I Have Commitment Issues…

…when it comes to watching television 😉

tvMy co-workers and I had a pretty intense discussion about this today, so I figured I’d write clue you in. I actually don’t watch much TV. Almost all of the shows I watch (consistently) are network shows–which constantly brings up the question of why I pay for cable. I purposefully only get involved with one or two shows per season. I cannot handle more than that. Well, actually, I take that back. I refuse to handle more than that. Television requires a greater level of commitment than I am willing to give. I’ll explain.

Most good shows require a commitment of one hour per week, 26 weeks per year for five or more years. I know what you’re thinking:  “It’s just one hour per week!” That is correct. But, when you do this times two, three…five shows, I think it is a bit excessive. My co-worker laid it out quite nicely for us as he was explaining why he decided to change his life and stop watching so much TV. Let’s assume for a moment that you work from 8:30 until 5:30. You live in Atlanta in this scenario, so you don’t get home until 6:30ish. You cook as well, so you don’t have dinner until 7:00 or 7:30. Let’s say you finish eating at 8:00. From the time your dinner is over, you have about three hours of “free time” before you hit the sack at 11 or 11:30. Two hours of TV is actually not a bad thing. But in comparison to the grand scheme of things, if all you ever do is wind down in front of the tube every night, then what are you really accomplishing?  Some of that time could be used for a better purpose.

I agreed with his explanation and support his change. My issue with TV is similar. TV, to me, is a black hole that is constantly trying to suck me in. Watching a couple shows a week is fine, although I have to devote years of my life to these fictitious people. The deeper issue is when I’m not watching a show. The vortex begins when I’m trying to find something to watch. Channel surfing is a huge waste of time because you never know how long you’re going to be doing it. And then there is channel hopping. That could go on for hours! I can’t commit my life to spending all of my free time in that way. But, you know what I do feel comfortable doing? Watching movies. The commitment level there is minuscule. When I watch a movie, it’s like I’m saying to myself, “Ok, I am going to commit two hours to this task,” and I sit down, watch the movie, and then I’m free to move on and do whatever I like–even if it is watching another movie. No strings attached! That’s a commitment I can definitely make.

All in all, whether you are an avid TV watcher or not, my point here is not to knock TV watching. To each his own. Maybe your vice is surfing the Net or social media. Whatever it is, just think about how much time you actually devote to “your thing.” Then, think about the things you’ve said that you’ve wanted to do in life. Finally, consider pulling back a little and carve out some time for those things. See if the quality of your life will change. I’ve been in school for the past three years, and my life has been out of sorts. Free time was an oxymoron. Now that I’ve graduated and am getting reacquainted with free time, so far, I’ve spent most of it watching TV. Why? Because I can! (lol) It usually takes me about a month to get over a school year, so I am allowing myself this time of vegetation. However, in a few weeks when I start to feel like I want to be productive, I’ll get back to learning Mandarin and writing my book.

What are some things you will start doing in your free time?



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