I turned off my TV three months ago and I haven’t turned it back on since.
It was mostly due to laziness. I moved the TV into H8’s room so he could pursue his Playstation and related noise-making activities in the privacy of his own space, and leave me in peace to sit on the sofa and fret about girls not liking me, well at least not the right ones.
And then, when H8 went back to his mum’s, I noticed a strange calm had descended upon the flat. It took a while to realise that it was due to the large empty space when the noise box used to sit. Suddenly the room had a harmony and balance and so I put a few plastic flowers in the corner and left it at that.
Gradually I realised that I didn’t miss the thing. All it ever did was make me angry and tired. 30 minutes in front of the box always left me as drained as if I had just consumed an entire Swedish pizza. Doing some other activity upon coming home – baking, listening to music, shagging – actually gave me energy – the TV just took it away.
So now I have discovered that I have a LOT of free time. Admittedly I fill most of this time by staring at a different kind of screen, but I also play my guitar more often, listen to the music I have downloaded, read books, and pedal myself into a sweaty frenzy on my beloved exercise bike (while fretting about girls who don’t like me, well at least not the right ones).
TV exists for one simple reason – to sell you stuff you don’t need and don’t need to know about. Either it’s the mindless products they blare at you, or else the programs themselves, in the form of lifestyles, clothes, DVD boxes, ribbed condoms or Happy Meals.
And by pulling that particular drip out of my arm I have reduced my exposure to advertising by 50% and my exposure to idiots and wankers by about 95%.
Now even my colleagues at work have caught on and have stopped asking me questions beginning with the words: “Did you happen to see”. And that’s kind of nice too.