7 Crucial Things You Learn After You Stop Watching Television

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I stopped watching Television approximately 4 years ago. It wasn’t really a conscious decision, but something that just happened naturally over the last few years as I begun looking at the things I needed to do in order to make progress.

I suppose personal development has been a major influence, but what seems to be obvious to me is that it’s a major problem for all of us when it comes to breaking away from it and doing what makes you truly happy.

I’m seeing a huge disconnect with the people I tend to meet on a daily basis and fail to form meaningful discussions with because I didn’t watch an episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘Coronation Street’.

I also see a bunch of people dedicate their whole lives towards things that aren’t important in the grand scheme of what their lives are truly about. We fail to see it due to the effects television does to you over years of consumption and entertainment.

Since stopping it, I’ve realised why I became different to most people in terms of mindset and beliefs, which I honestly believe is a more healthy attitude.

Here are the things i’ve personally learned the minute I stopped watching television and what you will also see if you decide to stop.

1) You stop thinking like a consumer.

Television is simply an advertising tool to make people buy something. When you look at television in this way, you begin to understand why things are the way they are when watching it.

According to the PWC Payback Study, “TV has delivered the highest sales return of any medium; £4.5m per £1m spent. TV also creates emotion better than other media and was far more effective in driving the bottom line (sales, market share, profit and loyalty)”

They broadcast shows in order to stir your emotions in a certain direction and help entertain you long enough so that you’re shown advertisements to condition you to make a purchase.

In psychology, we tend to buy based on how we feel, and television is simply a vehicle to help guide your emotions in a specific direction in order to achieve it.

Is it any wonder why so many of us are so insecure?

Over time, this conditioning leaks over into your everyday life and becomes who you are.

2) You realise you don’t need things in life to be happy.

When you limit television in your life, you begin to look at things differently and are forced to do other things that doesn’t require sitting on the sofa.

You begin taking part in activities and doing things that provide you with joy and fulfillment.

You also begin to see the main cause as to why we buy in the first place, which could otherwise be replaced with something that doesn’t require monetary investment.

3) You become more active and passionate about life.

Life suddenly feels a lot more fruitful and abundant the minute you turn off your television and get out into the world. The opportunity to live a fulfilling life suddenly becomes possible.

Opportunities that you otherwise could not have seen spending it on the sofa and watching TV shows.

Granted, some of you reading this might argue that you can do both. But I challenge you to spend 4 hours in front of the television, and to then go out afterwards and do a physical activity.

You would be too mentally engrossed and exhausted to have the energy to do it.

4) Your self-esteem increases.

Advertising is meant to make you feel like you need something in order to feel better about yourself. It’s the biggest driving force to make people buy.

Advertisements depicting imagery of Male/Female models wearing expensive suits or dresses, in perfect shape living in plush houses or driving nice cars.

No one wants to feel limited or insecure and are conditioned to feel that way in order to prevent this from happening. You must buy, be or do something so that you no longer feel that way.

It’s simply not true. The fact is, you are enough. You can decide to be anything you want from today and doesn’t require any resources besides your own free will to make things happen.

This becomes clear the moment you turn off your television

5) You begin to develop independent thoughts and beliefs.

Television is a very powerful tool. I never quite realised how powerful it really was until I stopped watching it.

It has the capability to condition people to believe in things that are simply not true. It is able to distort actual reality with fantasy and is able to do so without people realising it.

You become fearful of life and start looking at things based on what you’ve been conditioned by television. What if things aren’t what you’ve seen on television?

It reminds me of the famous quote Obi Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker in the movie Star Wars – “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.”

Your eyes are powerful enough to take in the things you’re conditioned to believe is true. If you see life in a negative way (which television often depicts), you will see more of and attract negative things into your life.

Likewise, if you decide to only accept the positive things, your life will begin to be more positive.

6) You become more connected with the people around you.

The more you focus on television and digital media in general, the less connected you become with the outside world.

This epidemic has gotten worse in today’s modern culture with the use of television, digital smart phones and the internet where people seem to have a better relationship with others through social media and TV shows than they do with real face-to-face interactions.

Never before have I seen a bunch of people in a nightclub scanning through their smart phones on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, when actual live people are right in front of them, ready to be interacted with.

7) Your overall lifestyle improves.

When you stop consuming your life with entertainment, you’re left with a major question that you have to ask yourself – “What can I now do in my life to make it worth living?”

This is a great opportunity to reflect because you’re often left with an answer that provides you with a harsh truth of just how boring and unproductive your life actually is.

You’re given the chance to finally rediscover your life’s purpose and what it should be about.

Perhaps it’s hiking on the mountains, or going on bike rides with friends. Or maybe it’s rock climbing or backpacking across the globe.

Your life suddenly becomes more free flowing and left with opportunities that you otherwise could not have seen due to watching television.

You’re now left with a choice to construct your life how you want. Will you use this information to construct a better life for yourself, or stick with doing the same old routine that you know all too well?

Has television affected your life? Please leave your comments below.

photo credit: caterina.appia


About The Author

Onder Hassan

Onder is the founder of Dawn of Change. He spends most of his time in the discovery of his own potential, building his self-confidence and using his experiences to share and teach others how to do the same. Sign up for his FREE YOU 2.0 Course a simple strategy to overcoming your fears to take you to the next level. Follow Onder on Twitter, Facebook and Google+


  • Eric Ungs

    Reply Reply April 14, 2014

    This is great Onder. I have been wanting to test not having a TV in the main family room. Not completely eliminating it but removing it from where we spend 90% of our time. I would much rather not have a TV, it’s one of those things that can suck you into a black hole and all of a sudden hours have passed. The hardest thing though, for me, is getting buy in from other family members. But, you may have just nudged me to make the move, at least for a while to test the waters. 🙂

    • Onder Hassan

      Reply Reply April 14, 2014

      Hey Eric, Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      You should definitely give it a try. I haven’t watched a normal TV show for at least 4 years now. Because of that, it cut down my video games addiction as well as a byproduct of it.

      I think if you consciously keep busy and fill up your day with activities and todo lists, you’ll naturally not find the time to do it. It’s exactly what happened to me and is the best way to get over an addiction as well.

  • jamie flexman

    Reply Reply April 19, 2014

    I definitely watch less TV now than I used to. I rarely switch it on during the day and I would say 80% of my viewing time is sports related. When I moved into a flat a few years ago there was no aerial in my bedroom so the TV sat in the corner and the living room TV was only set up for movies. I found it strange at first but after a week or so I forgot about it. It’s amazing how quiet life is without the TV in the background, clouding your thoughts and distracting you from your day.

    • Onder Hassan

      Reply Reply April 19, 2014

      Yeah, it’s definitely a lot better without it. The only time I use my TV is if I want to play videos games. Even that has decreased over the years. So it’s like a mantlepiece to make my bedroom look normal lol

  • I’ve stopped watching TV because I don’t have time to watch them. When you have a lot of meaningful things to do, spending hours in front of the TV wouldn’t help in terms of productivity/ The great thing is after some period of time abstaining from TV, I find TV to be more and more boring.

    Good post, Hassan, and thanks for reminding others the importance of stopping from watching TV,

    • Onder Hassan

      Reply Reply April 22, 2014

      Thank you for your comment Wan.

      That’s precisely the point. If you keep busy in life, you will have no time to watch Television, which is precisely how people should really be living their lives.

      People generally watch television because its perhaps the only form of entertainment they have in their lives and is easy.

      Just sit on your sofa and watch a small box on the other end of the room instead of getting of your backside and doing something.

  • Diana Reid

    Reply Reply August 8, 2014

    Hi Onder! OMG what and awesome post. I stopped watching TV about 4 years ago half way through an episode of Easterners (it was the only ‘programme’ I had left to give up) I switched off the TV and never looked back since. I hate TV noise in the background so annoying!

    7 Great reasons to start living and give up the TV!

  • Isabella

    Reply Reply February 14, 2015

    The best thing that ever happened to my family. My husband and I communicate better and it brought us closer together. The kids are spending their free time reading, pretending, being involved as a family. They WANT to help around the house. It is insane how much better life is when you start to live it.

  • Paulus Magus

    Reply Reply June 22, 2015

    Too bad most people are useless idiots with nothing else to do. The problem isn’t so much TV as human breeding patterns.

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