Over the last few years a quiet movement has been taking place among deep thinkers and those who value personal development: they're deciding to minimize, or cut out entirely, TV viewing. Even before I found TurnOffYourTV.com, which presents many excellent arguments for doing so, I'd already decided that minimizing my TV viewing would be a good personal choice for me. Here's why I've decided to kill the cable and turn off the TV.
TV watching is passive entertainment. What this means from the standpoint of brain activity is that your brain isn't being challenged to function at a level that stimulates creative thought and productivity. In fact, the effect is just the opposite. Your thought processes atrophy a little bit each time you engage in TV viewing. Your brain just plain gets lazy.
No real quality programming
In my opinion, the TV shows of today just don't have real value for the most part. Violence and moral standards that were deemed unacceptable by society in the past are now promoted nonstop on TV. Reality shows present unrealistic portrayals of life and behaviors that if carried out on the streets would result in jail and/or prison time.
Valuable time that could be spent working on life goals, nurturing relationships, and participating in activities for the betterment of society is wasted parked in front of the "boob tube."
Reading is the most effective pathway to personal growth and development, creation of a universal worldview, and independent thinking and problem solving. There's no need to quote statistics to understand that the more time one engages in TV viewing, the less time one generally spends reading. Many young students frequently ask, why should I read a book when I can watch the movie?
Added household expense
I pay approximately $75/month for my cable bill, and I know other folks who have bills even higher than this. Despite this added household expense I find myself surfing, surfing, and surfing trying to find something appealing on TV or a quality show or movie that I haven't seen before. The thought hit me one day that if I survived years of my life without cable TV, why is it so essential that I have it now?
This, of course, is America - the land of the free - and you have the right to do whatever you want to do in your own home. I encourage you though to give some focused thought to the points presented above, even take some time to visit the website that I've listed in the sources section below. In my own case, I've achieved a 50% (no exaggeration) increase in my personal productivity and creativity since minimizing my TV viewing.
What types of gains could you make if you made the decision to turn off the TV?
*Photo: Regan Walsh via Flickr
[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 06/22/2014 (no longer published there).]