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.