When our television got spoilt June last year, I thought that was going to be the end for me. Back then, I was so addicted to the TV that I couldn’t go a day without watching it for at least eight hours.
In fact, I remember when, on Christmas Day, four years ago, I started watching The Flash TV series from 5:00 PM till 6:00 AM the following day, and I only stopped watching it because there was a power outage.
Yeah, I was that addicted.
Like most TV addicts, I didn’t know I was addicted to the television until our television got spoilt, and I went cray cray for like a month before finally adjusting to my new lifestyle.
But to be frank, losing my TV is the best thing that happened to me last year because I now had to spend the time I wasted, watching too much TV, doing other productive things, like reading books, learning graphics designing and digital art, attending seminars and starting this blog.
Unfortunately – or fortunately – for me, our TV is still in it’s poor state so I’ve spent nearly two years without really watching TV, except for the few times I went out visiting a friend or a relative.
It’s difficult to imagine living without a television and truly, not having a television isn’t something I’m totally proud of, but when I think of it, seeing less television has made me become productive in my studies, my job and in every other area that matters to me … I am grateful.
Now, the whole idea of this article isn’t to urge you to throw your television away, nor is it to convince you to stop watching TV (heck, I’m not even sure if that’s possible.); rather, it’s to help you realise that by spending less time on things that aren’t important or completely productive, like watching TV, you can actually achieve more.
So, with that in mind, I’ve highlighted three reasons I stopped watching TV – the three reasons you shouldn’t watch too much television, either.
1. It eats your time.
Almost everyone sees the television as a nice reward for having a long day, but if you look at it closely, you’ll discover that it might be doing us more harm than good.
How? It might be robbing us of one of the most essential, yet limited things we have in life – TIME.
Time is so limited, it is never enough and it is so easy to lose track of.
I know some people who are disciplined enough to moderate the amount of time they spend watching TV, but not everyone is like that.
I, particularly, haven’t always been like that.
During the time I was addicted to the television, I remember how I would settle to watch just one programme but would always end up watching tons of programmes after the one I had planned to watch.
For instance, I would sit to watch an episode of Spongebob Squarepants (which is my favourite cartoon, by the way) and after watching it, I would lazily sit to see another interesting programme coming up right after Spongebob.
After watching that one, I would sit to watch the next one and the one after that and like that, I would end up watching TV till it’s time for bed – or till there’s a power outage. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this one.
Watching TV is great and all until it deprives you of the time you should spend reflecting on ideas, writing your blog posts, reading that book, studying, exercising, sleeping, or doing something more important.
Granted, watching TV is a nice way to relax, but there are many other ways to relax that are less engrossing. We should be wise enough to mind the amount of time we spend watching TV. Also, we shouldn’t be so absorbed in watching television that we procrastinate and put aside the things we really should be doing.
2. It makes you avoid real life situations.
If you’ve been following my blog for long, I’m guessing you know of my struggles with depression last year. On many occasions, I’ve talked about my toxic relationship with my family and how devastated I was when my application to study in the university wasn’t accepted last year.
(SIDE NOTE: I applied again this year and it was a complete success! Please, hold your congratulations till you’re done reading this post 😉)
Bottom line is, I was terribly depressed last year, and for me, my television was the perfect escape from my bitter reality. When I turned on the TV, I would immediately be cut off from the rest of the world and as such, the problems and challenges I was struggling with would become history, nonexistent, until I turned off the TV. I’m pretty sure many people can relate.
Watching TV can be a therapy – an unhealthy therapy – for people struggling with depression, but it’s not always the best option.
The best option would be to face those challenges head-on and take control of your life instead of living your life behind a screen while life continues all around you.
You can’t run from your problems forever. You can’t hide behind a screen forever, either.
3. It ruins your relationships.
Just as watching too much TV can make you put off your daily tasks to the last minute, it can equally cause a rift between you and those around you. I’m writing out of experience.
If there is a greater TV addict than me in my family, it surely is my dad. Sometime when I was very little, when I was still in primary school, my dad lost his job and stayed at home for over a year before he got another job. During this period he was unemployed, he would get up as early as five o’clock in the morning and slot in a movie to watch.
Sometimes, I would sit a while to watch with him, but then my mum would remind me that I have school that day and I would leave to start preparing for school.
One thing that baffled me was that every time I got home from school, I would see my dad sitting in the same spot, watching TV and I would always wonder if he had been watching it since I left for school.
Even after he got another job, he still displayed this addiction to the television during the weekends. Sometimes, we kids would silently watch the TV with him, but other times when he was watching football or anything sport ish, we would take a walk or simply lurk in a corner, reading something.
My dad’s addiction to TV damaged our relationship and distanced us kids from him. In fact, I believe my dad and I are the way we are today because we misplaced our priorities many years ago. We spent all the time we should have spent together, watching TV.
I know a handful of broken homes that are what they are today because one parent was too addicted to the television to pay attention the people right before him. It’s sad how something as insignificant as TV is responsible for the death of many relationships.
However, like I stated earlier, watching TV is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when it’s in excess.
When watching TV stops you from doing the things that matter most to you, you should cut the time you spend on it. Life is beautiful when you’re not living it all day, every day, behind a screen.
How much time do you spend watching TV every day?
Does watching TV stop you from spending quality time with your friends and family?
When you look back at how you’ve spent this year, will you say you have made the most of your time?
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