You may remember that in 2015, some dictionary made headlines by declaring “binge-watch” to be their word of the year. Now, if you’re like me you probably take issue with a hyphenated word being given such a high honor in the first place, but let’s move past that… Binge-watching has become a part of our lexicon because the action has become ubiquitous (now THERE’s a word worth honoring) in our society. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, pick your poison, but they all make it super easy to get sucked into episode after episode of whatever shows you happen to be into.
We made the decision to “cut the cord” and not pay for a cable subscription a few years back mainly because the value proposition seemed terrible. You want me to pay dozens of my precious dollars every month for a whole bunch of channels I couldn’t care less about? No thanks. However, I was raised on a steady diet of TV. Huddling up on the couch after dinner to watch the latest prime time hits was standard-fare in the Aardvark household growing up. So, you’d best believe that a lack of cable has not stopped me and the wife from binge-ing through dozens of hits over the years on the various streaming services mentioned above.
That brings me to today and to this experiment. I certainly still love television and movies and don’t necessarily want them gone completely from my life. I think they’re a cornerstone of our culture and I love seeing the ones that are really on top of their game and discussing with friends and coworkers. What I don’t want, however, is the binge-watching in my life. I hate the feeling that I got sucked into watching more than I should have, especially when there are a lot of ways I’d prefer to spend my time. For example, writing to you fine folks here on the interwebs!
Phew, long introduction, let’s get down to brass tacks:
The “Make TV Watching Hard” Experiment Terms
Catchy name, I know. As it implies, I’m not going to go cold turkey with zero TV at all, despite that probably being way more badass. I’m simply going to make it hard to watch TV in an effort to only watch something after making a very conscious decision to spend my time in that manner. Here’s how this will look:
- First, I’m moving the TV and associated devices- Roku (built in), Xbox, Steam Link- into the cold, scary basement. With it being Winter, I’m not going to be too interested in going down there. (Accomplished this last night)
- Second, I’m going to try to avoid going down there in the first place by doing more productive things with my time like studying, writing, reading, etc. Meals will become a time for conversation and reading instead of passively absorbing programming.
- Third, any TV watching will be for a single movie or a single show episode. No getting sucked in and watching them back-to-back!
This will kick off today, December 1st, and last through the whole month.
Give It a Try!
Got something in your life that’s sucking up your time with no real benefit? Whether it’s TV like me or maybe those incessant social media apps on your phone, maybe try a month or even just a week of making it harder on yourself to get sucked in. I’d love to hear how it goes!
Alternatively, if you think I’m a wimp for not just tossing out the TV altogether, that’s fair too…
Also, check out my last experiment here.