At the end of last week, I became acutely aware of the fact that, since moving, I had developed too strong of an affinity for watching television. There it was, hanging right in front of the bed: my constant companion, my break from work, my night time lullaby. Yup, having a TV in the bedroom really is as bad as they say.
At the best of times it was harmless: a quick laugh at a lighthearted sitcom or simply getting informed about the skeleton of a prehistoric snake. But this growing addiction too often reared it’s ugly head in the form of Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police or *gasp* former Playboy Playmate Kendra’s reality show (I’m gonna regret revealing that one).
No intervention was needed; I just knew. I had to break the cycle, so on Saturday I set off to purify my soul through a 24h TV detox. I’ll admit that it wasn’t that ambitious. Heck! In High School I used to participate in Ad busters’ TV Turn Off week on a yearly basis. I had recently lived over a year without cable. This would surely be a piece of cake plus it would make good fodder for my new blog.
Turns out, not so easy.
I had conditioned myself Pavlov style. When the clock struck noon (Project Runway on E!) I automatically reached for the remote before remembering my resolution. So I went to the kitchen to get a bite to eat. By 12:30pm, I was ready to throw in the towel, before remembering that I had wanted to blog about the experience. Crap.
So what exactly did I do with my day? I read. I worked. I got outside. I Skyped my family, I wrote; if I couldn’t distract from my thoughts, I sure as heck was gonna express them. And of course, I agonized over what I had set off limits. I felt anxious, I felt restless, I felt jealous of my almost-in-laws for watching their Spanish soap operas. I was easily set off. “Wait. Is that Ellen I’m hearing through the wall? Oooh I love Ellen,” I would groan. By night time I found myself fantasizing about Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s crazy antics. In an email to my best friend, I wrote: “The thing is right in front of my bed, staring at me, taunting me, calling me with it’s come hither look.” Quite frankly, it was getting creepy.
After some light reading, I fell asleep, comfortable as can be, knowing that I would wake up with TV viewing permission all over again. I slept well. Then Sunday came and something strange happened. I didn’t turn the TV on all day. It just didn’t happen. I worked, did yoga, meditated, went for a walk. My TV detox had gone from 24h to 48 without even trying. I felt good.
Only one problem. When I finally turned on the TV again, I caught an episode of Breaking Bad for the first time. Now I fear I’ll never be able to pry myself away again.
Do you ever unplug the TV? Do you find it makes a difference in your mood or habits?