I owe this to the fact that Indian Television had started serving some real crap in the name of reality shows. Initially, I liked watching these reality shows and loved the drama, but thankfully, good sense too over, and I realised I was wasting a lot of time and emotion over a particular show which had only bickering every day, so much so, that I was ignoring my kids. Worse, my then 4-year-old son was watching this with me. Just like that, I decided to stop watching TV completely. Initially, I had a few withdrawal symptoms but I kept to my resolve.
It’s been 3 years and counting and I have not missed TV at all. In fact, now I don’t have the patience to sit in front of a TV set and even watch a movie. I do have to confess that I watch a Netflix series on my laptop, once in a while. It’s at my ease when I feel bored and I can come back to it after a few days as well. Plus, honestly, the quality of content that I see there vs Indian TV is way different.
Do I feel, I miss out on something? How did I fill my time? Do I feel clueless when conversations around a particular series happen?
When I stopped watching TV, I realised, I had more time and patience for a lot of self-improvement. I joined yoga and Zumba and even a painting class. I had more time to concentrate on my blog and writing and I wasn’t scolding my kids all the time because they were interfering in my screen time. Basically, life filled all the gaps and the part of my brain that had been occupied with wondering what happens next?
Yes, I might not know what’s happening in ‘Sasuaral Simar ka’ or might not even recognise the main lead characters but honestly, even when I type it here, it feels insubstantial. There were many other talking points to initiate conversations.
I stopped being a couch potato. It’s not that I was not active earlier but all my fitness regime used to end in the morning and then the day would just slide down in the activity chart and night or even weekends typically meant sitting on my sofa and watching TV.
I made an effort to be more social. TV fills your life in such a way at times that you don’t need people around. We as a family would fight over which TV programme to watch so went to the extent of installing three TV sets in the house, One for the kids, one for my hubby and one for me. This did reduce friction but it also meant that we all were sitting in different rooms and our interaction just reduced further. Once I stopped watching TV, I could see through this stupid decision and we finally got rid of the other two TV sets. Now, we use one which the kids and hubby watch but it’s bonding time for them and also we keep a track on what they are watching and for how long.
My weekends were more fun. I do not wait for a particular series or show, rather plan more outdoor activities for myself and the family.
We started eating at the dining room table again. This was one habit we had gotten out of as everyone wanted to catch up with their series in their own rooms. Once, I stopped watching TV, I made sure we all ate together before they could go back to watching. I could also correct my kids and hubby if they were watching too much TV without feeling guilty. In fact, I felt more righteous.
It revamped my entire thought process. You do not realise how TV can be such a powerful tool. It can affect your moods, thoughts and even actions at times. Have you noticed how kids start behaving in a comical manner after watching a cartoon channel for a long time? The same happens to us, something deeper within transforms and we are happy, sad, irritable or judgemental based on what we watch. Once I was off TV, I was able to think more clearly, calm down and think beyond the next episode of a series.
Watching TV is not the way to unwind as some people believe it to be. It can consume you and you may not even realise it. Only when I stepped out of this endless loop of sitting in front of the ‘Idiot box’, I realised a day is longer than what I believed it to be, there is life beyond a rectangular screen and there is more happiness in nature than a Television set can ever give me. Try it!!