A Hygge-lism Experiment
A little over a month ago I stopped watching TV. I didn’t tell anyone, I just did it to see what would change and if I would like it or not. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to do, I started by laying down easy guidelines for myself, and so begins the how.
How – My Guidelines
As I mentioned, I did this on my own and it only applied to me. I wasn’t avoiding TV, I wasn’t going to refuse to spend time in a room that had a television on. I wasn’t going to request that someone else not watch what they want, when they want.
- I would no longer have a television program on if I was by myself. Our TV screensaver is collages of our personal photos which is awesome.
- If someone asked me what I wanted to watch, I would be impartial and go with whatever they wanted to watch.
- If my wife or children were watching something and wanted me to watch parts with them, I would.
- If I caught myself sitting and staring at the television with someone for an extended amount of time, I would look for something productive to do instead.
- I could still look at news headlines, sports scores and mountain biking on the internet, as well as things like this site, email etc… I don’t use social media so that wasn’t even a question.
Why Did I Do It
Let me take a step back for a second. You may be asking yourself, why on earth would you want to stop watching TV?
The time suck of television had really become evident. I have had things to do that I really enjoy and I would forego them for hours of sitting idle, staring at this glowing screen. I could justify a documentary or two, but more often than not what I would watch offered little to no educational or personal gain.
The idea of not watching TV is not something new, quite often while exploring the minimalist lifestyle you will read about people letting go of their television. Most times, they talk about how it was one of the best things they ever did. They were able to focus on what really mattered to them and they were better off because of it. I am not going to lie, reading about these experiences over and over through the last handful of years really piqued my interest.
Now that you know why I decided to do this and how I planned on doing it, it’s time to talk about what I found out. I remind you that I have only been doing this for a little over a month, so I’m sure my feelings and experiences could change.
- I don’t miss it.
This kind of surprised me, the first few days I would find myself automatically going for the television remote before I would realize what I was doing, and then I would sit for a second trying to figure out what I should be doing instead.
It hit me then that I thought of TV as something that I “should” do, not something that I “wanted” to do or “needed” to do. Realizing this made it easier, I no longer needed to ask myself what I should do, and could simply ask myself what I wanted to do.
- I am much more productive.
I defaulted to household chores, instead of sitting around after a meal, I jumped on the dishes right away. I clean out and prepare the coffee maker for the next morning and I sweep up the kitchen floor. Small repairs around the house take a higher priority and if I just need five minutes to get something done, I do right away rather than let it wait so that I can sit motionless on the couch.
- I am much more creative.
Staying on top of the household chores, has opened up a lot more time for me to focus on writing and my current creative hobbies. Sitting down to do them is much easier when I don’t have incomplete “chores” on my mind. I work much better when I don’t have other tasks awaiting my attention, I have always known this, but now I have proved that to myself.
- I listen to more music and podcasts.
Music is a great motivator for me, I enjoy tedious tasks like putting laundry away or drying dishes when I have music or a podcast on in the background.
- I also enjoy silence.
As much as I enjoy background music and podcasts, I also found that I enjoy silence. Sitting and listening to the world around me, the wind through the trees and birds chirping is infinitely relaxing and meditative.
- I read much, much more.
My evenings have transformed from cuddling on the couch with my wife, a cup of tea and Netflix, to cuddling on the couch with my wife, a cup of tea and a good book. I will take a couple hours of reading over a couple hours of staring at a television any day of the week.
- I bake and cook more.
Our kitchen has turned into my favorite room of the house. I am able to really focus and enjoy the process of preparing a meal or baking a batch of cookies. Most times accompanied by a podcast or laid back playlist.
It’s only been a little over a month, but I see absolutely no reason for me to go back to watching television. I discovered that I must have had a little bit of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I assumed that conversations between friends would inevitably fall back onto TV shows or movies that I was no longer watching…but it didn’t. I thought I wouldn’t be able to participate in conversations anymore, or I would be able to come up with something to talk about…but that wasn’t true at all.
Rarely if ever did conversations come up that revolved around television, and when they did I would say that I didn’t see it and I found out that people are more than happy to tell me all about it.
So I stopped watching TV and nobody noticed (except my wife) and I don’t plan on starting to watch TV again any time soon.