Confessions of a former TV addict

There once was a time when I was a bona fide TV addict. I was struck by this affliction in my early teens and a typical evening would involve intense co-ordination of TV schedules.

If it was a busy night I would need to run back and forth from screen to screen, watching Buffy on one TV, recording Friends, Spin City and Veronica’s Closet on one VCR and recording Survivor on another.

VCRs are now a relic of the past, long overtaken by PVRs and SVOD services that allow us to watch our recordings and binge watch shows whenever we want. At the time though, I regarded our VCR as my saviour, performing a wonderful service for those of us who technically had no life and relied too heavily on TV for entertainment.

It shocks me to reveal this, but at one point many years ago I counted that I was recording eighteen shows a week on my PVR. How on earth I kept up with that much TV is beyond me. I was young, almost everything on TV looked as though it was worth watching, and no one was going to stop me consuming it all. Not even my parents who attempted to offer words of warning but to no avail.

Part of my problem was in the misguided mindset that once I started a series I should really try and finish it. I mean, I even stuck with Felicity long after her hair was cut and grew back again and into the strange last season storyline involving time travel.

A crucial turning point came when I first decided to quit a show – this came in season 4 of Alias when it really started to go nuts and it was time to start trimming the fat where my TV viewing was concerned.

Since then I have gradually cut down my TV viewing, to the point where I am currently only watching three shows a week (Big Little Lies, Girls and Billions – all brilliant!). It is about quality, not quantity, and being much more selective about how I spend my free time.

As I mentioned in my post about my attempts to minimize my life, cutting down on TV and only selecting a few shows to watch a week is part of my strategy to declutter my life.

It has also been a part of my shift towards leading a more active lifestyle, aided by my newfound love of Zumba and the long walks I have been taking in the evenings now that it is staying lighter for longer.

Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoy watching TV but my priorities have changed over time and I am no longer the addict I once was. That is the thing about growing and developing as you get older – hopefully you gain more wisdom and I have found that cutting down on TV is one of the wisest things I have ever done.

12 thoughts on “Confessions of a former TV addict

  1. The first series I stopped watching midway through was Lost after season 3: I just stopped caring. Everyone says I’m not missing much so hey.

    The series I wished I’d stopped watching after series 4 was Dexter – it never got any better.

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    1. I stuck with Lost through to the end and it definitely deteriorated.
      I haven’t seen Dexter though it’s good to know that doesn’t sustain itself.
      There’s so much TV these days so it’s really good to have a filter!

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  2. Buffy revolutionized TV. There is a lot of junk out there though. I watch more than some people, but I’m transitioning into screenwriting, so I need to. I don’t feel bad quitting a show. I’ve actually seen all but the last episode of Lost. I didn’t like the way it looked like they were ending it. Some I take a break from and go back to years later because I get busy living life. I actually liked the last episode of Dexter, but there were some awful episodes.

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    1. I totally agree about Buffy! Very cool that you are screenwriting. It would seem that watching TV is a necessity in that case. There is a lot of junk out there so it takes a bit of work to find the best shows.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TV, like most (all?) forms of technology, is a tool. The tool isn’t inherently evil. But if we abuse it, we abuse ourselves.

    While experimenting with my own “brand of minimalism,” I’ve temporarily deprived myself of Netflix. I say “temporarily deprived,” but actually it’s been a (non)practice for the last five years. I find I have more time to focus on my passions instead of investing time into my “pacifiers,” the things keeping me from focusing on my dreams.

    I would love for people share their opinions on this experiment. If you have the time, check out my post on why I unsubscribed from Netflix at (thecubemind.com/unsubscribed). Have you ever unsubscribed from a service you realized wasn’t adding value to your life? How did you feel by letting go? I haven’t regretted mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, 5 years is a long time! I generally don’t subscribe to too many services so I haven’t unsubscribed from anything but minimising has been the first step. I really enjoyed your post!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wrote a post on this exact problem of mine. There are a few series that i have thought about binning but my hubby thinks that you have wasted your time if you stop watching a programme before the end of the season. That’s not ironic at all, is it?

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  5. I used to watch TV all the time as well. Law & Order was my favorite, but I would watch all sorts of things that piqued my interest.

    I don’t know what the catalyst was, but it happened shortly before the whole “reality” television show explosion (which is one of my most hated genres). I grew sick and tired of the pandering from not only the shows but also commercials. They were comprised solely of the mental equivalent of baby food; they didn’t challenge you at all. One of my favorite channels was Sci-Fi (now Sy-Fy…*shudders*), but it was rapidly becoming a haven for terrible B movies with washed up third rate actors. Even the History Channel was feeding into the lame “reality” shows (is it even still around?), completely rendering it unwatchable.

    So I just stopped watching television altogether, and I have never regretted it.

    I do have Netflix and Hulu, but only for three shows (Agents of SHIELD, Monk, Daredevil, and soon to be The Punisher) , and even then I’m behind because I have so much more stuff to do. It just doesn’t grab my attention.

    Trust me: you are much better off without it entirely. *laughs* Then again, I’m biased, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The commercials really are the worst. I have never been one to watch them and I tend to just fast forward through them on my PVR. Stopping it all together sounds appealing, though I still have a few shows on the burner so for now I will continue with those and see how I go. The less I watch the less I find interesting as I find other things to occupy my time so I may give it up entirely some day.

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