I’m not young enough to know everything.― J.M. Barrie
**Disclaimer** This is my own personal opinion and experience and is not based on any kind of medical/mental health perspective
It’s been about a year now since I quit watching television. Firstly, I should say that I will still watch the news if I am using the treadmill and I will watch the odd series on Netflix, with The Witcher being the most recent. So, I am not entirely against watching T.V. and Movies here and there. However, these moments are few and far between.
This is not meant to be a flex against watching television or shows, this is just my own personal journey.
We will start from the beginning. A year ago I found my way back to Canada and had started working two jobs. I was working from 8 AM till 11 PM, 5 days a week. Essentially, a70 hour(ish) work week. So naturally, I didn’t have time to do much of anything aside from work Monday to Friday. “But what about the weekends?” I can hear you thinking to yourself. That’s true, I had the entire weekend to sit and watch my favourite shows and watch my favourite worlds pass me by.
When I did finally get the chance to sit and watch them, I could remember not being able to focus at all. None of what was playing in front of me was sticking. It didn’t seem to being me the same joy as it used to. Why was this? Was this because I had grown tired of the same old shows? Were my interests changing? Was mom right? That you can only watch so many WWII documentaries?! Oh mon Dieu!
These are all very good options and it is likely that the reason was a combination of all of these things, along with some crippling depression thrown in there. Before I knew it, I was only using the TV on the odd chance it was raining and I had to run on the treadmill.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself back in Estonia with a bunch of extra time. So, I fired up the ol’ Netflix account and started going through it. Despite having come through a lot of my mental health issues and feeling much better and in a brighter place, I still found myself unable to bring myself to sit and watch a show and find much entertainment, or joy in it for that matter. I actually felt like my brain was rotting sitting there an watching the TV.
I know this isn’t really the case and there are lots of amazingly educational shows as well as some brilliant movies and series out there. I am not by any means ripping on the art form at all. Most shows are not geared towards doing anything good for us as a society though. The worst offender is Cable. Cable TV shows are wild. I only really realized this after not watching them for months. They either promote being an emotionally/intellectually out of control human being (Reality Shows) while taking no responsibility, or telling you what to think or how to feel.
The latter of these can really be seen when watching any kind of cable news. I still feel that when I go for my odd treadmill run. I feel as though the news anchor is telling me that I should be scared or outraged while sharing information that really, is just enough information to gear your thoughts and opinions their way.
Even now, with being out of work due to the current world situation, I feel as though my mind is actually clear. Yes, it still feels it’s rotting my brain when I try to watch it. I would honetly compare it to having a cigarette after you have quit for a while. You will light it up and wonder to yourself, “How the hell did I ever do this all day?”
If you haven’t, I would highly recommend a vacation from TV. You would be surprised at how much more time in your day your day that you have for everything else in your life. Like, reading a book, going for a walk, baking cookies (or a pie!), learning a new language, or walking your cat!