give up televisionI have a question for you. Could you give up television? Is watching television something you spend a lot of time doing or it is not a consideration in your life?

To be clear, there is no judgment in my question. I enjoy watching television and do not want to give it up. However, I would like to cut down on how much television I consume.

When it comes to watching television we sometimes fall into bad habits. Here’s a quick overview of my television habits.

  1. Having the TV on for background noise. I mainly do this when I am cooking or cleaning.
  2. My real addiction (and I know I am not alone in this one) is streaming. Streaming has made it so easy to binge-watch one episode after another. It feels foreign to remember the days when we had to wait all week to see the next episode of our favorite show. I have also gotten into a nasty habit of sitting with my laptop on my lap (hence the name) while I watch television. I tell myself I will ‘work’ while I do this but in truth, all I do is Internet surf. If I was leaving comments on my favorite blogs at least I would accomplish something. The truth is that neither the laptop nor the television has my full attention. Consequently, nothing is achieved.
  3. I watch television while I eat dinner (yes that means I sit at the couch and not at the table).
  4. I use television to relax. After working during the day and then writing at night, I tend to flop in front of the television to unwind. Though I’m tired, I have found that if I go straight to bed, my mind is still racing with writing ideas and to-do lists. It takes me a lot longer to fall asleep. Instead, I numb myself with television first.
  5. Watching stuff I don’t like because the television is on and I feel like I need some time to rest.

The truth is many of us (including myself) watch too much television. For this post, let’s dive into the benefits of watching less television.

Quality time with family

I remember growing up and watching a lot of television with my family. The problem is that it wasn’t a bonding experience. It didn’t bring us closer as a family. We all watched in silence barely interacting. Hardly a quality time experience.

There are a lot of activities that families could participate in to spend quality time together. Board games, jigsaw puzzles, and outside activities are just the beginning of a long list.

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Creative pursuits

Think of all of the things you can create with the time you spend watching television. Whether you are a writer, painter, baker, artist, dancer or singer. Imagine what you could do with a huge chunk of spare time.

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More free time

Think about how much time you spend watching television. If you did the math I think you would be amazed by how high your number is.

Think of what you could do with all of that time. The next time you hear yourself saying, I don’t have time for that, think about how much time you spend watching television. You probably do have the time, you’re just not making the most of the time you do have.

Improve your health

We all know that sitting for long periods is bad for our health. Watching television is all about sitting. Not to mention the unhealthy food that we tend to consume when we sit and watch television. Think along the lines of chips, popcorn, ice cream, and chocolate.

Fewer television means sitting idly eating unhealthy food.

Improve your mental health

There is a lot of negativity and toxic behavior on television, and I am not just talking about the nightly news! Reality television shows thrive on toxic behavior. Murder, violence, and torture are commonplace.

Save money

Your television costs money to run and many homes have more than large flat screen television. More than that however is the way advertising influences your spending. You see ads on television and decide that you need things that you don’t. It’s not just the advertising that influences your decisions. The programs themselves can influence how you spend your money.

What are your specific television habits? How could you personally benefit from cutting down on your television consumption?

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