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So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.–Roald Dahl
A few weeks ago we discovered that our television set wasn’t working. Instead of the 12 or so channels in our basic cable/internet package we were now receiving only static. When we called to ask what was going on, the service tech could only laugh that it had taken us so long to notice. He then explained that they had switched to digital six months earlier, and that we were supposed to have installed a special box in order to receive the new signal. Oops.
I wasn’t always such an anti-TV kind of girl. There was a time where I had no less than 20 shows I kept up on, and I pretty much had the entire prime time lineup memorized. There were hilarious sitcoms and compelling dramas and exciting crime-solving shows to keep me busy every night of the week. I couldn’t get enough.
I wasn’t alone. The average American watches 4 hours of television a day.
But then I met my husband, who is my polar opposite in almost every way. The shows I loved, he hated, and vice versa. For a few years we fought over what to watch, but eventually, since we could never, ever agree, we finally just stopped watching anything at all.
It took awhile to let go of the idea that I had to keep up, that I might be missing something important. But eventually, as I faced the realization that I hadn’t actually lost anything and had in fact gained hours of free time each week, I finally stopped thinking about it.
I used to think I was using TV as a way to relax—and it does seem relaxing—but the reality is that your brain still has to process all the images and messages it is receiving. Spending time being creative, completing projects, enjoying family & friends, or even sleeping is ultimately a much more fulfilling and constructive way to spend your downtime.
Studies have shown that people who watch a lot of television are more likely to be overweight, less likely to have fulfilling relationships, and more susceptible to violence. Frequent TV watchers also have a shorter attention span, reduced intelligence. Even scarier, children who watch a lot of TV are more likely to be overweight, bullied, and bad at math, just to name a few.
I don’t know about you but I’m convinced!
Be sure to read Edie’s corresponding post, More Reading
Make a commitment to stop watching television for the rest of the month. Instead, pick a book you’ve been meaning to read and make it your goal to finish it by the end of October. Any book will do but we strongly recommend starting with Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. Next, share your favorite books and also let us know what books you are planning to read this month! Show or tell us on Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #31DaysLessMore!
Be sure to also check out Crystal’s awesome insight on Less Smart Phone/More Communication from yesterday’s post!
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What’s your favorite book of all time? Which book or books do you plan to read this month?