Thanks but no thanks TV

A fully functional television system was operational in 1925 by a great work of Scotsman named JL Baird. However, the innovation of the television is hardly can be credited to one person as it turns out various people had made the feat achievable in their own different development. What fascinates me is the fact that everyone is clamoring to get their hands on this living room dream.

It started off as a broadcaster for news and later on become the most powerful information transmission in it’s hey days. My wife in her younger days even thought that there are little men inside the TV box, and they are all waiting to be seen as in theaters. Such are the awe around this magical invention.

People gathers and regards television watching as a great pastimes, both as getting to know the latest news and enjoying great shows together with families.

Those are the only ways television can be beneficial to you and it will soon becoming less and less relevant we might change our relationship with televisions.

A little to 90 years after the inventions, television has other competitors. We have internet and mobile computing now which made access to information more intentional and easier.

TV Rob You of Intentional Actions

Ladies & gentlemen, that’s the first reason why television is a 20th century invention that has become a fad on every passing minutes.

We thought we had any freedom in selecting the best channels and programs in the television. However, the sad truth is little (for paid network Astro) and none (for free networks) are even remotely empowering to us anymore after sometime. One could argue that we had education channel, but it only applicable to that demographic. As an adult we need to seriously consider the fact especially the next time when we are pushing the button at the remote controls mindlessly searching for channel to watch.

That’s my current rule of watching television now. When I find myself doing that, it means I am not intentional in viewing and hoping for the station network to grab my attention. I’d shut off the television and think of better way to spend my time.

A quick and easy way to counter this is by scheduling watching television and restricting it to the program that you have planned in advance, being more intentional.

Why intentional matters?

Simple, because our time in planet earth is so limited for us to be waiting for outside matters to happen to us.

We (I personally do this often) claimed that there are so little time to do anything but in actual fact is we don’t know what we want.

Rather than having a mindless television viewing the time spent could rather be spent for other intentional activities. For example, going to Coursera to learn on new subjects which is my current muse currently with songwriting.

TV Rob You of Your Precious Resources; Time

How many times we spent hours on the couch watching an overrated shiny box (and plates – for the latest ones) and then left wondering where does the time goes? Precisely.

We did not even realize the time flows once we start watching a program. It will quickly become another program and series and before you know it, it has become your addiction. There’s an interesting studies where families are being constrained from watching televisions altogether reported in the first few weeks as having the pain of losing a good friend!

Having been doing it everyday as part of your daily structure it makes sense that we start wondering what can be achieved should we have that bulk of time for something more productive.

A 2009 studies shows that Malaysian watched 4.5 hours of television per day. That was roughly more than 1500 hours or close to 70 days worth of your waking hours.

Consider the alternatives should you are brave enough to deny the norms and do something more meaningful instead. Having a real conversations with families and friends, learning new languages, pursuing the hobbies that you left, writing that Toastmaster speech’s assignment would be more beneficial obviously.

But why?

Why are we so inclined to let the television took our bulk of time?

TV is easy. It becomes the Escape Route for Hard Work

Doing the sitting and watching the programs after programs give you the impression that you are doing something and perhaps it can be tied to learning something new in the form of latest investigation techniques of CSI, for example.

In whatever attempt for us to justify the learnings, there had been numerous studies which actually counters that.

Even the ‘reality shows’ are not depicting real thing. So, a lot of us grew up having slightly skewed expectations towards life. Not to mention that it impacts your life expectancy as well. Recent studies by University of Queensland shows for every hour spent by an adult of 25 years or older may result to 22 minutes of less living. It make sense as we are not moving that much!

When you watch television late into the night, you might sleep late, and chances are waking up late and there goes your most important, will-power packed time of the day that could be used for exercising.

But above all, the reason that made television appealing, speaking personally; is due to it as an escape for hard work.

Firstly, imagine we are spending 4.5 hours per day and a day after that I took your television and you had this hours to do something. What would you do? Chances are we may be sleeping or doing other non-productive activities. Those are the Law of Least Resistance in action, my friend. Talking with your spouse and playing with your children is hard. I might rather watch television. Diving deep in a hard subjects in the form of books is hard work, I might be eating snacks. The list goes on and on.

However after some time, I realized that it should stop. I have had enough.

I’m not saying that we should banish the television altogether. My favourite minimalist even suggest that we throw the television out of your apartment. Take an axe and rip it off as a symbol of getting back the freedom that initially kept hostage by a mere television box.

I still enjoys great movies. There is still the benefit of watching a great program with families only and only if it is being scheduled. By doing this, you are slowly regaining your lost times. You would suddenly realize you had ample of time to do the things that you have keep under your carpet for a long while. Miracle.

The key to regaining your time starts now. Imagine a few good months from now when we are able to finally break from this TV addiction and in it’s place putting in a new habit of greater importance, you would look back and say to your television, Thanks but no Thanks TV.




Leave a Reply