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Turn it Off: Just Try Going Without TV … Go On, TRY IT

What do you mean you are not watching TV? That is the question I have been asked several times recently. For the past three weeks I was on the endeavor of not watching TV or streaming movies or TV shows.

Photo By: Brittany Gammon

Photo By: Brittany Gammon

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The rules were simple. You are not allowed to watch any Netflix, Hulu or any other video streaming site, along with not watching TV, except for the news. However, you are not allowed to turn on the TV. If someone else has turned on the news then you are allowed to watch it. Simple enough? Well …

Our world today is plugged in and tuned in constantly. There is the ever-expanding Internet, an app for anything one could ever need, and of course the one that brings families together, TV.

For decades now television has been the most popular and most used object in a typical home. People spend time talking about their favorite shows and even have parties for the season kickoff or a premiere of a particular series.

Why in the world would someone want to do this? The purpose of going without TV was simple: I had been watching too much of it. I would use TV to avoid doing other activities or assignments I really should have been doing. I decided that the best solution for a quick fix was to eliminate TV all-together.

I learned a couple of valuable lessons while going without TV, the first of which is that you need to be intentional with your time.

By not watching TV, there was extra time in my day that came about just from my solid stand against my past weakness. With now having ample time, I had to find something to do so I didn’t lose my mind.

I ended up doing something I never tend to do; I picked up and read a book. I began to actually look forward to the opportunity to sit down and just simply read. I also sat down and had coffee with an old friend who I had not seen or really talked with in over a year.

The second valuable lesson I learned is to appreciate the time you have to spend with people and the time spent alone.

When I was watching TV, I would just sit at home in front of it. When I was not watching, I would seek out to spend time with my friends. When friends were unavailable I would either spend time with my family or I would spend time by myself listening to music or reading. The time that I was now spending in these various ways made my life more enjoyable.

I would encourage anyone to take on the same challenge as I did. Take a few weeks and take a break from TV. You may be surprised at how it immediately changes your life, maybe even for the better.

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