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Using YouTube To Quit Television

Using YouTube To Quit Television
Using YouTube To Quit Television

Sometimes I can’t believe the amount of television people watch. I used to watch a fair bit, back when I had cable, and I still can’t understand what you can spend so much time watching.

Now I don’t even have the time to watch TV. To be honest, I don’t actually have a television anymore and haven’t sat in front of one in as long as I can remember. When it’s not there it’s very easy to live without. Believe me.

But for those who enjoy staying current and watching some of their favorites: I suggest YouTube. Ever heard of it?

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It’s the only thing I come close to watching that’s like television – probably because most of it comes from TV. But it’s occurred to me what a great nicotine patch YouTube is for anyone who is trying to ween themselves off television.

There are several reasons why watching your shows on YouTube – or any other internet video streaming site, even from DVD – works to your benefit.

  • 1. You have a clear goal. I want to watch this and then I’m done. If you want to watch more, there is an amount of effort required and you’re more likely to do something else.
  • 2. No breaks. Ad breaks get you comfortable doing nothing, sitting looking at non-stimulating images waiting for your show to come back on. This perpetuates the activity of doing nothing.
  • 3. You watch when you want. Because you aren’t tuning in to watch a show at a particular time, you are able to schedule your viewing when it suits you – instead of the other way around.
  • The other reason is that, in the case of any internet-television, you are already at your computer and have the immediate option of doing something more productive. Even Digg or checking Lifehack.org will seem like a better idea!

    You can watch five minutes of ‘television’ in between work. Or give yourself half an hour to look up interesting things on YouTube on your break. The flexibility is there and you should use it. Especially if you’re finding yourself rushing home to catch an episode of Sex & The City. What a waste of effort!

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    The Plan

    Find your favorite television shows on DVD or on the internet. Search them on YouTube or some ‘illegal’ video streaming site. Try watching the shows this way instead of on your television for a few weeks.

    At worst, you can now schedule your television viewing when you want instead of working around it. Watching what you want, when you want.

    The best thing that might happen is you realize how much time it can take away from you with no gain. The average person watches 4.5 hours of television every day, quotes SavingAdvice.

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    To put it into perspective, if you watch an average of 31.5 hours of TV each week (which the average person in the US does) and you value your time at minimum wage of $5.85 an hour, you are spending nearly $800 a month ($798.53) to watch TV. That comes to nearly $10,000 ($9582.30) a year. I would imagine that most people reading this value their time well above minimum wage, so the cost is likely several times that number. When you look at it from that perspective, watching TV is an extremely expensive and financial draining habit to have.

    How Dumping TV Allowed Me to Quit My Job, Create an Online Business and Fund My Retirement Account – [SavingAdvice]

    What could you do with that time and money?

    Steve Pavlina experienced an interesting side-effect after giving up television for a period of time:

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    I’m not exactly sure why, but I felt a compulsion to expand socially, which seemed to grow stronger the longer I went without TV. I just wanted to spend more time with real people, especially face-to-face. I started talking on the phone more, going to more social outings, and accepting more dinner/lunch invitations. I also accepted a couple new speaking engagements that I was previously hesitant to accept.

    8 Changes I Experienced After Giving Up TV – [StevePavlina]

    I can attest to this. There is no longer that crutch to fall back on when you want to do something away from your computer. The funny thing is, talking to people is waaaay more interesting than anything that comes up in a television drama or comedy. And this brings me to my next point.

    5 Things To Do That Are Like TV, But Aren’t

  • See a friend. Everyone has a story and their own trials and tribulations. These almost always rival anything that can be scripted. Your friends will appreciate your time and input.
  • See a show. Go out and see a band, play, exhibition etc. You get the same audio/visual stimulation but with a nice social aspect. You get to meet people who enjoy the same things as you without tagging or stumbling upon anything. Even a movie.
  • Talk to randoms. Even more like TV is going to a pub, for instance, and talking with some randoms. People you don’t know will share their stories if you allow them to. It takes a little more effort than TV or seeing a show, but the experience is always much more rewarding.
  • Go for walks. Wherever you live, there are things to look at. Lakes, street lamps, diners; they all have their own charm and beauty. It’s a much more subtle pleasure, but one that could result in something unexpected.
  • Listen to music. We’re usually listening to music while doing something else like work or going to work. But how about setting some time to just listen to a record and take it all in. I’ve learned a lot more from a few albums than I have from watching television.
  • Do you need it? Do you really want it? In the end, I just ask: Does it really matter what happens to Carrie Bradshaw?

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    Craig Childs

    Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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