I tend to watch a lot of TV (by TV I mean mostly stuff I download or watch on Hulu.com, etc.). I justify it because I often watch it while doing other things: Preparing dinner, washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. But it also has become somewhat of a distraction. I feel like it frequently makes things take longer to finish, and it certainly distracts my attention sometimes.
Another reason is that I have not been sleeping well lately. I often have my laptop next to me on the bed so that I can watch something as I fall asleep. I think this is (and has been for quite awhile) affecting my sleeping patterns negatively. As this Lifehacker post suggests, even looking at a screen right before you go to bed can cause problems, let alone having one about two feet from your face as you are sinking into the abyss.
So, for those and other reasons, I am trying an experiment. I am going to try to go a full week without television. This includes both TV shows and movies – those on the actual television as well as those that I download on my computer.
I debated a bit between stopping cold turkey and merely trying to reduce my TV watching. I decided on the cold-turkey approach because I don’t think I have the willpower to watch just one or two episodes of something per day. As with ending my dependence on Mountain Dew, it seems cleaner to just cut bait.
It’s useful, I’ve found, to counterweight potentially negative changes by replacing them with positive changes. So, instead of not watching TV, I am going to fill the time doing things that are potentially more constructive, such as reading, playing guitar, learning new programming languages, re-studying Spanish – and, uh, writing blog posts. (Oh, yeah, and doing my day job….)
Here’s to a week without TV. I’ll let you know how it goes