"You disconnected your TV service? Are you crazy? I can't imagine! I've thought about it, but couldn't actually do it..."
These are some of the common exclamations I hear when I share that I've shut off my TV service. I probably would have said the same types of things until quite recently.
But, yes. I disconnected my TV and I've never been happier.
In the months and weeks leading up to the election, I began to see the toxic energy spewing from our TV as a force of evil in my house. Every time I turned it one, one or more of us would end up indignant, frustrated, sad, disgusted (you name the negative emotion). It reached a point where I realized that we were inviting this negativity into our house. It was our own fault that we chose to encourage its presence. I shouldn't feel so indignant at its negative impact when I myself pressed the buttons to allow it in!
And so, we turned it off. The day before the election.
I had resigned myself to whatever outcome was going to pass, and so that evening passed quietly and peacefully in my house. In the days that followed, I would read the news of the day online, and then enjoy a calm and roller-coaster free night with my family.
Please don't interpret my disconnect as a lack of interest. As I can assure you that is certainly not the case.
I believe we have an obligation to participate in our democratic process, to stay informed in order to make positive choices.
However, I feel no obligation to carry the emotional baggage that our media insist on delivering on a daily basis.
I believe in timely information, in good data. I do not need theme music and a concocted headline to assist me in drawing conclusions on my behalf.
While at a seminar recently, the speaker shared a very disturbing set of facts with us. The average adult watches about 4.3 hours of TV per day. If you consider those hours spread over a lifetime, the average adult spends almost 13 years in front of the TV (see related). Yes, that was 13 YEARS!
Wow. And think about how much of that time is spent mindlessly surfing the channels. Much of my own TV time was primarily a frustrating hunt for something decent to watch. And to think of all the things I could have been doing instead!
Cutting off your TV service may be too extreme for some. However...
Your time has value. Don't short change yourself by allowing your TV to dominate your emotional narrative. While completely disconnecting may not be for you, try being more discerning with your watching habits. Watch only if your are really engaged, and turn it off if you are merely 'surfing'. Get your news from a written publication, or online source. Read the story instead of watching it.
Shake up your watching habits, and you may be surprised at the positive results!
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