Ugh, TV...you're the worst.
Those were my thoughts three years ago when I finally decided to pull the plug on cable TV. I was done. I was frustrated. And frustrated by how for many years I sucked on the glass teat, to quote Harlan Ellison, because TV was a delicious distraction and wind-down tool after a heavy 9-to-5.
But I steeled myself and discontinued my cable service because I wanted to declutter my life and focus on things that really matter: relationships, poetry, journalism, health. And TV didn't contribute to any of those important elements.
And to be clear, I mean the TV that washes over your eyes when you're surfing channels, with no real focus. Rest assured I'm a huge fan of series like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul, etc but I'm not beholden to network schedules and access those shows via, er, other means. And I'm not tempted to watch the latest show simply because it's on and I'm sitting in front of the tube at prime time.
Meandering through TV's nightly offerings, though, wasn't doing it for me any longer. Most comedies were terrible, most dramas felt like CSI knockoffs, practically all the news networks regurgitated the same headlines I read six hours ago online. I was done.
And it was the best decision I've made. I watch sports through a paid online service, and I watch other live events like the Olympics via robust apps from the likes of CBC. And I've been reading more, blogging more, working out more.
It's always important to take stock of what is taking up your 24 hours on the daily. It could be TV. It could be chatting online. It could be shopping. Could be boozing too hard. And it can be incredibly rewarding to kick out that toxic infiltrator and replace it with a more rewarding experience.
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Media criticism. Poetry. Theatre. Toronto. Technology. Travel. Sports. Why X-Files rocks.