While doing my daily Interwebs run the other day, I came across an article at Yahoo! Finance that caused me to do a little Tiger Woods fist pump: “Cord-Cutters Have Just Inflicted the ‘Worst 12-Month Stretch Ever’ On Cable TV Business”. In the article, it says that most of the cord cutters aren’t necessarily getting rid of television completely, but just switching from cable to internet stuff like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. But why stop at just cutting the cord? All my adult life I have never paid for cable. While I was in college, each of the three apartments we lived in included cable in the cost of the rent, and the older I got the less television I watched. When we moved in with my in-laws after graduation, I had almost unlimited access to sports and movies, but after the first few weeks the excitement wore off and I hated it when the TV was on. And now that we’re living in a house of our own, it just seems ridiculous to pay for it, or even watch it online for that matter. That’s right. I’m a hater, and I’m proud to be one.
It’s just noise
The thing I hate most about television is that it’s just pointless noise. There’s enough noise in life that it seems that people hardly ever get the chance to sit back and think. Meditation has been proven to improve our overall health in many ways, but when you go from work to the radio in your car to TV in your house, you don’t ever have time to process things. Television sort of acts as a numbing agent to get us to forget about our problems, and a lot of people use it as an escape rather than facing the issue. The less time I’ve spent watching TV, my mind seems to function at a much higher level and I can do things more efficiently.
It’s a waste of money
A customer came into the branch the other day asking about some charges on her account. When I told her about an $80 cable charge, she just said, “I can’t believe how much they charge for cable these days.” I looked at her, smiled and said, “That’s why I don’t have cable.” The look on her face was priceless! “You don’t have cable? What do you do?” I almost laughed, because ironically she was probably 30 years old before televisions became household mainstays. What do I do with my time? Well, I probably do the same things she did before television was invented. But over time, TV has shrouded her in a veil of forgetfulness and she no longer knows what it’s like not to have one. $80 a month? That’s $25,920 over my lifetime. Yikes!
It’s damming your progress
There’s a reason they call them couch potatoes. Next time you see a potato, ask it where it’s going in life. Just make sure no one’s around when you do it, otherwise it might get awkward. But really, television not only leeches away your money and brain cells, but it also eats valuable time that you could be using to improve things—your life, your relationships, your financial situation. If you want to start going somewhere in life, turn off the TV and start living and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish and who you can become.
Now, of course, there are several reasons excuses why people still watch television, and why people even pay for it. Here are some of those reasons excuses I’ve heard:
We have kids and I can’t entertain them all the time
So what did people do before television? I bet the world was so boring back then. Granted, I’m sure having your kids watch a movie every now and again is a good way for parents to catch a break, but if at some point in your life you conceived a baby, this is what you signed up for. If you haven’t noticed, little kids are pretty darn good at entertaining themselves. They only get bored because television and other entertainment have conditioned them that they have to be entertained all. the. time. And I’ll be honest. I don’t have kids. So anyone who wants to lash out at me is welcome to, but I have friends who have taught their children how to entertain themselves, so don’t tell me it’s not doable. When they really need some peace and quiet, they put on some educational YouTube videos and it does the trick every time. Spend a little more time with your kids and teach them how to entertain themselves and you’ll have a better relationship with them and they’ll develop into more than just potatoes.
My days are so stressful and I need it to unwind
I’ve had some pretty stressful days lately. Not only have I been un/under-employed for the last year, but this last month and a half we’ve been short staffed at work and a lot of the extra crap has been put on my shoulders, making my subpar wages even more…exciting. But what I’ve found to be infinitely more satisfying and stress-relieving than becoming a mindless boob tube zombie is to throw myself at my passion (which is this blog). I also talk to my wife about what is going on, which always calms me down. Again, you probably need the TV to help you unwind because you’ve conditioned yourself that way. But there’s a lot more happiness in taking the time to do something with your life than to let it slip away while you catch up on all the shows that fill your mind with useless junk.
Hey jerkface, let me live my life the way I want to. Back off.
That’s fair. If you want to live your life that way, that’s up to you. I’m not writing this just to rant. I’m writing it to help people wake up and see what’s going on. When I was a kid/teenager, I probably spent 4-5 hours a day playing Nintendo. During the summer it increased to 9-10. So I know what it’s like to live that way. It’s not worth it. So if you want to keep spending your time and money watching television, I won’t judge you because it’s your life and I’m not going to tell you how to live it, even though the last 1,000 words may seem that way 🙂 We can still be friends, though.
How do you feel about television? Do I have a point? Or am I just being a jerkface?