Watching television could hardly be described as a productive activity. I’d like to see someone flip that in an article about TV Productivity, but until then it may be better turned off.
Like, literally I’ve never seen Game of Thrones and I don’t know what the Scandal is. I thought I didn’t watch much television and that taking a 30-day break would be a piece of cake but you know what? I was wrong. The average adult watches 2.8 hours per day of television, according to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another study puts this number higher, at four hours and 15 minutes each day. I added up all of the viewings at my house, and we were definitely on the high side.
Let’s look at what exactly happened when I switched off the TV for a month.
The dangers of watching TV
A lot of research has been done on TV viewing and children by Adam Lipson, a neurosurgeon with IGEA Brain & Spine. “They noted thickening of the frontopolar cortex, which is related to verbal reasoning ability, and also correlated with a drop in IQ in proportion to the number of hours of television watching,” he says. Studies involving adults have tied television watching to Type 2 diabetes, depression, and even crime adds Lipson.
Everything in moderation
Yet, TV isn’t all bad, there are tons of programs that challenge the brain, such as shows about history. Yet, life is not about learning every second. TV is a tremendous potential source if properly handled but the problem is that it’s a difficult instrument to control. Some things have more destructive qualities, and TV is one of them; just like sugar is a deceitful food, TV is a deceitful presentation of life.
And I read this: If you work out for an hour, you can watch TV for an hour. Work out for two hours, and you can watch for two hours. Never watch more television than the amount of time you exercise.
But, did I turned on the TV after a month?
No, I didn’t. As I write this, it’s the 2nd day of a new month, and I have not watched a single television show. That’s because the best result of this experiment was the sense of calm that has seemed to set in, and the waves of contentment that come out of nowhere. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. I don’t want to go back. At least not yet.
Because what I know is happiness comes from the interaction between inspiration and perspiration. Anything that stops humans from perspiring to achieve something inspiring gives a false fantasy and an endless distraction from reaching your full potential.
What else can you do rather than watching TV
Now, you must be thinking that I’m snatching your entertainment means but you should rather think it the other way round. How much time are you saving if you quit TV? How much money could you potentially make instead?
Well, these are a few alternatives to watching TV:
- Start an exercise plan
- Prepare meals
- Read a book you’ve always wanted to read
- Be social
- Take an evening class
- Learn a new skill or a new hobby
- Take on a major project
- Take care of whatever bothers you
For me, it was taking a little bit of time each day to meditate and get in touch with my spiritual side, and it made a huge difference in my life.