got broadband I’ve been using the internet more frequently. I used to be completey addicted when I was younger now I watch only comedy and current affairs or national information [whats going on etc]
    I find t.v extremely boring n e one that has cable that I’ve been talkin to unless their entertainment addicts says you have umpteen different stations and still theres nothing on ,seems like a waste of time and money as well as energy
    I use democracy http://www.getdemocracy.com/ for video podcasts national geographic,clipiversity etc. theres some interestin’ content a lot of rubbish too but I try to focus on the good stuff

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Thanks, Lisa. :)

  • shenpen

    Well, I think the web is an even bigger timewaster than the TV. I’ve never watched TV – simply the habit did not form in my childhood (where it ususally forms) because I found as a small child the TV frightening, especially MTV. So I’ve managed to avoid that. But whenever I sit down to the computer and go to the Wikipedia, even though I promise myself that now it will only be half an hour of reading about, say, Toynbee, 3-4 hours later I find myself having 30 tabs open with longWikipedia articles about everything from Hindu marriage rituals to the artists of the era of “Sturm und Drang” or old Greek folk tales. It has two disadvantages – many important things don’t get done because really, how can vacuuming up or figuring out what’s wrong with the car insurance compete with all these fascinating stuff? The second, deeper problem is that it causes some sort of “information poisoning”. Really. The human brain can digest only so much information and overloading causes some sort of dizzyness and a sickening feeling of something like “everything in the world is boringly the same crap”. I think it’s much worse than the TV.

  • Tom

    Great Blog in general

    However, your emphasis on productivity levels is frankly, scary, but hey I’m aged 18 and lazy. I think you’ve failed to point out televisions impact on social situations. How much more you would enjoy a tv-free weekend with your housemates than a regular weekend? I’m not saying a turning back of the clock is preferable, just that priorities can so often be forgotten.

    Animal Farm – http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100011.txt

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Tom,

    Thanks. I’m not much older than you, and in the past I’ve been very lazy. I’m far from the ultimate productivity machine, but the goal is to keep getting better.

    The social dynamic is an interesting question. I think tv is a social crutch. If my roommates were around and we all decided not to watch I think weid have a great time. Who knows, we might spend more time talking to each other, listening to music, or playing darts.

  • ‘Nother Tom

    Way to go John! I’m 5 years TV free, and whoever said that going somewhere where there is one is annoying, is correct. But, they seem to be everywhere these days. The other day I was noticing how in a Taco Bell, people would sit down and eat, never taking their eyes off of the TV. Even during commercials. Except maybe to open their cell phones and stare at them a bit before closing them and returning to the TV. I have even eliminated commercial radio. And it does have some kind of effect on you, to not be yelled at constantly by disgusting people trying to sell you crap.
    I’ll never go back.

  • http://www.JugglingFrogs.com clkl

    It’s in the supermarkets, too. I *hate* it. Inane infomercials at ear-splitting volume keep scattering my concentration, scrambling my mental shopping list.

    I get in line, put my stuff on the conveyor belt, and there is a huge screen with a pseudo-chef, screaming cucumber-cutting instructions at me, while I’m trying to calculate my total. Yuck.

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  • http://stephentrepreneur.wordpress.com/ stephentrepreneur

    From the age of 6 through to about 18, I watched television at every available opportunity. I saw a LOT of b-grade television!

    After I got my first REAL computer in about 1996, I turned the television off. It became a distraction to the new addiction: The internet.

    Quite frankly, the information provided by the internet (for the most part) is far more interesting, actually provides tutoring (if you know where to look) and allows me to speak my mind in a more effective forum. (Yelling at the television never works!)

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post. We have three color televisions – and they are now dust-collectors. OK, so I still enjoy a few select programs – but only because I like some time-out from the computer occasionally! So I take a ride on my exercise bike when the television is on – thereby achieving something of benefit!

  • http://www.MyTimemanagementTips.com Alan

    I’ve also tried cutting off on TV and other things that keeps me busy and it’s amazing how those activities consume a lot of our time. If only we realized this one earlier, then we could’ve been more productive compared to now.

  • Mathew

    I turn on the TV when I leave the house for my animals to have some noise and a sense of someone there. I personally use a DVR to record a couple shows which I watch late at night. Having insomnia frequently, turning on those shows I recorded help get my brain to shut down.

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  • http://blog.datamanagementsolutions.biz/dms.html Steve Schapel

    “… turning on those shows I recorded help get my brain to shut down.”

    Thanks, Mathew! I know those darn things were useful for something.

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  • Lord Hugh

    It is rather amusing that so many sites have picked up on this as some “new fad” and quite happily ignored those who have been1, 5, 10 or more years free of the ultimate expression of the ‘opiate of the masses.’ Good luck with staying TV free.

    - LH

  • Sacha

    You improved your site’s monetization? What ads? I’ve never seen ads on this site (in FF or IE). No Amazon boxes either. I thought you were going to do that later.

    Overall, I don’t have cable so I don’t watch much TV either. That’s fine. One pitfall to avoid though is to become one of those pretentious, holier than thou types who has to constantly mention how they don’t own a TV. There are plenty of good shows afterall. It’s not all pablum for the mouth breathing masses. Also, I find if I follow NO TV, I can get very left out of the loop at convesations work.

  • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

    Sacha,

    The ads are only on the single posts.

  • http://www.psych101online.com Helen

    It’s amazing how much task we can do if we can get rid of the barriers that prevent us from doing it. The problem is that we don’t realize what the barriers are.

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  • Megan

    This is very interesting since we (me and the other members of our church) just finished the same experiment. You can read about it here if you would like:

    http://www.life-mission.org/blog/

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  • Randy Fries

    I am thankful for your post!!!

    I have not watched TV or a movie in over ten years, I have made this choice for the sake of my relationship to Jesus Christ. I don’t know how a Christian can proclaim a love relationship with Jesus and be entertained with such God repulsed content.

    Jesus said that if a man thinks about a woman to lust after her he has already sinned, and there is more sin happening
    in America from the couch and the remote that in a bed room.

    You made no expression of doing this because of faith based reasoning but it is neat to see another TV on the curb!!

    Thank you for your post

    Randy Fries Pastor of
    First Love Church of Meeker Colorado
    970 404 2697

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  • http://www.bdqworks.com/ Allan

    Haha, this is an old post. Good job on the driving license.

  • reader

    I’m sick and tired of television everywhere I go: doctors’ offices, hospitals, auto repair, restaurants, and now at the end of WalMart aisles!! Add it to idiots shouting into their phones and it just MAKES ME CRAZY! Talk about noise pollution. I carry ear plugs everywhere I go, but since the strongest are only 31 decibles, they are only enough to muffle sound. Therefore, I carry my iPod and ear buds, so at least I can listen to educational podcasts or music of my own choosing. I’m turning into an absolute hermit, and most of the time I’m not sorry at all!

  • http://NA Timothy Grant

    Very interesting post, that. I also subscribe to a similar undertanding about TV (and the internet too, for that matter). Though they can be wonderfully educational (at the moment I am marvelling at some of the documentaries showcasing the splendour of the universe), they can also be ridiculously distracting.

    Good luck with the Non-TV stance- stay strong against the wishes of your house-mates!

  • http://www.languages4free.com Braeden

    I have kids, and tv is a brain killer. You can see the difference in them when the television is off. They listen, they respond and you don’t have to raise your voice to get their attention. It’s amazing, when that television is on, no matter how many times they have seen the program, their eyes are glued. Their brain is shut out to the surroundings around them, and then when you ask them what just happened, or why something happened, they say, “i don’t know.” If I have to ask them to do something, I don’t even get a response. When that happens, I shut the television off, they get mad, but you know what happens next, they move on to be creative. They play with dolls and they play with cars and trucks. they put their bodies in motion. They are alive. It’s the same thing with adults. If you get rid of the television, it’s amazing how much you get done. It’s amazing how much you can learn.

  • http://customizedfatlossreview.net Jack’s Customized Fat Loss

    I don’t watch TV that much, because i feel bored, not unless it has some show which I am really interested about, but will not sit there entirely. I want to do more actions, than just sit there and stare at that square blinking thing.

    - Jack Leak

  • http://customizedfatlossreview.net Jack’s Customized Fat Loss

    I don’t watch TV that much, because i feel bored, not unless it has some show which I am really interested about, but will not sit there entirely. I want to do more actions, than just sit there and stare at that square blinking thing.

    - Jack Leak

  • http://customizedfatloss.com/ Jack’s Customized Fat Loss

    I am not
    someone who watches a lot of  TV because it makes me not move a lot. I am
    very aware that being a couch potato is not healthy for the body. this article is inspiring and very
    helpful.

    - Jack Leak
    Customized Fat Loss

  • StevieP

    Great article, I find myself being hooked to the TV.  When I lived alone at university I found that even if I was not watching a program I needed to have the TV on in the background to fill the room with something and even now it consumes so much of my time.   Being inspired by your article I will plan a TV free weekend.

  • http://screw9-5.blogspot.com/ Screw9to5man

    Yeah most of the stuff on TV is trash anyway. I don’t watch much, but I could still not do without a tv. Problem is, even though I don’t watch much tv, I’m instead addicted to junk on the internet. 

  • PRB

    Good Article. Here is a youtube video on a good summary of ill effects of TV. Take a look might help you to reduce your TV time.
     http://youtu.be/yvGhtaZhTEM

  • PRB

    Good Article. Here is a youtube video on a good summary of ill effects of TV. Take a look might help you to reduce your TV time.
     http://youtu.be/yvGhtaZhTEM

  • Prachi

    hi john
    I m visiting your site for the first time…and u know I have already read most of your articles.your illustrations are amazing,i can actually connect to the basic idea of your articles because of the way you present them. I appreciate your simplicity and genuine approach.

  • Shimin Rahman

    Wow! i have only recently been aware of this website and Im really glad I found it, the articles are enlightening and inspirational, especially this one considering I’ve been bored so entertaining myself with the TV 80% of the time. I havent really had time for anything else! big time waste

  • http://www.facebook.com/GamezGoddess Joanna Osborne

    I would love to cut out television, but it’s so hard when you’re living with other people that constantly have it on.

  • http://twitter.com/LesbianLoveGuru Lesbian Love Guru

    My

  • connor_davis4

    Recently I was really, really low on money and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills! I’m so glad, I did this.. With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – axs8

    • lauriecgideon

      like Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a
      mom can earn $8130 in 1 month on the computer . see post C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • http://www.manspirational.com/ ManSpirational

    I had TV for a very long time before making the plunge to go TV-free. What prompted me was the realization that I was spending on average 3 hours a night just watching TV rather than getting any meaningful work done. I also had a bit of a spiritual crisis, seeing how others and I just use TV as a way to escape reality (tune in and zone out) rather than work on what matters most to making my dreams come true: Me! I have been TV-free for the past two years and hardly regret a moment of it. My time is much more productive these days, with time spent on hobbies that bring me joy, reading books to expand my horizons, or just writing in my journal, which helps to me learn more about myself. Now, if I can just bring myself to cancel my Netflix account. LOL!

  • http://www.lifelonglearningcenter.net Leslie Frey

    I notice this post was written 7 years ago, but I was drawn to it all the same. T.V. is not the problem for me– it’s Netflix! I’m pretty sure I fit their target demographic to a T. Having entire seasons at my fingertips is just too much temptation. (I stumbled upon “Orange is the New Black” on Saturday afternoon around 3. Let’s just say the sun returned to the sky the next morning as I finished the 13th episode.)

    What I like about what you’ve written here is the realization that I can binge on my own productivity and creativity as heartily as I can on consuming shows.

    The big question underneath is this: What drives the over-consumption?

    I find myself saying, “Just one more. I worked so hard all week, and I’m enjoying this. It’s ok for me to treat myself.”

    One, two, maybe three shows…that’s a treat. Thirteen? That’s an addiction.

    And it makes me feel awful. Literally. I triggered a migraine once.

    If you were to revisit this popular post for 2014, I’d encourage strategies for facing the streaming internet binge. I’m already coming up with a few myself. I wonder if there’s an app for that?