Media-free Zone for Creativity

Secret to success: Stay away from TV. “I haven’t watched TV for 20 years. At 5 hours a day, this works out to 36,500 hours. Need I say more?”
“Studmuffins of Science” Calendar

I don’t have a TV at home. This gives me strange looks. I also don’t have an Internet connection at home. This gives me even stranger looks. But it also gives me lots of time that I do not spend watching TV or browsing the web. Sure, I cannot contribute to those important topics like the newest funny advertisement or the latest TV series (until it is available on DVD), but honestly, where’s the loss?

I think many people are so indoctrinated to watching TV “to relax”, that they do not see the other possibilities of relaxing, of reestablishing one’s emotional and cognitive functions.
If a work day was really stressful, I take a hot shower (I would take a bath if I had a bathtub … ah, a man can dream, a man can dream …), prepare something to eat, perhaps lie an hour or two on the bed, then I’m ready to do something more creative. Even after really hard days I was creative, often because I could distract myself from the problems in other areas this way and because doing a creative project does wonders to my self-esteem and emotional balance.
If I had a TV, I would probably switch it on, switch from channel to channel, until I switch it off because it’s time to go to bed. I would have bridged the time, but it would have given me nothing. Like a moth circling a lamp — pointless, stupid, waste of time.

Deciding not to have a TV, or a radio, or an Internet connection at home, was one of the best decisions I have ever made regarding the way I live. It wouldn’t have worked for me to try to set limits to its use. It’s too addictive, too simply to use, too easy to get stuck before it. Like said in a previous posting, it’s much easier to change the infrastructure than to fight constantly against the desire to use it.

I think the only argument against this “media-free-zone” is the need to be informed. But I would disagree that a TV, a radio, or an Internet connection at home is necessary. I scan major news sites every day and find the relevant information for me in less time than an average news break. And if the shit really hits the fan and a major catastrophe is happening? If there is anything that can and must be done, I guess I’ll notice it when I look out of the window. Everything else can wait until I am in the office again or meet people who talk about it.

But I agree that this is a personal decision and does not work for everyone. But take a few seconds to think about the time you spend watching TV or browsing the Internet (just consuming), and if you have often thought that you would like to realize a certain creative project if you only had the time, what hinders you to make cuts into your TV budget to realize it?

And if you find that your TV catches you again and again “against your will”, discard it completely. It will take some time to get used to the huge amount of time you will have and to find ways to regulate your cognitive and emotional well-being without it, but once you deal with that you’ll never look back.

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