Television is Taking Over the World

Television is taking over the world.  It’s been very subtle about it, though.  I hadn’t even suspected anything until the last couple of weeks – until then, I’d thought of it as rather benign and good at providing entertainment to accompany my knitting.

But now I’m convinced: television will not be happy until we’re planted in front of it at all hours of day, forsaking all others.

It starts so simply.  Maybe there are a couple of shows you love to watch.  Perhaps you feel you need to catch up on the news.  It’s always good to throw a couple of intriguing documentaries into the mix, of course.  Then there are the old favourites that you don’t mind picking up from time to time, taking you back to your childhood or those times when you could quote entire scenes.  Before you know it, your entire evening is scheduled around television, along with significant portions of your weekend.

Just the other day, I happened to be watching a preview for Wayward Pines when I caught myself lamenting the difficulty of finding the time to watch it.  All of a sudden, it seemed ridiculous to me: when it comes to making time for things, surely there are more important activities to prioritise than television?  Is television starting to manipulate my thoughts now?

And just like that, I’m sick of it, although I still find myself conflicted.  I enjoy watching television series because they give my imagination opportunities for springboarding and finding inspiration; on the other hand, the watching of the aforementioned leaves me little time for implementing these wonderful ideas. Actually, there’s an idea: perhaps we should do a quick list of the things I can and can’t do while watching television.

Things I Can Do While Watching TV

  • Spend time with the Chef
  • Knit
  • Pat kitties

Things I Can’t Do While Watching TV

  • Play games with the Chef
  • Read
  • Sew
  • Write
  • Go for walks (preferably with the Chef)
  • Practise my instruments
  • Improve my photography
  • Bake

Even that quick list shows you just how much television is stealing in the way of productivity and fun.

Now some of you may recall a post from March where I declared Tuesdays to be off-limits to television.  Surely that would have set me on the right path?  In theory, yes.  In practice, no.  We did, indeed, experience at least one No TV Tuesday, but the next one was scheduled for a different night and then I accidentally watched TV one Tuesday and that seemed to be the end of that.

But habits take a while to break, don’t they?  And television is one serious habit that is going to do its best to stick around for as long as it can.  That doesn’t mean I should let it win, so it seems like it’s time to take another stab at it.

One of the main reasons I watch TV is because I don’t want to miss out on something good.  And that’s where it gets you.  While you’re watching something good, you’re assaulted by a whole bunch of promotions for other good things that you simply cannot miss.  There’s always something new to watch.  Something shinier.  Something you’ve never seen the likes of before.  I need to sit myself down and have a stern talk wherein I ask: Would I rather watch a shiny new TV show or start making a new skirt?

Because when you get right down to it, that skirt is going to be a more useful addition to my life than a flimsy memory of a television show.

So perhaps I’ll shift No TV Tuesdays to Fridays instead.  I’ll lose the sweet alliteration of the title, but there are several reasons why I think it might work better on Friday.  Firstly, the Chef is out on Friday nights, so I wouldn’t be able to watch TV with him anyway.  Secondly, it’s not squeezed in between two nights when we’re frequently off doing other things that don’t involve television.  Thirdly, Friday night is pretty much the start of the weekend, so it would give me plenty of opportunities to make a start on various weekend projects.

I think it will help to make some preparations, too.  For example, knitting seems to have been designed for focussing your mind on listening, so I have a plan to find some interesting audiobooks or podcasts to listen to as I knit.  Or sew, in fact!  I’d also like to sort out my sewing area so it’s a little less crowded with towers of old patterns and books.  If I have an appealing place to be, then I’ll be less tempted to plonk myself down on the couch and fall back into old habits.

So that’s my new plan for breaking television’s domination over this little house, at least.  Here’s hoping this plan of attack will be somewhat more successful than the last!

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Beth 10th May 2015 - 6:35 pm

My TV turned itself on last night when I was in bed. That was creepy. Was it trying to tell me something?!
You’re so right, TV makes me so unproductive. I hate my kids watching it, I’d much rather they do something else. Good luck restarting your goal. I’m going to try to keep the TV off all day today to inspire you!

Katie Writes Stuff 10th May 2015 - 7:28 pm

That is incredibly creepy! Maybe things are worse than I thought, if televisions are turning themselves on, demanding to be watched at all times.

Thanks for your encouragement! I’ll be remembering this on Friday when The Plan Mk. II starts. 🙂

Alexie RicRac 10th May 2015 - 7:30 pm

TV is turned on in this house for more than background noise Friday night and Sunday night when we tune into our favourite British shows: Escape to the Country, Nick Knowles’ Original Features, and anything else that might happen to be on.
My issue is using the computer while watching TV. I spend so much time on this thing it’s not funny. But now that TAFE is done and uni is just three or four weeks away from finishing I am hoping that I will have so much to do with getting Alexie RicRac off the ground that there will be no more time for TV or extracurricular activities on the computer, and I could also get those projects done around the home that I too thought I would get done quite a while ago!

Katie Writes Stuff 10th May 2015 - 10:23 pm

Shows such as those are my weakness! They’re so fascinating that I could easily while away an entire night watching them. I swear, television can see inside my soul and it knows exactly the right way to tempt me away from all the things I actually want to do.

Good luck with your plans! They sound very solid indeed, especially since it’s something you are committed to. It’s lovely to imagine the things we can all achieve if we deny ourselves these admittedly appealing distractions.

Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! 11th May 2015 - 10:47 am

I think the only way to stop is “cold turkey”. No TV for a week then ease back into it, except keep the Friday a No TV day. After all, I notice that if I record the shows I really had to see, but missed, turns out when there are 3 or even 6 recorded, sometimes I don’t even want to catch up. So I just delete them and don’t watch that show again. BUT I must admit that I do (always) sew in front of the TV. I listen to the show as I sew and if I hear something interesting I stop sewing and look up. Good luck with your challenge!

Katie Writes Stuff 11th May 2015 - 11:45 am

I have a feeling you may be right about the cold turkey business. Actually, now I think of that, I did something similar for facebook and twitter a few years ago and it was a very good thing indeed. It certainly bears some serious consideration.

You’ve made me realise there I’ve recorded about half a dozen episodes of a series I keep telling myself I’ll watch one day… but the day hasn’t arrived yet. It looks like I should just go and delete them and pick up a book instead (because I have a PILE of them on my to-read list).

Thanks for your encouragement! 🙂

Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! 11th May 2015 - 1:35 pm

You can do it!

Katie Writes Stuff 11th May 2015 - 11:42 am

That’s the attitude I want to cultivate towards TV! It doesn’t help that we don’t have a proper place to eat. Or a proper table for games. But these are just excuses, I know.

I’m hoping this second go will have more of an impact than the first. It’s far too easy to fall back into old habits, so I’ll just have to make an effort to ensure this new habit is an even more appealing one.

Dianne 13th May 2015 - 11:46 pm

This time of year doesn’t help either – over summer we tend to stay outside longer, have dinner later due to a back yard cricket match needing to have ” just another over or two” before calling stumps. Then the tv goes on less, ( or only when the cricket it on, in which case it is often on only in the background while everyone is reading!). But come the early dark, cold evenings, we tend to want to sit in front of the heater…and the tv! Often it is only turned on to see the 7pm news, or sometimes just the weather. We tend to watch documentaries mostly ( especially science/ nature) or record movies to watch on the weekend. I don’t have time to commit to series, I will record a few episodes of a show, but if I haven’t watched any by the 3rd or 4th week, I figure it isn’t going to happen. The exception is Dr Who of course! Then again, the main time I knit is when watching tv….

Katie Writes Stuff 14th May 2015 - 12:28 pm

Yes, the gloomy weather and encroaching coldness certainly discourages us from spending time outside or away from the heater! And I’m like you – I do a heap of knitting in front of the TV, too, so it’s not entirely unproductive. It can definitely be a force for good!

Dianne 15th May 2015 - 9:59 pm

Absolutely! And of course if some free to air tv channel started showing ” The Great British Sewing Bee” I could knit whilst watching and learning more about sewing! I can but dream….

Katie Writes Stuff 16th May 2015 - 12:52 pm

That’s exactly what I did! If it weren’t for The Great British Sewing Bee, I don’t think I’d have been inspired to get back into sewing.


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