Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

2/25/09

TV-free for a Week - Turning Off the Tube for Seven Days

I am going TV-free for a week. This is my second day. Ever do it? I decided to try it. Many friends are completely, or 99% TV-free in their lives. (see my Facebook group on this)

I noticed that around me is TV noise. Colleagues talk about the latest episode of Lost or the Office. Friends talk about what station they trust for political infotainment. And, my online friends all swooned about the latest speech coming from the White House. I can skip the latest TV series, avoid the biases coming from talking heads, and read transcripts of the speeches.

Meanwhile, I have my own share of TV watching. I like Monk, House, Jakers! (a kid's show involving a pig with an Irish accent), and a smattering of PBS shows. I have always been cable-free because of a combination of budget-watching and a realization I would get sucked into a hundred more shows. Avoiding TV all together will take discipline and breakage of habit.

I have found too often I blow four or more hours on a Sunday evening, flipping between shows, including ones in Spanish. I don't understand Spanish, but have wound up with favorite shows there.

Why? Lots of reasons, and some change by the minute.
  1. Lots of TV does not entertain me. Why am I still watching it?
  2. I can read on the web in five minutes most of the news I genuinely care about.
  3. Life is short, and my dreams are big. I want to hang out with my wife more. I want to run a marathon, write a book, see friends, volunteer, save the world. You know, ordinary things.
  4. There are some more complicated reasons, like ones involving what I am absorbing through avid TV watching. That is much harder to explain, but it comes down living a fuller life, with a better mind.
I am not anti-TV. Working with the media is sometimes part of my job. I simply want a better life, not one absent-mindedly tossed away. This isn't condemning anyone else, but hours-upon-hours of TV do not fit into the lifestyle I want for myself.

A week will not do much to get everything done, nor do I expect to be legalistic about this for eternity. WGN TV came to my work (I manage our PR), and so if they broadcast this spot, I will need to break this week's effort. I will start again once I have seen it.

Join me. This is not a crusade against TV, but a crusade for a better life for me.
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