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How To Smash Your Television

With a blog title of smash your t.v., I need to talk about smashing televisions.

I grew up watching an hour of television every afternoon after school (my favorite show were Power Rangers, Full House, and Married With Children). We had no cable, we ate meals together as a family around the table (the t.v. was off), and a busy extracurricular schedule filled up my time. I’m thankful my parents didn’t give in to the pressure to get cable and encouraged healthy television habits. In college, my roommate watched endless trashy television, which gave me many sleepless nights. T.V. turned me off. The idea of dumping my television was not difficult for me. It might be difficult for you, though.

I should cover the reasons for ditching your television(s), but other writers have done a great job at covering these reasons for you. It basically boils down to three points:

1. Better health. Television is a leading cause of restlessness at night. Without proper sleep, our bodies are not able to rest. Couch potatoes are less active and more obese.

2. A fuller wallet. Cut the cable and you cut your bills. Avoid television and you avoid advertisements. Avoiding advertisements means you are less likely to spend money on things you don’t need.

3. More time. Television takes up an astonishing amount of time away from you.

The average American watches 35 hours of television a week.

35 hours a week!? That’s two and a half months of television in a year.

You could vacation for two months. Or read a dozen books. Or be fully rested every day!

Aside from a few laughs and bits of news, T.V. doesn’t give us anything. And we don’t give anything back. If you’re one of the millions of people that watches countless hours of television a week, it might be time to re-evaluate your television habits. It’s time to get those hours back in your life. It’s time to truly relax. It’s time to devote yourself to activities that feed your soul.

Let’s get more out of your life.

Ready to smash your television? There are two ways to do it: mentally and physically.

Mentally

  • Read a book.
  • Make a meal from scratch.
  • Go for a run or long walk.
  • Do yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Get out your bike and go for a bike ride.
  • Have sex. Preferably with your spouse.
  • Play a board game.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Play with your pets.
  • Participate in your favorite hobby.
  • Create something with your hands.
    • Knit a scarf.
    • Build a bookshelf.
    • Sculpt some pottery.
    • Paint a picture.
  • Get some extra sleep.
  • See a show on stage.
  • Learn to play an instrument.
  • Volunteer at your favorite organization.
  • Travel. Walk across town or fly across the country.
  • Write. A book, poems, journal entries, letters, postcards, or post-it notes.

Physically

  • Use a sledgehammer.
  • Throw it out the window.
  • Drop it off a building.
  • Run it over with a truck or military tank.
  • Drop a steel beam on it.
  • Throw large rocks at it.
  • Wii bowling with real bowling balls.
  • Pretend it’s a baseball and hit it with a bat.
  • Leave it on the curb for a garbage truck to crush it.
  • Blow it up.
  • Leave it in the possession of an angry gorilla.
  • Set it on fire.
  • Shoot it, Elvis-style.
  • Smash it, Office Space-style.

Oh, and you don’t have to throw your television out the window.

Just unplugging it and dropping it off at Goodwill is enough. If you do throw your television out the window, let me know how that goes. I’ve never done it, yet the thought of tossing it off the balcony and watching it smash into the lake below makes my heart race.

Next time you’re about to turn on the television, consider one of the options above, or something else you’d love to do. Go do that. See how long you can go without turning on a television. I challenge you to try this for a week.

When you smash your television, you are free.

How will you smash your television?

 

*Photo credit: João Paglione

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25 thoughts on “How To Smash Your Television

  1. I have not had cable for over a year now. I don’t even miss it. I am a netflix subscriber so my boyfriend and I watch the occasional movie.  I have much more time for the more enjoyable aspects of life now. I won’t miss my charger games so I have found ways to still watch my bolts. I think TV is a way for people to fight boredom the lazy way.

    1. The only reason I had a television in college was to watch films. It had a built-in DVD player and VHS player, and I needed both to do/watch homework (I was a film major). Every time I turn on cable, I cringe at all the junk that’s on it. Good to hear you don’t miss it!

      I have Netflix as well but my account’s been on hold for the past six months due to low funds/lack of time to watch movies often anymore. For now, I’ve been using Redbox once or twice a month. And the library. 🙂

      “TV is a way for people to fight boredom the lazy way.” – I have to agree with you, especially when I consider today’s mass consumption. Television was different in the 1950s, though. Families would usually gather around together to watch one or two shows. Now… television is primarily watched alone.

  2. This makes me want a TV just so I can smash it! 🙂

    My parents let us watch all the TV we wanted, but we never wanted to. We just wanted to play outside. I guess because it wasnt alluring to sit in front of the TV, but it was also never kept away from us. A double edged sword I guess…

    1. There’s a couple in the basement of my building. Want one? 😉

      I was planning to record a group of friends smashing a television (Office Space-style) but figured it would be too much, and ended up donating them. Although If I had physically smashed one, that would be one less television in existence.

      I’ve noticed that people our age had a relatively outside-filled childhood. It’s today’s kids that spend way too much time in front of the television.

  3. I didn’t have the heart to smash my TV.  Too much cleanup, and I wasn’t sure what to do with the chemicals.  So…I gave it away.  I now own no television, and I’m quite a bit happier as a result of it. 

  4. I got rid of our TV 14 months ago and don’t regret it for one minute. We still watch some programs online or through Netflix or iTUnes, but my son is rarely exposed to commercials (unless we’re visiting friends) and I absolutely think he’s having a better childhood because of it. I too grew up without cable TV and that made getting rid of it easy for me, but if parents find it hard they should just consider what kid of media addiction they’re encouraging in their children.

    1. I agree with you – your son is having a great childhood! You are right, though, parents need to consider what message they’re sending to their children when they allow them to watch a lot of television. How do they want their children to grow up?

  5. As you know, we smashed our TV this week and it feels so good to rid of it! Though the fact that the average American watches 35 hours of TV a week seems rather insane to me – we never watched anywhere NEAR that much! Quite scary…

    Katie x

    1. I’m not really sure if I know anyone who watches that much television a week either. However, it’s an average statistic, so I guess it ranges between people who watch a few hours a week to people who watch it all day. The thing that bothers me about the statistic is how all those hours could go towards creativity, building up community, and having experiences. But still…. scary!

  6. I prefer the blow-up method of destroying a television. A good ol’ stick of dynamite. Hahaha. Such a great blog entry. I struggle more with using the computer, also filled with advertisements. Thanks for sharing.  

    1. Ah, the Internet can be sneaky too. I guess when it comes to these tools, we just have to learn how to use them properly and ignore the distracting, unessential things. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. Hello! What an intriguing post for my first visit. Full disclosure: My family is currently bonding over Doctor Who at the moment – all members are old enough to watch and appreciate. So, I do appreciate our ability to call that up when we want to watch. Also, I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism. That said, I believe I am probably the most inclined of all the people I know to want to cut off TV from my life. I see so many manipulative examples and so many changes to the “public airwaves” licenses that it infuriates me.
    I also really dislike how in many areas internet access, telephone service and television are bundled together and companies are not required to list services in a clear format for comparative purposes.
    Ironically, your image of throwing out the television harkens back to the old SCTV show in my mind. 🙂
    I look forward to reading more.

    1. Hello, Julie! Thank you for dropping by, I’m glad you were intrigued by this post. I think having family gatherings to watch and discuss a specific television show is a mindful practice. It’s not really the television I hate, it’s how most people use it. It’s so easy to abuse television use. As long as you’re not watching Doctor Who nearly 40 hours a week, I think you should be good. 😉

  8. I love this post. I live with my brother and we have a television but no cable. So we can only watch movies. I found myself starting to waste time watching shows on Hulu because it’s just as easy – and just as time consuming. I recently made myself stop because I was as bad as someone just sitting and watching t.v. How about all the youtube videos people watch every day? When is it all just too much? I think sitting in front a screen, whether it be a computer or television should be limited greatly in order to live a happy life.

    1. Since my husband is slightly addicted to television, we still have a television set in our home. However, like you, we have no cable or television hookup — just a DVD player to watch movies/husband’s favorite TV DVDs. I watch the occasional show on Hulu as well; I limit myself. Only three episodes a week (about two hours), and no clicking or browsing around to see what else is available.  I’m as appalled as you are that many people spend hours watching videos on YouTube! I don’t see the appeal in that at all. If we all removed the screens from our eyes, we’d be surprised to see what the world really holds!

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