How To Stop Watching TV In 3 Steps

In this post I’m going to tell you why I stopped watching TV, how I stopped watching TV, and how it changed my life.

When I was very young TV was a privilege I’d get to enjoy if I completed my chores and finished my homework.

It was the focus of a behaviour passed down from my parents. Spending hours watching TV, and having it on the in background, was my ‘normal’.

More so, I was taught to be excited about an up coming TV show or sports event.

Always there. At family occasions, School holidays, when searching for jobs, and when having arguments.

A soundtrack to life itself.

An opinion always offered, whether you’re actively listening or not.

Well I stopped listening around 7 years ago.

The trigger?

On a rare day off, I was at home watching a daytime TV show when a presenter made an offensive remark.

Where I’d have normally been outraged, and gone on a half-hour rant, I instead found myself reflecting on the situation.

I discovered it was entirely my own fault.

Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required. You are responsible for knowing any laws relevant to you.

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Image of a TV with words: I stopped watchingI Stopped Watching Television

See, I had purchased a Television, a TV licence and paid my electric bill.

Then, I had sat down and given the TV my full attention.

I had allowed an unvetted person into my very own living room, and given them the authority to say whatever they wanted.

It was clear as day.

The TV had nothing to do with me, nor me it.

That day I decided to stop watching TV.

Here’s how I did it:

1: Stop Watching Background TV

Image of a TV lighting a room at night

I was a person who always had the TV on, even if I wasn’t actively watching.

It was like background music.

I’d have it on, just to have it on.

This is the first thing I stopped doing.

Some tips I’d offer to help you do this are:

A) Put the remote somewhere unusual. So if you normally have the remote on the couch, put it in a cupboard instead.

This will make you think before hitting the red button.

B) Pull out the plug, so you can’t just switch it on.

2: Set A Date To Stop Watching It Altogether

Image of a diary

It was a gradual process before I completely stopped watching the TV.

There might have been a show I really wanted to watch, so I watched it.

If you keep challenging yourself, every time you turn on the TV, you’ll eventually wean yourself off it.

Setting a date to stop is a good idea, that way you have a mental target to work towards.

Once you hit the date, move onto step 3.

3: Re-Purpose The Television

Image of a large screen TV

We have a DVD collection of our favourite movies and a home games console.

It’s a good idea to re-purpose your TV by removing any wires that would allow for a television reception, and setting up the TV for its new function.

If you intend to sell it/give it away/pack it up, then do so.

If you want to use it for DVDs, internet, or gaming, then connect those wires.

We removed all aerials from our TV, wrapped them up, and hid them in the corner.

-The only reason we didn’t cut them is, we may sell the house at some point in the future. I’m sure any new buyer would expect to find an aerial for their TV.

Quitting The TV Changed My Life

Image of 2 news reporters on Television

Quitting the TV was the first step to simplifying my life.

It wasn’t just the odd offensive remark I got rid off. It was all of the other stuff.

The constant News, the commercials, the shows, the noise.

When you turn off the TV the world settles a bit.

You also find you have more time, and more focus, to be productive.

I don’t regret quitting the TV. I only wish I had done it sooner.

Alternatives To Watching TV

A stack of books

After switching off the TV I started to read more books, and spent more time playing my guitar.

An on-demand streaming service is also a good alternative to terrestrial TV. That way, you can consciously decide what you want to watch, and when you want to watch it.

Finally YouTube is good for listening to a personal point-of-view, or a piece of music.

I’m very selectively about what I watch now, even on these other services.

What’s your motivation for quitting the TV?

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