In this article, you will learn 4 reasons and 8 of my top strategies on how to stop watching TV. Take any one strategy from the list which is the most relevant to you and start implementing it today.
Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.
- Alfred Hitchcock (English Film Director)
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Did you know that according to a recent statistic, the average adult spends 77 days out of every year watching TV? It might sound crazy folks, but it is natural for us to underestimate the amount of time we spend watching TV. Data doesn’t lie. Assuming it is true in your case, let me be a little provocative here and suggest that you’re wasting away a great portion of your productive life sitting in front of the TV.
You tell yourself, “Aah!, but it’s such a normal thing to do, It’s only for a little bit and just to relax after a hard day’s work or to help me sleep better’’,…etc. Who are you kidding? We watch TV a lot longer than we think we do. Watching TV has a long list of negative effects on our body and mind that we don’t really think about. Here are 4 of the biggest ones:
4 Big Reasons Why You Should Stop Watching Tv
1. Watching Tv Can Make You Fat And Unhealthy
A study from 2003 followed more than 50,000 middle-aged women for six years. The results indicated that for every 2 hours spent watching television per day, the participants had a 23 % higher chance of becoming obese and a 14% higher risk of developing diabetes. Obesity has also been linked to an increased probability of developing cardiovascular disease.
2. Watching Tv Can Promote Antisocial Behavior
According to a 2013 study, the risk of antisocial or criminal behavior increased with every hour of television children watched per week. TV watching can also contribute to aggression and other negative emotions.
3. Watching Tv Can Shorten Your Lifespan
Various studies have established links between TV watching and all-cause mortality. One specific study’s findings suggest that reducing time spent
watching television (and possibly other prolonged sedentary behaviors) may also be of benefit in preventing premature death.
4. Watching Tv Is A Big Time-waster
According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average (35.5 hours/week which slightly more than 77 days per year).
How To Stop Watching Tv With 8 Proven Strategies
Now that we’ve talked about the reasons why we should stop watching TV, let me share with you 8 strategies to help you stop watching TV:
1. Ignore The News
It may seem like it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you. You could be just one of the many people in the world who can’t go without getting your daily fix of the latest news. But, do you know that TV networks follow a 3C formula to make their programs appealing enough to the point of addiction? This 3C formula is based on Crisis, Conflict, and Controversy.
For example, here are the actual news headlines from a single day on Google news. Note that I did not do any selective listings here. I have simply picked up the headlines exactly as they were showing:
· Nurse accused of impregnating a woman in vegetative state who gave birth
· Tens of Thousands in Venezuela Join Protests against Maduro
· Poll: Shutdown, Russia drive Trump to all-time high disapproval
· NBC's Guthrie slammed by left, right over an interview with Covington student Sandmann
Do you see the 3Cs in action here? All of these news articles affect us negatively in some way or the other, which in turn affects our state of mind. As for staying informed, I’m going to adopt a disrupter approach and say that the majority of daily news does not directly impact you in any way, and therefore, should and can be ignored.
Ask yourself this important question- Am I going to change the course of my action having known this new piece of information? The answer will almost always be a NO. If something really important happens, trust me, you will come to know about it.
2. Eliminate The Serials
Watching your favorite TV series is incredibly tempting and sadly, this is one of the main reasons why people binge-watch. You really have to cut it off entirely. It is human psychology to want to close the loop. In an interesting experiment, job participants were given blank pieces of paper that featured a square with one line missing and a pencil with no other explanations. The majority of the people went on to draw the 4th line, in effect, closing the loop.
People like a sense of closure and finality which is one of the reasons why TV serials keep viewers hooked until the very end. We want to know the end of the story and so we keep watching it to close that loop. The best thing to do in this case is to stop watching altogether.
3. Cancel Your Cable And Netflix Subscriptions
When you pay for a cable subscription, you feel like you have to use it, otherwise, you invariably think you’re wasting money. Stop the subscription.
It will free up your time, help you save money, and prevent unnecessary distractions.
4. Use A Timer To Set Tv Watching Limits
A lot of TVs these days come with this feature. If you set your TV timer for just 1 hour and stick to it, you will have accomplished 2 things. It will enable you to control how much time you spend in front of the TV. It will also help you manage your time more effectively because you have a schedule you are now sticking to.
5. Set Up An Alarm And Place The Clock/phone In Another Room
Once we sink into that couch and settle down to watch TV, it becomes hard to get up again. Set up an alarm on your clock or mobile phone in another part of the house with your desired time settings (1 hour in this case). This is an effective strategy that will force you to get up to go and switch it off. Once you are up it becomes easier to move on to other things.
6. Replace The Tv With Other Interests
We know that most people watch 35 hours of TV per week, which come to think of it, is the same number of hours that people work in France. This time that you spend on watching TV, is more than adequate to do something different that actually makes you productive or helps you get closer to your goals. Think about all the great things that you can do in life to help you progress whether it is self-development or pursuing a new hobby. If there is no better replacement, the TC will continue to be your number 1 distraction.
7. Allocate Tv-free Days Every Week
If you’re facing difficulties keeping daily TV watching under control, another strategy is to allocate only specific times and specific days to TV watching.
Have a slot during the day scheduled for TV-watching or alternatively, another great strategy is to set aside 1 or 2 days of the week where there’s no TV watching. You can call it your TV-free Day/s.
8. If All Else Fails, Get Rid Of The Tv
I have not been watching TV for the last 4 years. It is not because I’m disciplined. I tried to discipline myself using the avoidance tactic, but it only worked for a while. Different methods work for different people. I needed to resort to drastic measures. I sold one TV and gave the second one to a relative. The third one – I simply threw away. Speaking of watching TV, my strategies are not just for the TV. Use them to cut down on binge-watching on your computers and mobile phones too.
Assuming that we watch 35 hours of TV weekly and that the average lifespan of a human being is 80 years, you will spend approximately 17 of it staring at the TV screen. Do you really want to waste 17 years of life doing nothing? If not, you have to take action straight away.
P.S. What do you think about the subject of TV watching? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Also, help us put an end to TV addiction by sharing this article as widely as possible. Cheers!