I live in a household where the television is on 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There are 3 TV’s in a less than 1200 sq. ft space. I used to find myself on the couch watching anything that remotely sounded interesting. If i got sucked into a program or series, I could pretty much forget about getting anything other than work completed. I have noted 3 ways that you can ween yourself off of the television and get back to some more productive past times.
1. Is this serving an educational purpose or am I trying to zone out?
I have found that most of the time I’m watching television not to make my mind stop but to put it on pilot mode and sit back and enjoy the ride. This is not a healthy form of consumption. Anything which enables the body to not be active causes a problem. We wonder why we require stimulants like coffee, dietary supplements and tea. Our brains are taking in information but no one is there guiding the thoughts. It may be an interesting story but this could also be looking at as one of the failures of yoga practice. Television could be tied to gossip, wrong conversation or the wrong crowd.
2. Being conscious of how much time you spend sitting down in front of a screen.
Our television come in a wide range of sizes. The larger ones found in our living and bedrooms and the ones that we carry with us everyday in our pockets or purses. Some phones makers have now taken partial responsibility for this new culture of social avoidance and narcism by placing takers on the time you spend on your phone and what you spend time doing on your phone. Huge time eaters in today’s world is YouTube and Facebook. We consume millions of minutes a day watching people smear makeup all over their faces and blow stuff up but rarely engage our minds on our dreams and goals. I haven’t met many people that have said that they wanted to be a YouTube addict when they grew up.
3. Start counting the number of people you verbal speak to a day.
When on the train or in a car, it is easy to forget that the outside world exists. People have now become dependent on their phones for the communication with friends and family to where they don’t speak out loud for long spans of time. While it is important to maintain silence and not waste your words, speaking verbally to others or yourself is important. If you never use your voice, you may forget you have one. People that don’t speak up are usually preyed upon by others that look at their silence as weakness. Don’t become so quiet that you don’t use your voice even when you are supposed to.
It is easy to fall into the binge-watching world of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon but don’t forget that there is a whole out there full of social environments that might interest you. Recreation can include some television or screen time. However, when you start to notice a habit or a pattern, make a different choice as too much of anything can eventually turn bad for you. If you are a complete screen addict, I highly recommend something that is made by National Geographic or start watching the documentaries about the world we live in. People have forgotten our relationship to Mother Earth so watching these types of consumable media will hopefully get you off the couch and back into nature.