September is now half over, so I thought it would be a good time to give an update on how my one month challenge with no TV is going.
All in all, I’d say so far the challenge has been a success. The TV at home has not been turned on since August 31, and I must say, we really haven’t missed it! Between Megan going back to school, me being in Chicago for five days, various evening activities and reading some really good books, there hasn’t been much spare time to occupy. In fact, since we’re not really missing TV at all, Megan and I went through with cancelling the cable, and come October our viewing will be strictly Netflix, online streaming, movies, and the five channels we can get over the air with an antenna.
I have already read two books this month and will soon be finishing my third. I’m on a non-fiction kick right now, and am learning lots through the reading I am doing, which I am finding thoroughly enjoyable! The two books I have read are Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and 10% Happier, both worth giving a read!
I have had a few slipups in the challenge when I’ve been out at someone else’s house, or in a bar. I was at a party on Saturday night and the Bombers/Lions game was on in the background, and I did find myself taking the occasional glance at the score or a highlight of a big play. Last weekend in Chicago there were a few times when we were in a sports bar and there were TVs on all the walls, it’s really hard to not glance or watch from time to time in those situations although I did do my best!
Consciously making an effort to not watch TV definitely increases your awareness to just how prevalent TVs are in our everyday lives. Whether it be standing in the elevator at work, waiting at the gate at the airport, or even chowing down on some vermicelli in a Vietnamese restaurant, TVs seem to be everywhere! Don’t get me wrong, TVs are a great method of getting information out to people and also provide some entertainment, but I do think they have become a bit too widespread of a distraction in our society today.
I think it is going to be quite a breeze to make it through the last two weeks of September without watching any TV. Tomorrow I am embarking on a six day / five night, 75km hike in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies with a great group of people (lot’s more on that when I get back), obviously no TV there! And then I will have some family in town at the end of September which will mean lots of visiting and other fun activities.
At the end of the challenge I don’t think I’ll be swearing off TV for good, but I will definitely be watching less than I used to. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 hours per week total will become the new normal for me. I do love a good comedy from time to time, and of course football and hockey are always fun to watch, but so far through this challenge I’ve discovered that there really are many other things I can be doing with my time than passing away the hours on the couch in front of the TV!