Escape Your Television - Diary of an Addict

Monday, December 13, 2004

Day 7

Sunday.. Day 7. I think I'll update this blog weekly from now on.
Well, not so much of a tv-free week but more like a minimal-tv-week. Down from about 25-30 hours a week of switched on television (ie. tv is on even though I'm not watching it) to 7 hours. Of those, 5 were at a friend's house and were pretty much unavoidable unless I imposed my ideals on to them in their own house which wasn't going to happen. The remaining 2 hours were when my girlfriend was visiting and one of those was a fairly intellectual programme discussing the meaning of life.

The programme was stimulating, interesting and not really dumbed down for me at least. Obviously it's all relative, as I'm sure an astrophysicist would've dosed off but for me it had some interesting ideas which have got me thinking and subsequently I might buy some further reading on the subject.

Next week's programme is on the nature of reality which I'll probably watch too...
There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this, Sir Martin takes us on a mind-boggling journey through multiple universes to post-biological life. On the way we learn of the disturbing possibility that we could be the product of someone else’s experiment.

On that note (the nature of reality), and this in nothing to do with TV, you may want to read this. If you manage to get all the way through I think you'll have to admit that the conclusion plays on your mind, especially when I can't think of a single good counter-argument to the idea that nothing around us is real in the conventional sense of the word.

Well, anyway, that's a week of controlled television over with and it was quite refreshing and liberating to realise I don't need it on all the time I'm at home just for the background noise it creates. Infact I've found I prefer the peace with having it switched off. That said, I'm not going to be able to give it up completely just because there are some genuinely interesting programmes on British TV. I don't know about the rest of the world but here it's not all reality programming, chat shows, make-over shows and mindless sit-coms, there is some really good stuff amongst the dross.

The key is being able to watch only the occasional programme that is worth watching and then switching off afterwards. I do have the will-power and self-control, I'm certainly not helpless. After all, I can do it with other things like food and alcohol, I don't just eat and drink until I pass out, I just consume as much as I need.

So, things that have changed:
1) no tv in the morning
2) no tv when I get home from work
3) only watching the occasional planned programme in a week
4) canceling my 300 channel Sky satellite saving £20 ($40) per month
5) not being late for work
6) started reading books again
7) going to start getting a newspaper delivered
8) getting to bed earlier and having a good night's sleep
9) finding more time for other jobs
10) more relaxed, time is going more slowly and subsequently I'm less stressed