I love TV.
I know, I know: TV is bad, evil, a waste of time, depressing, full of advertisements etc.
But, I like it.
I love watching live sports, films, documentaries, news, cartoons and other programmes.
For a while now I’ve been reading about how other people have ditched their cable and ditched their TVs in pursuit of a better and happier life. More power to you I’d think, but this is not for me. I’d persuade myself that my position was justified because I didn’t think that I watched that much TV anyway.
Who was I kidding?
And so it is that I am now catching up with those who have ditched their TVs (well sort of). I have decided to experiment with the way I watch TV.
There is no intention here to throw the baby out with the bath water. I am not getting rid of my TV. I am simply going to experiment with a “no TV day” once a week.
Finding time to read
The main reason I am experimenting with the way I watch TV is because I have another passion. That passion is reading. I love books. I love (old fashioned?) hard copy, paper books.
Finding time to read though can be difficult when you have a full time 9-5 (I wish!) job and other commitments. Something has to give and the obvious choice is TV.
So, for the next few months, I will not be watching any TV on Fridays. Instead I will be using that time to catch up on the backlog of books that I have that are waiting to be read (this will be in addition to the time I already find to read).
It’s that simple.
In deciding to conduct this experiment I did some thinking around why I watch TV. As I said earlier the main reason is that I actually enjoy it. However, it has become a bit of a habit. If there is something good on then I am unashamed to say I’ll watch it. But, there are those times when I channel surf, when there is literally nothing on I want to watch, and yet I watch the TV anyway. This is not a good use of my time. So in addition to ‘no TV Fridays’ I’ll be mindful of this habit and hit the old ‘off’ switch and go and do something else instead.
Subconsciously I have been using TV as a ‘reward’ and I think that this stems from my childhood when watching TV was contingent on my behaviour. Even now, if I have a packed evening after work, I feel cheated if I don’t get to watch some TV before I go to bed. This is crazy and a habit that I am looking to break as part of this experiment.
This experiment is all about seeing what happens if I don’t watch TV for one day a week. I’m starting small. Depending on how it goes I might then expand the experiment to more days per week or I might ditch the whole thing: I’ll just have to see.
Of course the other activity in my sights is being online but for now I’m sticking with this TV experiment.
I’m keeping it simple.
I’ll write about my experience with the experiment in due course.
In the meantime however I’d love to hear about your experiences with TV: do you control how much you watch, have you ditched your TV altogether, do you have TV free evenings?
Answers on a postcard in the comments below.