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artificialard's avatar

Is it a good idea to quit television?

Asked by artificialard (2268points) September 20th, 2008

I wuv television. I think it’s the most publicly accessible form of art and media that’s not only consumed but infuses our cultural identity. Television captivates, informs, and entertains in sometimes surprising ways.

But then I’m starting to realise that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching to see if Heidi and Lauren can be friends again. I watch at least 6 shows a week, if not more and the time spent is pretty mind-boggling compared to other things I should be doing like work, classes and just real life (like Fluther). This gets worse in the fall when all those things get even busier just as premiere season starts!

So I’m thinking about quitting television. Has anyone that used to watch TV just decide to stop? I guess I’m worried I’d just take that time to listen to satellite radio (ech) instead…

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25 Answers

Nimis's avatar

I wish I knew how to quit you.

artificialard's avatar

Yeah I’m totally not quitting movies. Especially gay westerns.

tinyfaery's avatar

I tape (VR) everything I want to watch during the week, and watch the shows over my two days off. That way I am not interfering with my weekly routine, but I still get to watch my shows. As far as Heidi and Lauren are concerned, you should definitely stop watching that. Heroes is starting up again. House is back on. The higher the quality of show I watch, the better I feel about spending time watching TV.

asmonet's avatar

@Nimis: I’m officially in love with you and your wit.

And yes, totally worth it. I ditched the crap out of it, for financial reasons and for my own sanity. If you really want to see something, download it on iTunes or the station’s website if you’re a stickler for the law. Or otherwise download it off the internet. :)

It seriously cuts down on the mindless zoning out and time-wasting that channel surfing can suck you into.

tWrex's avatar

Television? Try quitting fluther! I didn’t post all day… I had withdrawls. It’s 2:00 in the morning and I’m answering this. I have to be up in 5 hours. Help me…

generalspecific's avatar

My sister watches loads of tv, I don’t even know how she does it. I used to see a cool episode and think that I would keep watching the show throughout the season, but I always forgot about it. I watch zero hours of tv on an average day and I never miss it. I just don’t see what’s so great about it, I dunno. I love movies, but I never watch those much either. Not that I’m very productive with the time I spend not watching tv… but I much rather sit in my peaceful room and chill and think instead of having that annoying television rattling my brains.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s necessary to quit it altogether, but do watch better shows! (My one “guilty pleasure” is American Idol…I’m going to try my best to ditch that one this year).

Fluther_Mania's avatar

Not a good idea…. TV full of entertainment, fun, and knowledge.

Mugsie's avatar

No way! I couldn’t & I wouldn’t, EVER! But you are right, it does take up a lot of time.
For me it is real hard, because I do not watch my shows EVER in front of my kids.

Lve's avatar

Watching TV is highly overrated… Although there are some shows I watch from time to time. However, I find that when I have so much stuff to do that I don’t have time to watch TV, I do not miss it one bit. And if I really want to watch something, I will just watch something online. (Because then I won’t have to get annoyed by all of those stupid commercial breaks.)

Harp's avatar

I haven’t watched TV for a dozen years or so (with the exception of the Olympics). I had been a typical TV addict, but living overseas for a few years broke that cycle, and I eventually just quit altogether.

I can’t say I’ve gained lots of time, because I’ve found plenty of other time killers to take TV’s place, but I can say without reservation that it’s wonderful to be unplugged from that steady stream of commercial manipulation.

I’m occasionally in other people’s homes when the TV is on, and I’m invariably appalled at how mentally intrusive TV is. Having been away from it for so long, that bombardment of compelling imagery and sound, all ultimately geared toward influencing my behavior, makes me want to run screaming from the room.

DandyDear711's avatar

I keep it on for the noise (mostly cable news channels). I am trying to switch to listening to my ipod more…. I have it hooked up to a speaker in the kitchen. I understand that Rachel Maddow does not own a TV and she now hosts her own TV show on MSNBC. BTW – she is fantastic!

DandyDear711's avatar

Oh yea – I am kinda hooked to the internet. I wonder if there is something in the light of the screens that I am hooked on…

How about you all – is it a screen thing?

Mugsie's avatar

Dandy ~ I am on the computer more this year then last, and I am wondering how it will work with my shows. I don’t want to give either up, so I’m hoping I can do both at the same time LOL!

XrayGirl's avatar

I haven’t had tv in my house in 10 years….I have the tv, but no cable. All I watch is dvd’s and tapes. It has made my life a lot more enjoyable and productive.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I haven’t watched TV in over a month, not because I “quit” but because I became so busy that I didn’t have a single second to watch TV. Then the hurricane hit and I got plenty of free time, but no electricity. It’s been more than a week now.

I don’t miss it really, but I have to say it feels strange.

marinelife's avatar

We quit for a summer cold turkey in the early 90s. We both loved the time we did not have TV, but we went back.

rowenaz's avatar

I’m in the same boat as XrayGirl. We have two tvs, neither of which are hooked up to receive any broadcasts. Sometimes we get dvds or VHS tapes from the library, but mostly we have excellent family time together. My eight year old reads at some ungodly high level, and I don’t miss the crap that’s out there. We go to Grandma’s sometimes for things like the Olympics or the Oscars, or we might watch something on the computer, but by going somewhere else to watch tv it makes it an OCCASION or SPECIAL EVENT and it becomes extra special. We have internet, and if kiddo wants to spend a day (once a month?) going through cartoonnetwork.com or disney.com, I don’t stop her.

The only other thing I miss is the news, but then I have it on the internet, as well.

So this family is much happier. I don’t even know how people fit tv into their lives!! WHO HAS TIME??

artificialard's avatar

Thanks for all your answers! Honestly I was expecting more “QUIT THE SATAN THAT IS THE TUBE” but I figure it won’t kill me to chill a little on shows.

I’m going to actually continue ‘acquiring’ them on the internet and just store them, that way I don’t feel like I’m missing anything and the urge to watch them will hopefully lessen in time. Or maybe that’s like the recovering addict cooking up meth and storing it for ‘a rainy day’...

cwilbur's avatar

I have a Tivo. Any TV I watch is because I want to watch it, not because I’m bored and there’s nothing on.

If you’re concerned that you’re watching too much TV, just get in the habit of asking yourself, “is there anything else I’d rather be doing? is there anything else I really should be doing?” during commercial breaks. If you can honestly answer “no” to both those questions, then carry on with the TV.

Harp's avatar

The TV industry’s answer to Tivo is “product integration”, the writing of product promotions into the actual scripts of TV shows. Just heard this disheartening report on the radio this AM.

cwilbur's avatar

Oh, sure. But that doesn’t mean I’m watching junk TV because there’s nothing else on.

I might see product placements, but I’m not seeing commercials or reality TV shows or inane sitcoms.

asmonet's avatar

@Harp: I don’t care how many ‘secret’ product plugs there are in The Office, I actually find on a show like that it makes sense due the way it’s shot, like a documentary. Occasionally plugs can be funny, like when the workers of Dunder Mifflin Paper Supply on The Office use Staples products. It’s clever, and I don’t go to Staples anyway. :)

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