Why I don\’t watch TV

Cobb Mountain
A back roads a few days ago to see the snow

When Scott transitioned, I got a clear message to not watch television. I listened. I didn\’t turn the television on for thirty days. When I came back to Sonoma County, I was having trouble with the transition of moving back here, so I tried to use the television and Netflix as a comfort. I watched a couple of shows that I seemed to be able to relate to. One was \”After Life\” and the other was \”The Kominsky Method\”.  They weren\’t bad shows. They kept me entertained for a few hours as I binge watched through all of the episodes. After watching both series, I felt an emptiness like when you eat a whole bag of potato chips. The first chip tastes good, after you finish the whole bag, you are left unsatisfied. I have nothing to show for watching those series. I didn\’t retain anything of value. I can\’t tell you anything I learned from the shows. I can\’t share anything that was profound. The shows did not help me in anyway with my journey. They were a distraction for a short time. Even though those two series were not based on murders, mostly women\’s murders which I find most series are about these days, crimes against and murder of women, there were elements to the shows that were disturbing. Don\’t read this paragraph unless you are okay with a \”spoiler\”, you may want to skip down a paragraph. In \”After Life\”, the main character who loses his wife to cancer, takes up heroin to escape. Somehow, he easily drops this habit, with no explanation, it\’s just a mini escape. Okay? That\’s a way of distorting reality. In The Kominsky Method, the widower is rich beyond anything I will ever experience or anyone I know, there are some moments I can relate to about his loss and my loss. They are momentary. He seems to spend most of his time enjoying coffee, his time with his best friend, and dating fairly soon after his wife has transitioned. There are tears and sleepless nights. No real revelations or deepening of spirituality or change in his journey. His rich life is repeatedly shown and mentioned over and over. That\’s a way to push materialism and consumer culture and cause envy and dissatisfaction, feelings of not have enough money in my life. 

Why was I guided to quit television and subscription channels. A few reasons. Television and binge watching are marketing tools. No matter how high brow or sophisticated they may seem, the content is created and edited to make us feel bad, so we will turn around and buy things to make us feel better. That\’s it. That is the main reason. The shows on television whether it\’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Cable including the news steals time, attention, money, and happiness. It replaces it, with anxiety, thoughts mind flooding thoughts of unsolved situations and problems (cliffhangers), scenes of violence most against women, envy repeatedly showing what we don\’t have and should want,  cravings of things we do not need to live a full life, and worry, a lot of worry about things we can\’t do anything about. 

What do I do instead of watch television and Netflix or subscription channels.

I read. I hike. I write. I go on picnics. I talk to friends. I listen to podcasts where I can learn something that is useful in my life. I meditate. I listen to music. I do research on the book I am writing.  I choose specific films to watch that are uplifting and inspirational (there are few and few of these). I eat at the table instead of in front of the tv where I can pay attention to my food and company. I listen to my intuition, my guides, my angels, Scott to help me on this journey. I do sound baths (healing meditations with music). I write handwritten, thoughtful letters to Congress that are more effective than online petitions that irritatingly turn around and use your information to market and ask you for money.  I hand write to my local government on causes I feel are important. I attend nature webinars to learn more about the flora and fauna in my community. I donate my money to local groups and individuals that are doing good works. I giveaway books. I am writing a book. I am writing a blog. I read blogs that are authentic not marketing tools. I listen, really listen to my friends and family about their lives and creative pursuits. I sit in nature. I watch the birds and animals. When COVID restrictions are eased, I will go outside even more to outdoor cultural events, music festivals, wineries, more parks, the beach, the river, coffee houses where they play music, public parks where music is played and more cultural events, art houses, plays, and theatres. I will spend time with friends and relatives that I miss now because of COVID restrictions. I will travel more. I will meet new people, real people, not people on television or the news. 

I don\’t watch the news. I can\’t do anything about what is happening on the news except worry and create more anxiety for myself. What I can do is support my local community, write to my Congress people, and vote. I want to spend my time being in action, not reading anxiety producing news that recycles the same craziness over and over. I donate my money to local environmental groups where I can see where the money is going. Same for Animal Rescue. I donate my time and money where I can see and experience where it is helping. I donate to people I trust who will put the money where it needs to go. I do what is in front of me, what I can see, not what the news wants to feed me. News creates misery. I have enough of my own sadness to heal.  I see enough sadness around me. I don\’t need more of it. I need to take care of the sadness that is here. Right here.

What is the benefit of dropping Television and News out of my life. I can sleep at night without tossing and turning. By not watching television or binge watching, I am not bringing anxiety and unsolved problems into my life.  At night, I listen to sleep music, sleep stories, or a meditation on my CALM app. I read a good book if I can\’t sleep. I talk to family and friends on the phone if I can\’t sleep. I talk to Scott if I can\’t sleep. I take a bath with healing salts and essential oils if I can\’t sleep. When I do sleep, it\’s a deep sleep.

Another benefit of dumping television and news is my intuition is stronger and my meditation practice is getting easier, I can feel the voice within (which always comes from a positive and loving space). The static and noise of news and television are not in my head, I can hear clearly my intuition, my guidance. If there is negativity in there, a critical voice, I clear it with walks, spending time in nature, going to the beach, listening to a guided meditation, an uplifting podcast or book, talking to a trusted friend or relative, being with animals, taking a healing bath, I talk to my therapist, listen to calming music, think about good memories. Write. Sit still. Cry until I find peace.  I don\’t turn on the tv or binge watch to numb out pain. I let pain work its way through me to LOVE. If it\’s too overwhelming, I get help from my therapist or take the steps I just wrote about in this paragraph.

According to a Nielsen report, United States adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day on average (35.5 h/week, slightly more than 77 days per year) Television and paid television, binge watching is addictive. When I watch television or the news, I am being manipulated and marketed too. Commercial free television and news, there is no such thing. The marketing and consumer driven culture is built into almost every single news program and show no matter how harmless they seem. They know people don\’t like commercials, so they hide the marketing and consumerism into the material I choose not to watch.

I learned a lot in my business. 

I worked for Hollywood Directors and Producers and guess what. They didn\’t let their kids watch television. They didn\’t even own a television or entertainment center. No television in the house and portable devices like cellphones were restricted. Why? Because television programming, paid or not kills the creative spark.

It\’s as simple as that.

We are born creators. We are born from Love. 

I don\’t need television or the news to create and love. It\’s already in me. 

 

Published by As the Road Wanders

Travel Blogger and Traveler

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