How much time do you spend watching television? In this article, you will learn the benefits of cutting back on TV and what happens when you stop watching TV.
According to recent research, binge-watching has sky-rocketed since the pandemic started. People are reportedly binge-watching to pass the time, escape boredom, relieve stress, and cope with loneliness. The average time watching (cited in an article in May 2020) increased to 66 hours of watching per week per household. This amount is up from 57 hours at the beginning of March 2020 (just before the pandemic was in full swing). This equals to over 9 hours per day per household.
Let’s look at this.
- Average American household during the pandemic: 9.4 hours per day
- Time spent watching TV during the past year: 57 days or 3,341 hours
- If one watched this much TV during the average 80-year life span: 12.5 years watching or 4,574 days
Think of everything you could accomplish if you devoted these hours to your dreams and goals instead of television.
Benefits of Cutting Back on Watching TV
By reducing the amount of TV you consume, you will experience the following benefits:
- Become more productive. You will get a lot more done. These extra hours will allow you to engage in self-care activities or to take on a hobby.
- Approach life with more intention. Your life will become more meaningful because you will have time to plan activities.
- Experience what it feels like to be mindful and sit in the quiet. Silence can be golden, and you might learn so much about yourself.
- Stop buying crap you don’t need. You will no longer see advertisements for stuff you don’t need.
- Increase your activity level. If you are no longer sitting in front of the television, you will increase your movement and find exercise time.
- Find time for discovering your passions.
- Improve your self-esteem. If you aren’t looking at sexy people with special beautifying filters, you won’t be comparing yourself to an ideal that is impossible to reach.
- Nurture relationships with friends and family and cultivate new friendships. You will now be able to spend quality time engaging with your loved ones.
- Read more books and learn about the world instead of passively watching things that don’t improve your life.
- Tackle extensive projects in your house. You will have time to declutter or fix up your home.
- Improve your health and lose unwanted weight. As a health coach, one thing that drives me crazy is when people say they don’t have time to exercise or eat well. If they are consuming the amount of TV mentioned above, it’s no wonder.
- Watching TV has helped no one’s waistline. Think about how much you eat without realizing it while you sit there in front of the TV. When you’re engaged with your activities instead of tuning out with the TV, eating at the same time is a lot less convenient. Plus, you will be much more mindful when you eat at the table instead of in front of the TV.
- Improve your positivity, if you are a big consumer of news. The media fills so much of the information with negativity. Watching negative media all the time will affect your mood.
- Clarify and conquer your life’s challenges. Watching television is a major way to distract your mind from your challenges. Without TV, you’ll have to confront them head-on because there are fewer places to hide now. But this is a good thing! When forced to deal with your challenges, your busy mind finds ways to minimize and then overcome them. Just be sure to engage with them instead of turning to another distraction. Pick one task to work on each day. Most challenges seem to disappear faster than you might guess.
I’m about to ask you to do something which may seem impossible. And I’m not asking you to give it up completely. What if you gave up all TV except for one weekly movie that you watch with your family or a friend? I’m not against all TV because our family movies are often bonding experiences and a way to find common ground with our teenage daughters. It’s when everyone is streaming mindless media on their own devices which bothers me. Sitting around passively consuming mindless media when I know my kids could learn something unique…this is what irks me.
Ready for your challenge? What would happen if you stopped watching TV for a month…. or even a week?
Imagine if each day (or even each week!) you spent an hour exercising, an hour working on your finances, and an hour reading something worthwhile. What would your body, bank account, and life look like one year from now? What would they look like after a year of watching television three hours a day? Or watching TV eight hours per day? As you can see, a few hours a day can quickly make a difference!
No TV Challenge
Can you give up TV for a month or even a week? Yes, TV is a way to pass the time, but is it the best use of your time? Your life will improve if you choose to take that time and spend it on things that will enhance your life or give it more meaning. See if you can last 30 days without TV and then decide for yourself. You can survive 30 days, right? At the very least, cut back to a certain amount of time each day. Say an hour or less. To fill your TV time, choose activities that sound fun to you. Before you know it, you’ll have more of what you want and less of what you don’t want. You can do it!
Steps for starting the No TV Challenge
- Talk with those you live with and let them know what you are doing. Encourage your loved ones or roommates to be on board with your challenge.
- Decide what day you will start and mark it on your calendar.
- If you want to incorporate one movie per week, pick the one-day per week for your film. Make that one day super special and intentional.
- Plan your newfound time with intention. Brainstorm activities you are interested in or essential projects which you need to complete. Don’t substitute with other distractions like browsing the internet or your phone.
- Track each day of success on your calendar.
Remove some of your TV watching time and just notice how productive you can become. See for yourself what happens when you stop watching TV. Let me know in the comments how you plan to use your time instead.
Want to take a fun quiz to find your purpose? This might help you in the coming days when you give up your TV. 😉
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, therapist, Registered Dietitian, or financial advisor. The information presented is purely for informational purposes. Check with a doctor or other professional before making any nutritional, fitness, lifestyle, or financial changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any suggestions or ideas from this site. For a full disclaimer, read this.