I have to admit that I'm guilty as charged. I just read a thought-provoking article by Alexander Green called, "Are You Amusing Yourself to Death?" and sadly realized how much of my time I spend watching television. Rather than doing something productive, like working on a new product for my business or learning something new from the many video programs I've purchased in the name of professional development, it's easier to zone out for an hour or two watching my favorite cooking shows or my favorite TV shows of the past, like Gilmore Girls, for example. Before I realize it, 4 hours have passed and I still haven't done what I was supposed to do.
And, having a DVR has made things worse. So, rather than just missing the show I was planning to watch, I can now record them all and watch them at my leisure. More time spent zoning out in front of the TV.
In the article, Green quotes a conversation with author David Foster Wallace, who said, “I’ll zone out in front of the TV for five or six hours, and then I feel depressed and empty. And I wonder why. Whereas if I eat candy for five or six hours, and then I feel sick, I know why…. One of the reasons that I feel empty after watching a lot of TV is that it gives the illusion of relationships with people. It’s a way to have people in the room talking and being entertaining, but it doesn’t require anything of me. I receive entertainment and stimulation without having to give anything back but the most tangential kind of attention. And that is very seductive.”
Watching television is incredibly seductive, especially to the introvert, since it provides entertainment without having to give anything in return (our favorite thing to do!). I personally use it as a great rationalization to procrastinate doing everything, from meeting with friends to going out to do something fun to exercising to professional development…you name it. Intellectually, I know that TV is bad for my emotional and physical health, but it's a hard habit to break. Both of my parents worked very hard, and when they finally got a chance to relax, usually between 7-8 PM at night, they watched a few hours of TV before going to bed at 10 PM, as both of them had to be up at 5 AM the next day. So, I have a long-term family pattern to break, as well.
I remember someone asking the late Thomas Leonard, founder of professional coaching as we know it today, how he accomplished so much, as he created an amazing amount of info in his short 45 years here on earth. "I don't watch television," was his reply. And, he encouraged his students to turn off the boob tube, as well, to enhance their well-being and productivity.
I sometimes think that if I lived in a city where they didn't roll up the sidewalks at 5 PM, I might be motivated to get out more. Since that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon, looks like I'm going to have to find intrinsic motivation someplace else to break my addiction to TV..;->
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.