For the last 6 months, my partner and I have been living without what many in the developed world consider to be a modern necessity – TV. And we are much happier for it!
We do own a TV, but upon moving to our new place, we decided simply not to plug it in. 6 months on and this has been a very positive decision for us. Although I don’t know who is winning My Kitchen Rules or follow other TV fads, I have found that I have so much more time to pursue the things I love doing and be with the people I care about.
Not watching TV or having it on merely as background noise has allowed my partner and I to get so much more out of our days. I read more than ever and we actually have time to get out in the garden and cultivate fresh and healthy produce.
Living without TV has also led me to learn new things and be more creative. To stave of boredom, I have recently taught myself to make relishes and chutney.
Another benefit of life without TV is the fact that I am no longer bombarded with morbid news updates 24 /7.
Don’t get me wrong, I love keeping informed and I like to know what’s going on in the world. However, having ABC24 and SBS constantly in the background in the past meant that I was persistently reminded of all the shit that’s happening across the globe.
Although it is good to be well informed, I have found that too much exposure can lead you to become desensitised to all the suffering that is taking place around us. Alternatively, it can make you extremely depressed. Neither of these states of mind are healthy or productive. I have experienced both.
Despite not watching TV, I still keep up-to-date regarding world affairs via online blogs and news sites. In doing this, I can actively seek out current news updates without having to watch ABC24 on loop. This means that I am not overwhelmed by endless depictions of misery and can therefore view current events with perspective and clarity.
Living without TV has allowed me to make clear decisions about what I want to focus on and given me the ability to concentrate on one issue at a time rather than becoming so overcome with news that I end up doing nothing about any of it.
I assume that my partner and I will plug back into the world of TV at some stage in the future. However, if and when we do, it will be in limited bursts rather than mindless marathons.
Like anything, TV can be a fantastic form of entertainment – in moderation. But when it pervades every aspect of our lives or stops us from being active and engaged citizens; enough is enough.
I would recommend everyone give up TV or at the very least limit viewing hours to the bare minimum so as to experience everything that can be achieved when you switch off in order to switch on!