I think the television is one of the greatest inventions of the last century. On July 20, 1969 it allowed humankind to witness Neil Armstrong step out of the Apollo 11 and be the first person to walk on the surface of the moon. It brings what happens in our world directly into our living rooms and is supposed to serve as a medium of information. Some people might even go so far as to claim that it educates and enlightens us.
Though, I think life is better without the tube.
The television itself isn’t the problem. It’s the current state of television viewing and its effect on modern society that is worrisome. It has, on many levels, become a cultural necessity, even an addiction, for that matter.
According to a report by Nielsen Media Research, the average North-American watches four hours of TV daily. This report also revealed that North-American children watch 1,023 hours of TV on an annual basis while they only attend 900 hours of school in a year. It comes as quite a shock when one reads the statistics.
More and more, the disadvantages of watching TV just seem to outweigh the benefits of avoiding TV.
Common Habits And Their Effects
Many people come home from a day’s work and “relax” in front of the tube. Little do they know that the rapid flickering, the constant changes in images, and the glowing pulse on the screen actually reduces their energy level.
On the other hand, if they were to go out and jog or have a workout in the gym (or write a new Web page ;-), they would become more energized. Ironic, isn’t it?
Watching TV also inhibits your imagination and has a numbing effect on your mind. This is because TV viewers passively take in information as opposed to actively doing research and thinking about what they are watching. You sit back and watch what is essentially somebody else’s imagination.
Ever noticed how come we don’t exactly remember the whole movie we watched 24 hours ago? On the other hand, we do remember very well and a lot of details of a vacation we took a couple months or even years ago.
Even when you make it a point to watch a worthwhile program, how long do you actually spend changing channels and playing “zap” with the remote control in order to avoid the boring advertisements or out of fear you’d miss something?
Which brings us to the next problem: the extent of how television stations and the networks use TV to bombard the public with advertisements and product promotions. TV has become a medium for mindless consumerism. Even if you think you are not effected, remember that there is a whole industry of educated and trained specialists whose job it is to get you to want to go out and buy that latest SUV or anti-wrinkle cream.
Do you really think advertisers would waste billions of dollars on TV advertisements that don’t work? Come on, who are we kidding? It’s a jungle out there.
By now, the debate on TV violence has become widespread enough, and frankly, quite mundane. Although a consensus has yet to be reached, one cannot deny the adverse effect that the portrayal of violence has on our youngsters.
Human beings are social animals and our behaviors are shaped by societal influences. Unfortunately, TV forms a part of modern-day society. That alone is a reason for me to avoid TV.
Look at all the things you could do if you would switch off the TV and choose to use your time more wisely. You could read an inspiring book, go out and get to know some interesting and resourceful people, learn how to build a Web site, master a music instrument, take part in family get-togethers, reflect upon how you want to grow personally—the list is endless.
You do get the point I am trying to make, right? I manage to avoid watching TV about 98% of the time, and my life has become better and more fulfilling as a result.
There are certain things you could do to kick the habit and avoid TV. They are simpler than you may think…
Methods On How To Avoid TV
- For starters, you could throw away the remote control. It would amaze you how much less time you’d spend in front of the tube if you had to get up to change the channel or adjust the volume every five minutes.
- OK, if that is too much, you could give the remote control to a friend for, say, 21 days. At least you could realize how silly it would be to visit your friend and ask him or her for your remote control…
- What about a TV-watching plan where you choose to watch only certain shows in a week. You watch only these shows and immediately turn off the tube when they are over. It might be hard at times due to the fear of loss, but this method served as my first step towards successfully avoiding TV.
- When you are eating, turn off the box at all times.
- How about making it a point to devote at least 15 hours a week to reading?
- Ultimately, if all that fails, remember that you can always give your TV to a charity!
Here’s to a better life.