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

Onder Hassan
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.

    25 replies to "7 Crucial Things You Learn After You Stop Watching Television"

    • Eric Ungs

      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

        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

      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

        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

        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

      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

      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

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

    • Donald A Berry

      This article is truth. I gave up T.V. 3 years ago. I don’t miss it at all. You see things in a different light. Your perspectives change, without influence of T.V.
      I now call it a “TRICK BOX”, it’s there to influence you to buy products. It’s conditions you mind too think you need to Buy things to make you happy. I promise if you can break away from it’s grip, Your life, Your mental health, your relationship with people will change for the better.

      • Onder Hassan

        Thank you for your comment Donald. Much appreciated 🙂

    • Jerry Stiles

      My wife and I stopped watching American tv about a year ago mainly because of the ever increasing ads wasting our time but also because of the trash mouth on it. We were invited by friends to watch Chris Rocks’ return to stand up comedy and were thoroughly disgusted. I swear if you took mother******** out of the language the man would be incapable of speech. We also got tired of getting frustrated and sore eyes from trying to see scenes that are filmed in the dark for ‘reality’ sake. The reality is that millions of dollars are being spent on crap we can’t see. We have also found that our relationships with friends and family has improved since we made the change and find that we, in fact, seem to have more patience. Even before quitting entirely we stopped watching the news as it’s too depressing watching and hearing about all the wars, killings, rapes, etc and rarely heard anything positive.

      • Onder Hassan

        Thanks for your comment Jerry.
        That’s precisely why I recommend to stop watching TV because it enforces negativity and other harmful things psychologically that is simply not true. The best thing you can do is to do something productive like spend more time with your loved ones and engage in activities that feeds your mind, body, and soul.

    • lynne

      I’m not sure if this is still active..but here goes…
      Ive read the article and the comments…it’s all very interesting… I’m in a weird space just now… its recently dawned on me that life and everything we do inside that life is utterly utterly pointless…going to work to pay the bills..to buy a house to sit in to finding things to do to keep oneself amused…watching TV..dumbing out the voice that shouts…is this all there is!!!
      It made me smile when l read travel the globe…yeah like most people can just leave their kids and do that…and you know what happens then..that voice says…shit is this all there is….no lm not depressed.. Deflated, dissalutioned.. yup l guess so..and life goes on….

      • Onder Hassan

        Hi Lynne,

        I feel your pain completely because I too was in that state not too long ago and wasn’t until I reached out to a higher source for help that things started to change. This website has been dormant for a number of years but may relaunch it.

        I’ve gone through some radical transformations in the last few years and feel compelled to share my experiences with others like yourself who are going through tough times.

        To answer your comment. Life isn’t pointless. The reason it appears that way is because society has become very secular, with no connection to a higher source. And you need that in order for your soul to feel nourished and satisfied. People have become far too materialistic and are chasing after things that simply don’t provide any long-term happiness or satisfaction.

        It doesn’t make things easier when you’re bombarded by things like television and the media telling you what you think you need in order to feel happy. It’s designed to make you feel insecure, afraid and empty in order to keep you in control.

        The solution is to have faith in something higher than yourself and to meditate or pray. Worship is perhaps the only salvation you’ll ever have as this world isn’t designed to make you happy. if you can learn to disconnect from it and to connect with something far greater, then you’ll find you’ll be at peace with yourself and will begin to find it in ways that right now are unimaginable.

        I will start posting more on here soon. Thank you for reading and God bless.

    • lynne

      Wow…you know most people…

      • Onder Hassan

        Thank you Lynne. God bless x

    • David

      I went on holiday to Spain on May 14th and apart from watching the Eurovision Song Contest on the 18th (in the hotel room) I haven’t watched a single thing since. I did turn the TV on earlier today. I lasted around a minute before switching back off. I haven’t missed it. Not even Hollyoaks which I have watched for 19 years. Obviously mainly out of habit.

      A few weeks ago I watched the entire 9 series of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps which I used to love. It was a nice memory. I might keep it that way.

      I’ll watch a film at some point in the next few days I think but have I missed TV? No.

    • Japheth

      Mmmmm, I quit playing video games for the same reasons. But now I watch just as much tv. I am contemplating on selling it and getting rid of it for good. But the thing is I honestly have no one. I feel if I had someone close and we were to do this together it would be a lot easier. So…

    • Beverly

      Onder, your reply to Lynne was beautiful. God bless.

    • Kristen K Cobb

      Researching the harmful effects of TV and found this post. Agree with Beverly – your response to Lynne was beautiful an spot on. Blessings form the US.

    • Hema

      This is a wonderful piece. Precise. Accurate. Purposeful.
      Perhaps another article on how to be deliberate about protecting kids from the external influences will be well received.

      We stopped watching cable TV more than 5 years ago. Stuck with only watching movies as a family. This has helped us discover old classics and old songs that I grew up with. Homework happens early morning so that we do homework on analog mode and upload as needed with no access to any other apps.

      It is not only “TV” it is every device with a power button on it that we are fighting against. Bad habits creep up on us in stealth mode but unfortunately we have to be deliberate about building and more importantly KEEPING good habits.

      • Onder Hassan

        Hi Hema, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I actually stopped posting on this blog a very long time ago. So I’m always pleased when I get comments on an article I wrote all those years ago. So thank you 🙂
        I may expand on this article and add further detail to it, but am undecided as I haven’t posted for a while. But please stay tuned.

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