I found myself awake at 4am finishing up Season 4 of the Walking Dead. I was tired, and groggy of course, like anyone would be at that time. I knew I would be up by 8am getting ready for the gym, powering through a pre-workout drink and getting my shoes on. Probably rubbing the crap from the corner of my sleep eyes. This is not a normal thing for me. Staying up this late to catch up on a television show. But, I have reasons for it.
First is, I don’t own a TV. I don’t need one. I don’t think anything really good comes from it. I know of a few shows I find entertaining, and I have a small collection of movies. When I feel the urge, I watch them. Often the movie will just be on, while I clean or cook. And the few television shows I enjoy I never watch live. I will either download the newest episode, or watch a full season in a few hours.
The best part about not having a television is I don’t feel the need to be chained to it. This time of year, the time suck known as Football takes over a large part of the American population where for 13 hours straight, from pre-game to post-game, young men are glued to a television from 9am to 9pm. Now, if my memory serves me correct, you get two days off usually from work. You decide to spend one of them eating food all day and watching millionaires give each other concussions. For 5 months straight.
Before I go off on the great Opiate of the Masses I’ll humor you. I like hockey. I enjoy soccer. And sometimes I do enjoy watching the local boys battle it on the gridiron. Like anyone else, entertainment is entertainment. And to me, that is what a sport is. I don’t live or die by it. I sometimes find enjoyment in rooting for a team I like. And when I can, I’ll indulge in a game in a live setting, especially if it’s in Canada. But between reality TV and sports, media has taken people’s drive and dry humped it into submission.
So I want you to do a few things for me. For starters, start telling yourself you don’t need television. You don’t. We think we do to ‘escape’ because real life is this or that. Truth of it is, we can escape via creativity. If you lack creativity in your life, get some. figure out what it is you like creating. Generally what has worked for me is I’ll occasionally use a movie as a spring board for an idea, but that’s it. Get out into the real world, see people, go somewhere, people watch, browse, go to a park, ANYTHING MAN!!!! Life is out there waiting to trigger something in you to MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME. Can’t do that scratching your nuts on a couch flipping channels.
Second, the other and best reason I don’t like television is the time suck keeps me from BEING ACTIVE. Even on rest days you could be doing something active like hiking or walking or riding a bike or yoga or anything besides scratching your nuts on a couch flipping channels. And it’s not that scratching your nuts on a couch flipping channels might not feel good but during that same time you could be DOING SOMETHING AWESOME.
This might sound redundant, I know. But think about what you are. You’re a machine that is constructed with the concepts and function of doing something no one else can. Put together by years of cellular development and synapses firing and atoms crashing into each other with blood racing through veins and we run and jump and passionately kiss and grab a hold of something and make something small into something massive. Imagine what we could do if we figured out that ONE THING to make our lives amazing and constantly were trying to make it happen. Imagine that for a second. The hour you just spent watching your weekly reality TV fix, you could have started an online business, learned to play a song on guitar, networked to create an idea with others….the list goes on and on.
And in typing this, on a computer, I know it might seem a little strange. “Dude, shouldn’t you be out doing something!?!?!” Well no, it’s night time and I’ve had a full day. Making rants like this to throw out into the interverse to see if it sticks feels good. My thing is this. To give you something to read to get you go to after something awesome. Reality TV just gives you a window to someone else’s shallow existence. A show about living a fake life in a fake setting that isn’t real.
What’s real is shutting that off, and doing something. Anything. Whatever your soul screams for. Shut it off. Turn it off. And dive head first into yourself.