Watching Television is an art. It is easy to waste your life in front of a T.V. and still get nothing out of it (believe me, I know). One must learn how to maximize entertainment and education while minimizing mindlessness and preventing the T.V. from taking control of your life. Here are some helpful guidelines I have developed through many years of intensive television viewing:
- Never watch commercials
I can’t stress this enough, it is first and foremost to effective viewing. Under absolutely no conditions should you voluntarily watch commercials. Why subject yourself to watching advertisements if it is avoidable? The television is not in control, you are and you can change the channel whenever you so desire. I equate watching commercials to being brain dead. What can anyone get out of watching commercials? Maybe greed, jealousy, or a poor self image, but certainly nothing good. Whose time is so worthless that s|he would give it away to a greedy company? No one I know, not even myself. You should simply change the channel and go back once the commercials are over. It is not extraordinarily difficult.
Commercials do bring in money for television programs, but today most people pay providers for television. I would like to see a decrease in commercials even with the subsequent increase in subscription fees.
- Do not schedule your life around T.V.
Have you ever heard anyone or yourself say, “Sorry I can’t, greys is on then” or “ I would, but then I would be missing desperates” ? This is a very sick disease that many of us unconsciously have. There are several remedies I have happened upon on though my journeys
- Buy DVD’s – most of the popular television shows can be purchased at reasonable prices, the major drawback being that the newest shows are unavailable.
- Use PVR’s – Personal Video Recorders can be used to record live television. Great for skipping commercials and viewing shows aired on ungodly times. Can be difficult to set up but well worth the effort. These can help you take control of the television.
- Pirate (illegal) – great for people with little money, big hard drives, high bandwidth, and don’t mind the moral implications.
Do not be constrained by the viewing selection of the television. It is much healthier to think of taking programs to watch rather than being given programs to watch. When I first started using a PVR and began taking rather than being given, I noticed a strange phenomena. I watched considerably less television and got much more out of it. With programs that I used to watch, I realized that I actually did not enjoy watching them. I was watching programs only because they were the best on at that moment, a terrible reason.
- Beware of “news”
Most news on television is a joke, an endless shouting match among people who think essentially the same things yet feel the need to be angry. Most news channels simply copy the same sob stories, political bickering, and celebrity gossip that other another channel picked up and label it as “news”. The most intelligent and professional news comes from PBS, which although it seems biased to me, is far superior to other “news” on television.
- If there is nothing good on, turn off the T.V.
You should not watch something simply because there is nothing better on. I know this appears to be obvious, but I used to often find myself unable to turn off the T.V. even though I greatly disliked what I was watching.
- Do not re watch anything.
There is a vast amount of programs to watch, much more than anyone could watch in her or his lifetime. Except for some exceptional programs, you will not be able to get anything new out of it with a re watch, it would be better to try something new.
Never let the television control you. Remember; your time is valuable and it is your choice on how to spend it.