Mental Detox

So Mike and I did something last night that we have been talking about for months… we got rid of our TV. Actually, it hasn’t gone far yet- it’s currently sitting in the back seat of our car waiting for me to take it to the Chicago Recycling Center.

This week is Adbuster’s Mental Detox week. It used to be called “TV Turn Off Week”, but since we are addicted to so so many forms of media, they changed it to be a challenge to unplug it all- or at least a few devises of your choice. I have long hated our TV, and the fact that I enjoy watching it, so I told Mike that I was not going to watch any TV for the week. Instead, we decided that maybe it was just time to get rid of it. We had been talking about doing it for so long, so we finally did it, once and for all.

After leaving the intense college life of Madison and moving in with just Mike, it seemed that the TV became a bigger and bigger part of my life. When my time was no longer consumed by college, studying, activities or my many roommates, the TV started coming on more and more. Having a slower pace in life and more time to relax was important to me, and I didn’t want to use it to watch TV, but there it was.

Mike and I went back and forth all this year on throwing out the TV, taking turns on who wanted to get rid of it more. We were often scared that we would regret throwing it out, that we would miss it too much. I guess that it was a clear and scary sign that we were addicted. We felt like we were now dependent on our TV to entertain us, to help us relax, to waste the hours away on long winter weeknights in chilly Chicago.

I know that sometimes I will greatly miss the TV. I really started enjoying PBS this past year. I will miss popping on Friends late at night after all was done. I will miss having movie nights at home with Mike after a long day. I will also miss having a TV when people visit for a weekend and feel like watching something.

But I will not miss the stupid morning news shows I sometimes turned on for background noise while I was getting ready. Or the crime investigation shows I would turn on at night when I was bored and lazy. I will not miss all the commercials I have watched over the past few years or the crappy feeling I have when I realize I have nothing better to do then to spend the next two hours staring at a box in my living room watching things I don’t give a damn about.

Mostly, I’m excited for my new freedom. The temptation to sit at home and watch the TV is gone. I will be forced to get out into  my community more. To call up friends more to come over or to visit on boring evenings. To pick up more books and read them. To finally get better at playing my guitar. To cook a little bit more for Mike. And To find new adventures to entertain ourselves, instead of the TV.

Ah, to be free. And now our living room furniture points at a bookshelf overflowing with books and four windows looking out over our Chicago street, and not at our TV. Good times 🙂

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