I guess I shouldn’t gloat about going 478 days without watching television.
Well, not really, but I hope you see how inspired I am by their words.
One man, Mark, quickly calculated that he’s gone 7,300 days without tee-vee. That’s 20 years.
Another gent, Mike, wrote to say how he’s gone nine years without it – then explained the following: “If you turn off the t.v. for just one hour per day, you get nine 40-hour weeks of free time. Time to get in shape, study a new subject, learn a new language.”
Then there was another Mike, this one from Hawaii, who is currently 72 years young. He gave up television at age 21, so he’s got 50 years on me.
Mike writes, “No TV is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Best of all, though, was the unexpected text from a friend, who sent before and after pictures of his home, with and without a television. He tossed it out within minutes of reading my email.
This is the type of unexpected response you can receive when you unabashedly let others know about some of the decisions you’ve made, and why.
Another favorite took place last July, when I met with Matt, at his former home in Georgia.
I told Matt how I’d gone almost a year without tee-vee and how much better I am without it. I remarked how I went many years without one, starting in my collegiate days – but fell for it after getting married.
And then when my children got involved in sports, I went deeper and deeper into the television abyss.
I justified doing so, too, by stating that because they were involved in sports, it helped keep me aware of what was happening in the “game.”
Oddly enough, if you were to ask me if I watched television, I would have replied this way: “No, I ONLY watch sports.”
As if sports don’t count.
With this in mind, I have great empathy for those who tell me they don’t watch television, then say, “I only watch Netflix.”
“What do you watch your Netflix on?” I question.
“Uh, I have a plasma.”
“Oh, I see,” I smile. “You’re off the hook, then. You don’t even own a television. You have a plasma.”
Yes, these are real conversations I’ve had numerous times.
Anyway, back to Matt in Georgia.
Just as it’s not my job or my mission to reduce the number of tee-vee watchers in the world, it was not my intention to influence Matt in anyway. Yet, a month later, after he moved, he called to relate that there’s no tee-vee in his new home. He remarked how the home is so much more peaceful and how his children get along better than ever.
Personally, I gave up television for three reasons:
1. I wanted to increase personal productivity, to learn new skills, to acquire new talents, to get more done in less time. Not only has this happened, but it’s now extended into me doing more career-wise.
2. I became alarmed at the scientific information linking many diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disorders, attention disorders, Alzheimer’s, dementia – even E.D. – to television watching.
3. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could give something up that nearly everyone views as normal and essential. Can I live joyously without television and will my life be better without it?
The answers to the above are definitively affirmative.
In the future I’ll delve into my opinions about social media and other related matters.
See It, Do It, Have It,