Why you should give up the TV (even for a weekend)

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A few weeks ago, my spouse and I decided to give up the TV with a 100% TV-free weekend. No shows to watch during Friday dinner, no late night Netflix on the IPad, and no TV breaks on the couch with a snack. And, it was harder than you might think! We didn’t realize how much time we spent being zombies in front of the TV. According to the American Time Use Survey, the average American spends 2.78 hours in front of the TV each day – that’s almost 6 hours in just one weekend!

Our decision to give up the TV not only gave us extra time, but we also felt that the time we spent on other activities was fuller, richer, more relaxing and – at the same time – more productive. The weekend didn’t simply “fly by” the same way it usually does. And by the end, we felt more relaxed, rested, and ready for the week ahead.

Benefits of Giving up the TV

So, what did we do with all of this extra, fuller time?

We were more productive.
Of course, the time we spent being productive was shorter than usual (we weren’t distracted by a show in the background). Because of this:
– the house was cleaner (we had more time to tidy up)
– we got ready for the week ahead (we cooked in bulk!)
– we cooked delicious meals (and enjoyed the process)

We were healthier.
No more mindless munching in front of the TV. When we ate, we lingered over the meal and were more mindful of the flavors. This helped us enjoying the meal more. We were more physically active. We walked around the neighborhood, and even had time for an afternoon hike on Saturday! And, we slept. Without “just one more episode” to stay up for, we went to sleep when our bodies needed it. And, once we were asleep, we slept better and longer.

We were more relaxed.
The time we spent resting was, well, restful. We went to the bookstore and leisurley perused the aisles. We also had time to read those books! And, we took the time to have longer, deeper conversations. In a more relaxed atmosphere, we felt more connected to each other and to our surroundings.

Why you should give up the TV

Giving up the TV for a weekend gave us:
1. More time to enjoy the moment.
2. Better, longer sleep.
3. A feeling of control. Truly, I stopped feeling the pull of the screen.
4. More sustainable energy.
5. A true feeling of relaxation.


And, I’m not alone in these feelings. In his post about 11 reasons you should stop watching television, Craig Dewe points out that TV not only lessens your social interactions, but it also subjects you to subliminal advertising and programming. Lauren Bowling, in her post about how she stopped watching TV for 30 days, learned how to confront issues head-on instead of allowing the TV to help her procrastinate. And one post even point out that the TV changes your brain, and lessens your engagement with others.

Giving up the TV for just one weekend felt pretty splendid. So, we plan to continue give up more time in front of the TV.

Have you ever given up the TV?


© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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