Intentional Television

Last fall during my illness, I was astounded by the number of televisions available in health care facilities! While in the emergency room for hours, I was able to watch a television that was readily available to entertain me at my bedside. Every waiting room is television laden. I was SHOCKED to find a television available for my viewing pleasure as I lay in my hospital bed waiting in the hallway of the radiology department. TV’s were everywhere!

I grew up in a house with one television. We only got three channels! The WHOLE family watched the same show! It didn’t feel strange to be offered a magazine as I waited to see a doctor. I could eat a meal in a restaurant without a television blaring.

I read recently that the number of hours spent watching television is decreasing globally, while the number of hours Americans spend watching television is increasing.

The television media industry is crucial to the modern world – to the economy and to the lives of people. A major study showed that 99 percent of households in America have at least one television. But the hours spent in front of the screen are getting ridiculous.

The average American teenager watches four hours a day of TV and spends almost two additional hours on the computer and playing video games. This is a distraction from studying and interacting with family members. And the numbers are growing and it’s not just kids  in the US, the average adult spends anywhere from three to six hours watching TV every day.

In February of this year we decided to decrease the availability of Television in our household. We dumped Direct TV, and started to watch ‘our shows’ via the web. I thought it would make no difference because ‘we don’t watch that much TV’ but the first month was surprisingly hard. It turns out we had been turning on the television as a time waster (meaning that we weren’t watching because we wanted to see a specific show/event but just because we weren’t involved in doing something specific). It’s hard to just sit and mindlessly watch when you must specifically seek out a show.

Rather than just ‘turning on the TV’ now I sit on my porch and read or play with my dogs. I go for walks or have conversations. The book budget had increased and I am now needing to charge my nook twice a week or more rather than the every-other-week schedule I had been keeping. We still watch some shows via Hulu, but even that number has greatly decreased!

Here’s the thing, no one in our house would have said we watch a lot of TV! Until we got rid of the ability to just turn it on without thought. Then and only then did we see how much of our time was wasted with mindless watching. But my eyes were opened to how much time I gave to something I wasn’t really enjoying.

The experiment is over. We could go back to our old ways. But I am enjoying my life unplugged from the boob-tube.

Now, I am thinking about other thing I may be doing thoughtlessly. What about you? What are you doing that chews up your time without returning great joy?


About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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3 Responses to Intentional Television

  1. Annette says:

    I loved the meditation and relaxation music channel when I was in the hospital 🙂

    • Gayle says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Annette! The meditation and relaxation music channel was a good one!

      I’m really enjoying being intentional with my time these days.

  2. Pingback: Addition by subtraction | Gayle Tabor

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