TELEVISION IS A GREAT device for creating
a little diversion when we want to give our minds a break. Its
one of the few things we can do that doesnt present any
challenge whatsoever. The problem is, the people who design the
programming and the commercials dont want you to just take
a little break and get back to living. They want you to keep
watching. And over the years, theyve developed hundreds
of effective techniques to keep us hooked, and theyre getting
better at it all the time.
Studies at the University of Chicago found
that when people are engaged in an activity like reading, talking,
or pursuing a hobby, they become happier. Research also shows
that the longer a person sits in front of a TV, the more irritable
and dissatisfied they become. TV is entertaining, but it presents
no challenge. Our minds and bodies start going stir crazy without
a challenge. Thats bad enough, but on top of that, commercials
are specifically designed to make you feel dissatisfied (so you
will buy their product to satisfy your need).
Youve got better things to do. If
you want to gain more freedom from your television, try one of
For one month, only watch videos
no TV with its seductive and addictive programming.
Cancel your cable: Youll save money
and youll have fewer stations to entice you.
Unplug the TV for a week.
Everyone in your household may thrash about
like an addict in withdrawal, but hold firm and youll see
something remarkable: more human interaction, more walks together
at sunset, more pursuits of hobbies, more reading. These are
all things that arent as easy as TV, but are more satisfying
Wean yourself away from your TV. Make it
merely a peripheral activity something you do once in
awhile. Try one of the ideas above to protect yourself from the
carefully-designed-to-be-addictive programming. Youll be
glad you did.
Watch TV only once in awhile.