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Why You Should Consider Not to Own a Television

A television is almost a compulsory item in any house in the world.

Go to any house that does not have one and what comes across your mind? The people living in the house must be too poor that they could not even afford one.

The truth is, before the year 1923, we have been living our life without television. And our species is still able to survive and replicate without the invention of television.

So television is not really a need in our life. We can even do without it.

There are actually a few benefits of not owning a television.

Less exposure to advertisement. Free television channels earn their income mainly from advertising. And who is the end consumer of those advertisements?

When we see less advertisements, we are less motivated to spend money on unnecessary stuff. And we know that advertisements have the power of creating unnecessary wants and needs in our life.

More interactions with other human. Television is a one way communication channel. There is no such a thing as an interactive television.We only interact with the television when we flick through the television channels.

The time spent to watch television now can be used to interact and have a more fulfilling conversation with the important persons in our life.

This is more obvious for married couples. You get home from work and instead of turning on the television, you can now talk with your partner about your daily life. You are now “forced” to learn effective communication skills instead of avoiding it by watching television.

If you are a guy like me who lives alone, you have the options of going out and see your friends, or inviting your friends over to your house.

Having a more accurate reality of life. When we watch a program on television, we are merely an observer. We are not participating in those programs. And most of the time, what we see is what the producers of the programs choose to show us. It is a distorted representation of life.

Which one is more fun, watching a football match or playing football with friends? The answer is obviously playing football with friends.

Be more productive. All those time we save from not watching television can now be used to work on our personal projects.

So what if you feel like you can’t give up your television right now?

There are two things you can do to slowly give up your television.

First, cancel your cable television subscription. This is the first step to release yourself from the attachment to television. It saves you a lot of money as well.

Second, cut down watching television to only watching the prime time news. This is to ensure that initially you don’t feel out of touch with keeping up with the current issues.

As for replacing entertainment, there are a lot of things that can be done to entertain yourself. Read a book. Play some board games. Be creative with this part.

The truth is, we can live our life without owning a television. We have done that and we can continue to do so. The choice is in our hands.

Let us not make television another God that we worship every single day without fail in our life.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • pleasuresaurus

    Interesting concept. I have 3 TV sets at home which I hardly watch. By ‘hardly’ I mean fleeting glimpses as I walk by from my room to the main door. Having lived in dormitories over the years as a student, I’ve outgrown the need for a TV. True enough, it tends to make you more ppl involved. And I think quite a number of ppl have too. It’s an interesting concept but from my POV, the TV is merely a tool – information, advertising, news, idiot box etc. What needs to be realised is that there is an abundance of information available – its a matter of tuning in to what is interesting, useful, relevant and necessary. However, having said all this, there’s still instances when TV lends to communal scenarios – watching football/AF/Idol at the mamak. This probably boils down to individual perception la. The REAL challenge would be to live without the Internet hehehe. Have fun at the interview mate.

  • Another great post man!

    Another step people can take is to go on a one week “Media Fast”. Meaning that for one week avoid not only TV, but also newspapers, online news feeds, etc.

    I tried going for one week without using my handphone and the world went on as normal.

    TV also reduces our attention spans too.

    No wonder they call it the Idiot Box.

  • Ahmad Fadli (KC)

    Hey Arif,

    I can relate to you when you said that having lived in dormitories as a student outgrown the needs for a TV.
    Maybe that was why I was able to ditch the TV :-) . I do agree with you that TV is just a tool and it can be good as a source of information.
    But problem arises when we are shoved with advertisements and subliminal programming in the midst of all those useful information. MTV and reality program potraying the high and glamorous life of celebrity are able to distort perception of reality to those who are not aware of this.

  • Ahmad Fadli (KC)

    Thanks Izad,

    I have tried “media fast” when I tried not watching TV for an extended period of time but I think trying to live life without a phone could be fun too.

    Now that the TV is out my house, I have no more idiots in the house :-)

  • Agree on certain part, but not on the other part.

    I’ve lived a live without tv for almost 10 years, when I went to secondary school, staying in hostel and then further my study. So its partly true.

    And of course its working for single, or couple without child. Once our child reach kindergarten or primary school, they will become laughing stock by their friends for never watched any tv program. Will you let that happen?

    And for now, i need the tv for my PS. Can’t play without them.

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