The Life Experimenter : Change Your Life, One Month at a Time

Life Experiment #48 – No TV For A Month – Part II

By Allen Rinehart

Stop watching, starting living

I recently just got back from an awesome trip to Japan.  Tokyo is an amazing city if you ever get a chance to go.  One thing I noticed about when I travel is how very little if any television I watch when I’m on the road.  I usually stay in hostels or in the case of Japan “capsule hotels” which usually don’t have  TVs to watch.  Even if they do, they’re in another language.  But why would you want to watch TV all day?  You’re traveling!  I usually spend most of my weekends traveling here in Korea to the city of Busan, so rarely do I spend anytime on the weekends watching TV.  It got me thinking, why can’t I have fun during the week too?  Why spend the rest of the time at home watching TV?  So, in my second attempt to give up TV, I’ll be turning off the tube and living it up for a month.

Hypothesis: I believe that TV watching causes too much sedentary time.  I think this experience will lead to more exercise and some weight loss.  I also think I’ll start picking up better habits that I somehow convinced myself that I never have time for.  It’s easy to let TV become the default thing to do to relieve stress or boredom.  I’m hoping this experience will lead to healthier ways to solve those problems.

My Current TV Habit

Back in 2012, I tried to kick the TV habit when I moved into my new apartment.  It was the first time I had moved somewhere and not signed-up for cable.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  But TV has changed.  Now in 2014 you can get almost any show or movie you want either legitimately through iTunes, Google or Amazon or through the hundreds of video sites hosting pirated content.  So while the medium has changed, the content still remains the same.

My quest to forgo TV was successful in cutting out a lot of the habitual shows I was watching, but it only merely switched my viewing habits to watching more movies instead. Eventually I just gave it up and resorted to watching TV again. None of the content I watch contains commercials and I can watch it whenever I want.  My TV viewing habits usually begin when eating dinner and continue on through the rest of the night until I go to bed.

Why Do We Watch TV To Begin With?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself that?  Why do you watch?  If I asked you to stop watching TV for a whole week, could you do it?  I started to really think about this habit and realized that the habit of TV solves several problems:

The Game Plan

I realized that changing my viewing habits requires more than turning off the tube.  Just like chewing gum when you quit smoking, each trigger of a habit must be addressed with a healthier solution.  Here’s my plan for doing so:

Photo Credits (Flickr)

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