Monday, May 23, 2011

Television: Why I Hate It

This past weekend I found myself watching the NHL playoffs.  Now, there is nothing wrong with hockey and I found myself moderately entertained by what was going on.  Therein lies the problem.  I have not this year, or any other year, followed hockey in the slightest.  After I spent the two hours or so watching the game, I realize that I had gotten almost zero utility from doing so.

Now, I'm not arguing that I don't enjoy watching television.  In fact, there are quite a few shows that I derive so much happiness from that it's more than worthwhile for me do so.  The issue is that after these handful of shows is over I continue to just sit and stare.  Watching the images flash and accomplishing absolutely nothing.  Barely even enjoying it.  This often leads to late nights of little gain.  I can't sleep because I haven't done anything. So I just sit and stare.  Of course, the next day I'm tired from not getting good sleep.  It's a rather vicious cycle. 

The problem is compounded by the fact that there are at least 25 things at any point in time that I could be doing.  Anything of these things would be of more benefit to me.  Watching TV is probably the least productive thing a human being can do. 
So as of today I am setting forth a plan of action.  Maybe even call it an experiment.

1.  Make a list of shows I am going to watch.

2.  Make it a point to watch only those shows.

3.  Make a list of things to do instead of watching TV.

4.  Cross off at least one thing from my list everyday.

5.  At the week, next Monday to be exact, I will try and figure out if I am happier then I was the week before.

With any luck, I'll be able to slowly make my list of shows to watch shorter and shorter.  By not just watching everything on TV, I should be able to avoid adding things that don't really interest me but somehow crept on there.  At some point I'd like to cut it down to 3-4 hours a week.  That seems about ideal.

I can see only good things coming of this.  Most Sunday nights I sit around thinking about all the things I should've accomplished that weekend and realizing that I didn't do any of them.  I go to sleep on those nights feeling dissatisfised with myself. 

Hopefully, by doing it a little bit a time I can pull myself away from the idiot box.  I might even make myself smarter in the process.

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