Internet ads often claim they can change your life with a click. And it’s true – a click can change your life. Just click “off” on your TV remote.
Why spend four hours a day getting fatter, lonelier, and duller?
I’m sure you only watch PBS on occasion. But the average American watches four hours a day. Most people don’t even count the shows they view on their computer or phone to be officially watching TV. But it is. And even if you’re just watching high-brow documentaries, you’re still likely to: eat more, drink more, and exercise a whole lot less. According to the NIH, TV is a huge contributing factor to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Not good for the 40+ crowd.
What you could be doing instead of watching TV
While anything is better than watching TV, here is where you will get the biggest return:
- Exercise Your biggest excuse for not working out is not enough time, so start moving
- Catch up on sleep You’re probably sleep deprived from staying up late watching TV
- Catch up with friends When’s the last time you had a real conversation with a friend? Spend time with them instead of your imaginary friends on TV
- Mojo up your digital profile Add some mojo to your LinkedIn account, start a blog, get a gig
- What would Seth Godin do? The best-selling author and marketing guru never watches TV and has these suggestions
But my family would never give up TV
You may think you don’t really watch TV. It’s your kids. Your spouse. There are five TVs in the house and no way to shut them all off. Plus, everyone will just watch their shows online. Couple of questions: Are you a parent or a servant? If the former, you can shut it off. As for your spouse, I am sure you can convince him or her there’s something more fun to do than merely watch other people with great love lives.
Alternatives to TV cold turkey
I have a friend who made the front page of her local paper because she would not allow her children to watch TV. Mothers would glare at her at the park. Her kids are bright, athletic teens now and she lets them watch some TV. But only if they are folding clothes or watching a movie together as a family. Some other alternatives to going completely TV-free:
- Get rid of cable and keep just one TV in the house so you can still watch DVDs (occasionally)
- Make weekdays TV-free times
- Only allow yourself to watch TV while you are on a treadmill or doing some type of workout
- Make your home and computers TV-free for a week
- Use the free time exercising and catching up with friends
- See how long you can go TV-free
Got some other suggestions for how to watch less TV? Add to the discussion below.
Photo courtesy flickr grant neufeld
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