Want To Quit Watching TV?: Effects of Quitting Television

When I was a young boy, I remembered having a huge wooden television. This monster had a big old dial that you have to turn in order to change the channel. Technology changed fast. It was just a few years later and Cable television became the luxury standard replacing antennas.


PBS was a channel we watched if we wanted to learn something and Fox was just entertainment. In the recent years, I've noticed a trend that I didn't like. Reality TV blew up and the shit started going downhill. Every channel became crap. MTV stopped playing music. News channels stopped reporting objectively and worked on feeding us propaganda. I got fed up with the garbage. It was mindless. I've quit watching television for about 5 months now. I get most of my information online anyway. The cable subscription wasn't worth it. It was time to quit.


Withdrawal

I transitioned well. My girlfriend, however had a pretty rough time. She was addicted to MTV's lineup of FAKE reality tv shows like The Hills, Leguna Beech and all those other crap. "The Real World"? Ha! That title alone fails. I later found out that she was still watching her shows online via Hulu.com. I come to find out that News Corp, the same people behind Fox owns Hulu. Wow.


She argues that I spend a lot of time on the computer and while this is true, I can choose where, when, and what I read to an extent. I spend most of my time reading and listening to music and I've noticed that I sometimes get an "information overload." I've learned so much on so many different subjects.


Information Overload

This influx of knowledge has resulted in my quitting fast foods, video games, and Microsoft Windows! I'm eating healthier after watching "Supersize Me." That's a great documentary BTW. I quit World of Warcraft (pure poison!). And I'm using Ubuntu as my primary operating system.

I also learned a good deal about electricity when I built my electric bicycle. Learned that online also.

The internet has gotten me into politics. It's inevitable. When you learn how things work, you wonder why things suck so much. I won't get into that too much here. That's subject for another hub.

I can see how de'evils want to control the Internet. Learning so much online and increasing my productivity had brought up some questions that I have to ask.

Why is it that every year, there is a threat on net neutrality?

Why do politicians use safety as an excuse for censorship?

Why is there always a boogie-man to fight?


Final Thoughts

I read that television emits alpha waves that your body gets used to and become addicted to. It's definitely interesting to think about. Supposedly, video cameras pick up these wavelengths visually and render them as horizontal lines passing up and down. So those are what those lines are when you see a recording of a TV? I don't know.


I noticed when I used to watch TV that sometimes I turn it on for no reason. I don't even watch the tv. This is more noticeable in the morning. It almost feels like I need it on to start my day. Other times, the TV would be on and no one is watching. I then ask if anyone is watching and they all say, "No." When I turn it off, people tell me to turn it back on. It's almost as if we are addicted to the background noise.


There is something else that I noticed. I also read that the alpha waves intensify during commercials in order to hypnotize you into receiving information easier. I started downloading my favorite shows and saving them on my computer. I notice that I don't enjoy them as much watching them on the computer than on the tv. What changed? It's the same show. No commercials. I can watch them whenever I want. But they stay stored untouched for a rainy day. Maybe it's the advertisements. I suppose the shows that I liked had a sense of higher value on television because they portray it as "urgent". "Catch Survivorman at 7pm where he shows you how to make fire with an LED flashlight!" Wow, now I had to watch it! Whether or not the alpha waves are real or not, these are some of the things that I noticed and these are my experiences.


Last, I noticed that time goes by fast while watching TV. Not just hourly and daily, but months can fly by. I use to spend 8 plus hours in front of the tv. This while multi-tasking of course. Eating, doing homework (in high school). Anything. There had to be a TV around. Now, I look back on the time and compare it to now. It feel like it's been at least a year since I stopped watching TV, but I know in reality, it's only been 5 months. That the nice thing about quitting television, you have much more free time on your hands. Sure, you get bored faster but in order to compensate, your mind explores more. You read more about interesting subjects. Interesting subjects provoke thought. Making good use of leisure has been a skill in and of itself. Before, I would have the attitude of, "I have no time for that." Now I can do anything I put my mind to. I am being productive. I took up boxing and got into shape. I am just more aware.


I can say without a doubt in my mind that quitting television has been the best thing I have ever done. I took the red pill.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. If you decide to quit television, best of luck to you.

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Comments 31 comments

blessing 7 years ago

i sure agree,watching television can slowly turn one into an unproductive lazy individual who spends so much time absorbed in biased shows,and all that unnecessary fiction.as a Christian i also recently realised how most T.V shows are immoral, they publicly display private issues like sex etc to young children,and children look up to most of those actors,actresses, singers etc and we all know that most of them are very bad influences, their so called celebrated lives are full of scandals, drugs,extreme lifestyles,unexamplary relationships,divorce,fornication etc...my point is T.v as evolved into a horrific gadget almost everyone worship and is controled by...i personally haven't totally quit T.V but i selectively choose my shows...well call me boring but anything that doesn't build me, my faith,studies or GLORIFY JESUS I've completely cut out same applies to music...just try it and u'll see how much better yo life will turn out and improve...


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Set's All Set 7 years ago from New England Author

I thank you for your comment! Anyone can benefit for less television.


Brandon 6 years ago

Hey nice article. I have been thinking about quitting tv, i normally watch a couple hours of tv a night, but for the last 3 days i have not watched any, and my mind doesent seem "foggy" anymore.


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Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Thanks for the comment Brandon. If you decide to quit permanently, you will not regret it. You will have so much free time. That "foggy" feeling is something i do not miss!


hdhntr 6 years ago

I was lucky, I guess. I was so busy as a single Dad raising 2 wonderful kids that watching TV was never an activity we indulged in much. Too many other wonderful activities like reading, working out, helping kids with homework, learning a skill, or just simply communicating with the kids. Probably watched a max of 6 hours a week. It was mostly on the nights a show we liked was on.

I decided, when my son left for college that I would simply

unplug the TV. It's been about 3 months now. Don't miss it at all. Not missing the redundant not-newsworthy-news programs, not missing any sitcoms, not missing the drama.

Love having an additional 5-6 hours. Most of that is spent either reading or learning to play guitar better.

I can't fathom the freedom someone must feel if they are used to watching 10+ hours of TV per week and quit!


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Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

thanks for the comment hdhntr but just to let you know, you do not have to join hubpages to leave a comment. Unplugging the TV can be hard for other people. We, as a society hate responsibility. We let schools and TV raise our kids. When we take the initiative and be responsible, everyone benefits. One thing I forgot to mention in my article, the remote gives people a false sense of control. We have the choice of what channel to tune into but we must realize that it's all the same. MTV, MTV2, BET, VH1. It's the same. HBO, Cinemax. Discovery Channel, TLC. We have no choice. The only choice we have is to shut it off.


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lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

An excellent hub. One benefit you don't mention -- when you're not plugged in to the biased news, the political pundits, the commercials, the underhanded preaching -- you start to think for yourself. Good for you.


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Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Thank you Immartin. It's definitely important to think for ourselves. We have a false sense of power but we give up control every time we turn on the television. Thank your for the comment. I definitely will not miss political pundits, especially those on fox news! I've realized now that every new network is corrupted.


Emily 6 years ago

Thank you so much. I donated my TV after reading this and the past weeks have been the greatest of my life.


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Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Your welcome Emily! I am having a good time myself. Seeing things from this end. I love all the free time I get. I hope you enjoy your free time!


Digitech 6 years ago

Have you ever interacted with a person from a less well-off country who was not 'raised on TV?'

After meeting those people, it's startling to realize how rude and vulgar most Americans are.


Digitech 6 years ago

Ah, I forgot to mention one more thing.

When I was growing up, my family did have a TV but we didn't watch it that much. We had one set -- I've read about some families that have one in each bedroom as well as the living room and kitchen.

When I moved to college, I didn't take a TV and soon found didn't miss it at all. That was seven years ago.

Sometimes it's hard to relate to other people though. They talk an awful lot about the movies and shows which they've seen. Most of the time I've never even heard of any of them and can't participate in the conversation.


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Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Yes, I have worked with many first gen americans and immigrants. Needless to say, they were not very rich and I could related. I met a philipino man who was one of the hardest workers I've ever met. He was very polite and had a good demeanor. It was a humbling experience. Then I would go downtown and see the "jersey girls" or the hipsters and think to myself, "these kids are so spoiled." It was clear that they were emulating what they see on tv.

I feel you. I too am unable to engage in casual conversation with some of my peers. At first, I felt like a loner. I felt different. Now I just carry on with my business. Sometimes, people speak of these shows like they are the greatest things in the world. To me, it seems obsessive. To the rest of the world, its normal. So what does that make me? Only people that don't watch tv can related. Those that have watched and quit can truly understand. The difference is enlightening.


JamesG 5 years ago

My wife and I quit TV about six months ago little did I know what the results would be at the time. Believe me if one doesn't think TV is harmful to their relationship think again. From a couple that watched alot of TV the last six months has been very rewarding. We have spent so much time together just talking, getting things done that had been put off for months, reading and most of all finding each other again. TV robs you of your time, your money and your love.


Steph 5 years ago

As sole caregiver for my Mom, now gone for five years, the TV remained off. She couldn't see it and I wanted to just "be" with her. Now I am very grateful I was totally "there" with her. I just don't like the hypnotic effect it has. I too, use the Internet as it is USER directed. I learn a lot on it, all about hobbies and interests of mine. The way I use it, it is a research tool. It is literally very active compared to the passivity of watching TV. I am not bored without TV, even though I live alone. I have many hobbies and love to read about them and learn more which result in my being active actually DOING them. (Learning a musical instrument, do-it-yourself, organic gardening and poultry raising.) I live my own reality. One of the ways I spend my time is taking courses through "The Great Courses". Currently, I am taking Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin's The Secrets of Mental Math". (All courses go on sale at least once a year at a greatly reduced price and the range of topics is very broad.) I listen to radio on the way back and forth to my job and listen to NPR. (The TV? I hooked it up via closed circuit camera--- to my chicken coop.) Without TV, I get tons of DIY things done, and I am perfectly happy with my life. This drives people nuts. I am literally harassed over this subject until I get angry enough to retort "Hey, I don't bug YOU for watching it!" ( I never say negative things about TV: it is up to people how they spend their own time.)People get very nervous when you don't do as they do.


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Set's All Set 5 years ago from New England Author

Steph, thanks for sharing your story. I only watch TV when I visit friends and it is eye-opening how much I've changed. Sounds like you and I are autodidacts. Funny thing you mentioned math. I am ALSO in the process of improving my math skill.

What has really surprised me most about how much television is how bias news is now. While enjoying coffee at Dunkin Donuts, there's usually a big screen tv playing the news. Funny how "news anchors" can now get away with calling people idiots.


Ariella 5 years ago

Hi!

I really enjoyed reading your article. I actually quit TV myself a month ago, and I'm having a very similar experience. I had no idea there would be such a domino effect of change in other areas of my life. I've actually started writing a blog about it, and I was thinking of writing a post including quotes of other people's experiences, including yours unless you object. The blog is called Since I Quit TV located at sinceiquittv.wordpress.com , so you can check it out or use it to contact me if you object to being quoted.

Best,

Ariella


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Set's All Set 5 years ago from New England Author

Ariella,

Thanks for the kind words. You are free to quote anything you need from this article. It''s been about 2 years since I quit and since then, this post was mentioned on smartmoney magazine. Much have changed since then. I've notice when I do watch tv(at friends' houses and coffee shops) the news is so bias and opinionated from what I remembered.

I'm glad I took the blue pill. :)


Michelle 4 years ago

Hi there,

Thank you so much for posting this article. I quit television cold turkey a few weeks ago and honestly I'm still shaking a bit when I walk by it..I go to the computer and try to soothe my anxiety by reading more (which I always did) but TV used to on one hand stimulate me and drain me so much but turn me into a zombie as well. I became a drone and only now I'm starting to see it. I know there's nothing on that's of use to me, I didn't watch much, but there's something in that piercing high pitched sound that was emitted from it when it was on any channel that was really addictive so I had it on all the time. I'm still in the process of withdrawal and wow,I'm depressed and bored and I find myself searching non stop for stimulating things to do, but in a way I know it's a good thing..I hope this doesn't continue too long and I am able to find myself..soon :(


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Set's All Set 4 years ago from New England Author

Hi there Michelle,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I know you will recover. It's been years since I wrote this and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Your story reminds me when I used to be in high school, turning on the tube everyday before school, just because. You will make it. I'm sure of it. :)


kevin campos 4 years ago

today is only my 5th day off tv. and i look "quitting tv" on google and came across this hub. i feel the the same way. then i also started to eat right and do research and thins before i thought i never had time to do.

TV WAS A WASTE OF MY LIFE we only life once so everyone living up be healthy have more time for your family and just exercise your mind.


Shams 4 years ago

Hi

I have started my 30 day tv fast yesterday as a trial run and have a little issue that i can't seem to resolve. Do i also give up documentaries? Do i only stick to reading instead of watching. What's the underlining principle that we follow when giving up tv?

Thank you very insightful article


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Set's All Set 4 years ago from New England Author

hi Shams,

After quitting tv, I've found myself looking for more stuff that I like on YouTube, and yes, I sometimes watch documentaries. It's been a few years since I wrote this article and things have definitely changed in terms of how I "view" television. I no longer believe all TV is bad, or rather media but I do have a strong hate for mainstream TV. The TV that tells us what to buy, think, act, etc. I've found myself out of touch with a few things like fashion trends(skinny jeans) and I don't know about movies until it's really late. It's okay with me though. I've freed up so much of my time and it has all been worth it. You can still read if you like that.

The underlining principle is quitting the mainstream media, not so much tv. I still download episodes of Star Trek DS9 because that show makes me think and yes, it is entertaining but the traditional mainstream shows are not designed to make you think, but follow. Think useless garbage like Jersey Shore or anything on MTV.

Thank you for showing your interest. I might write a follow up if more people still read this. It would be interesting to see how things have changed in the past few years.


Dave 4 years ago

Wow, this is one of the best blogs I've seen on the effects of TV.

Like you, I used to watch it lots as a kid, but I haven't watched TV now since the internet was invented. I download mostly documentaries and the occasional series tv series which can be easily purchased online now free of advertising.

The best point you brought up was about the world wide Government drive to censor the internet supposedly for our own protection, it’s probably the only thing all Governments have in common. ACTA, SOPA and PIPA etc these are the US Governments four letter words that are their way of saying we are furious that the largest innovation in communication in human history – the Internet has evolved and we neither own it or control it.


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Set's All Set 4 years ago from New England Author

Dave, I agree with you 100%. The US government push to pass all those acts to censor the internet. Give me a break. What are we? China? At least China is open about their censorship. The media loves to paint China as this big evil anti-free speech country but all these ACTA, SOPA, PIPA is pot calling kettle.

The internet has been a breeding ground for people like you and me. Autodidacts. These are self-taught individuals. I've always been a bright curious child growing up and school never really appealed to me. It teaches kids to follow the crowd, obey authority, and be a drone. The internet teaches us to be curious, have an open mind, and dissent. You're right. We don't own it nor can(should) we control it.


Mr Smith 4 years ago

I wonder what we arent seeing online, it feels like there is a lot of dissent. At what point do the powers silence a voice...

But i digress, the mainstream media is garbage. The problem i face is being a songwriter/bandleader is finding the motivation to commit to an industry i don't have any faith in. All the standard dreams run on mass delusion.

Keep thinking, glad to see theres a few of us.


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Set's All Set 4 years ago from New England Author

Mr. Smith, there are other outlets where you can still be successful. You can try iTunes or Amazon Music to kick start your band. Times are changing rapidly and the control is starting to shift to Internet media as well. If you pay close attention, there is a lot of propaganda on YouTube. Just look at all the new promotions and ads. it won't be long until YouTube is completely taken over and we'll have to find another forum for free media. Cheers and best wishes.


wayne 3 years ago

ive quit watching tv firstly because i don't like being told when im watching something and secondly because i don't like being interrupted with adverts when im enjoying a programme or movie. i don't believe there is a need for television since the internet began streaming everything. Also i think it affects people in a very negative way as it can become addictive causing lack of motivation ultimately comatose the nation in their houses. everyone should own a laptop and be on the move, indoor tvs should be nothing more than a sleeping aid or movie night in with the missus.


Author Frank DiMeglio 2 years ago

WHY TELEVISION IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM

As a full creation of thought (sight and sound), television is fully similar to (or like) thought. This presents serious and clear concerns. This is why television is fully detached from touch. Notice that both thoughts and the visual images of TV are shifting and variable. Television and hallucinations are both not functionally or normally/naturally visible, and television and hallucinations both substitute for our natural visual experience. Importantly, why does television take the form that it does? We have a serious problem here folks.

By Author Frank DiMeglio


Joe 2 years ago

I quit watching about a week ago, and I tell you...it is a challenge. Especially on the weekends. It just seems like I am going thru extreme withdrawals right now. Not really knowing where to put my focus. While my brain feels like it is on fire. Constantly thinking and reflecting. But I know deep down this is totally for a greater good in the long run.

But the withdrawals are real. Which is what brought me to this page in search of better understanding of what I'm going thru. Coming from someone who spent the better part of his entire life hooked. Using TV as a means to get away and experience new and exciting things.

But in reality I realized this past week it has all been and illusion. Years wasted standing pat, while images got me to where I wanted to go. When in reality I went nowhere. Makes me sad, but also I guess happy in a way. Cause I have known this to be true for awhile...and I finally made the hard line decision to stick with it all the way thru.

See I don't know where this new path will take me. And so far as I can tell it Will Not be easy in anyway. But the value it will bring into my life is insurmountable. From here on out I just need to learn how to harness this newfound path. And that my friends is a Real new and exciting experience that I can be proud of.


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Set's All Set 2 years ago from New England Author

Thanks for the comment Joe!

You may be experiencing extreme boredom. When I quit watching TV, I noticed I was really bored and time went by so slowly. After a while, I figured out that my boredom was not a curse. I actually have free time to be productive. To go outside. To exercise. I've also noticed I'm on time more often. Before, when I used to watch TV, the video and even the sound would "keep" me home a little longer especially when I'm in a rush.

You don't have to "quit" watching TV and I'm not saying all media is bad. I do find myself enjoying the media I consume through YouTube and such. The main difference is I choose when to watch and when to stop.

Some of the things quitting TV has taught me is discipline and patience. I'm a much calmer person than I was before. Perhaps that's just a part of growing up but I like to think quitting TV had some, if not a small part of it.

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