View Full Version : Eliminating news and TV
About a month ago, I followed Tim's advice and stopped reading the newspaper, listening to the radio and watching TV. I also got rid of all my blog RSS feeds and cut email usage waaaay back as well.
All I can say is WOW.
It really has made the biggest difference to my state of mind, and I would highly recommend doing the same if you haven't already.
Thing is, the newspaper / news is chock full of bad news. As a responsible adult, I find myself getting quite upset about the day's events, and it puts me into a negative state of mind. Most of these events are out of my control - I can't stop the toddler from being beaten to death by her parents or the car full of people being hit by a drunk driver - yet these events were ruining my day and regularly occupying my thoughts. Not any more.
I'd listen to the radio for an up-to-the-minute account of what politician said what, and again finding myself getting angry about the lies we get spoon fed every day. But If I don't listen to the lies, I don't get upset by them anymore. Brilliant.
Then there's the TV - I used to have my appointment at 7:30 every Tuesday to watch Donald Trump pretend to fire someone, on top of all the other crap that I didn't even enjoy watching. This would be peppered with ads telling my to buy shit that I don't need, and making me hungry for a double cholesterol burger or a large home-delivered pizza with extra saturated fat. Losing the TV habit was easy.
Getting rid of my RSS subscriptions was also easier than I thought. A lot of this is job-related stuff, so I was pretty cautious about losing them. But really, reading blogs is a bit of an excuse for not doing important stuff and I'm finding I have way more time without them.
Anyone else doing well without the news and media? For me, this one small change was well worth it and I can totally see the benefits of this extra time. Loving it.
01-01-2009, 11:01 PM
I never really did read or watch the news. A habit formed since elementary school even, since the first thing my teachers did every day was talk about stuff in the news. I actually became reliant on the fact that if something interesting enough was happening in the world, I would hear about it without having to read/watch the news. It continues to be true. =)
One thing I do these days though is just scan the headlines on my "My Yahoo!" page. Then, rarely, if something merits reading further I'll take a look at it.
As for TV shows, I've cut out all game/reality shows. Never really liked them that much to begin with. It's so much worthless drivel and I don't really care if Bobby made Janey upset and they had a fight over it.
I generally limit my TV watching to movies and shows with actual stories, I love a good sitcom. Sometimes there will be something interesting on Discovery/NatGeo type channels.
Cutting out the negativity of news also helps work on the bigger picture of creating your own environment. I stopped listening to most music too because it was so depressing and full of tween angst. I can't remember who I heard say it, but "If you want to succeed, put yourself in an environment where success is automatic." Controlling the inputs to keep you in the right frame of mind is so powerful and will trump sheer will power and self discipline every time.
Yeah, we are still watching movies, and have been working through the Stargate SG1 series on DVD - actually pretty good stuff when you can watch them back to back and without any ads or interruptions.
But yeah, once you are in a good frame of mind, everything else is easy.
01-02-2009, 02:44 AM
I gave up TV nearly 5 years ago. With the exception of History or Nat Geo etc. it really is akin to having an open sewer running through your living room. God help you if you actually have a tube in your bedroom. :(
I also stay away from the papers and radio. We're fortunate in San Diego to have a good college jazz station with no ads and little news. (88.3, you can stream it.)
I'd done all this before reading 4hww, I loved reading about TF doing the same.
01-02-2009, 08:30 AM
I gave up the newspaper first. I also found myself getting angry at the stupidity of it all. Morons in the news, morons writing the news. I started writing letters to the newspaper at first complaining. After I got a reply to an email that essentially said, "Yes we got it wrong, what's the big deal?", I canceled my subscription. I still pick up a paper when they are free on airline flights, but haven't regretted it.
I gave up TV in 2003. I watched myself in a 1.5 hour TV special about the all Japan pizza championships. (Pizza is extremely healthy, and relative to any other restaurant entree, has less saturated fat!). I took first in the taste competition, and second overall, just to honk my own horn (hehe).
I haven't missed it at all. I do have a home theater and watch movies and some of my favorite series, like Farscape and Firefly, but that is about it.
01-02-2009, 09:59 PM
Yeah, we have netflix here in the states and we stiil watch a disc on occasion, be it a documentary or brain fluff like The Big Lebowski. Every brain needs a little downtime now and then! :p
I only catch the news for the weather updates on occassion. Otherwise, I don't watch the news on TV. I have been using the internet for all the news that I want to read for the last few years. However, I am finding that like a train wreck, there's really nothing out there that is worthwhile to read other than the world is going to hell in a hand basket. After I started reading Tim's book, I've figured that my life would be better off without knowing or caring about what else is going on with the rest of the world. There's not a whole lot that I can do about most of the things anyway. Just a few days of not caring about news have made me feel that much better.
This is probably one of my biggest struggles. Being a political junkie, I have always enjoying being "plugged in" but as of late am noticing how much it drains me.
Thanks for these testimonials, folks - it's inspiring to me. I'm going to take the first step tomorrow and see what a day without the TV news is like. :eek:
02-03-2009, 03:20 PM
yeah i started doing this about 5 days ago and it's absolutely UNREAL how much better I feel and so much more focused.
It's a god sent in retrospect... I would check Canoe.ca (canadian news website) like 10x a day (actually it was my home page LOL!). Plus watch cp24 (another canadian news show) and CNN/Headline news like clock work. Absolute information overload and I could never concentrate... I also turned off ICQ (which was a big deal to me because alot of my biz is handled by ICQ) and now only use internal office messenger.
I also removed all the junk distractionary stuff on my iphone and turned off my e-mail functionality so i could only check e-mail on my laptop. The only other thing I still check occasionally thru the day is facebook (in retrospect i should remove this distraction as well). Plus the message boards I frequent for biz have been removed because of the immense amount of bullshit i would read thru that had no affect whatsover on my business.
02-03-2009, 10:47 PM
I've not watched TV in years. Reality TV hit the waves and I tuned out. I do watch the Olympics and ACC College Basketball.
02-05-2009, 08:35 PM
It's surprising how many things can compete to waste your time. I've been on a low-news diet for years but up until very recently I was an internet forum addict. Thankfully, I've got over it and this is the only forum I look at once a week or more. I only go to other forums when search engines lead me there.
If you think you're using forums too often, try avoiding all the forums you currently use for a couple of weeks, or even a month. Then go back to them and see just how little worthwhile information has been added while you're away. It's a very sobering experience.
TV is another one. I used to live with a bunch of guys and we'd watch hours of crap every day, making witty comments and thinking we were cool. I think this is a very widespread habit!
02-05-2009, 10:32 PM
I rarely even have the TV on. A few weeks ago I was toying with the idea of buying a new one, but quickly asked myself.. why?! Saving: Thousands of dollars.
I don't buy the newspaper, and the only one I even read is the free one given away in my city. I actually find it boring. I can't understand why someone would give away a couple of dollars a day. Saving: Around $400 a year and god knows how much time.
02-06-2009, 12:21 PM
Actually, I ceased media interaction prior to reading Tim's book. I guess I stumbled across the "peace of mind" on my own. I love it. It was difficult at first, letting go of the Sunday newspaper was a challenge. I am having trouble of letting go of television. Though I am getting better at stopping a show once I realize it is lame. Stopping, just stop, erase from my DVR so I am not temtped to watch again. My DVR memory has never been so low, 25% full.
02-06-2009, 08:53 PM
I used to watch TV 24/7 and always had the TV on. ONce my son was born I knew that I would need time for him and not the TV. So I choose to not watch any more soaps. I used to watch about 1 hour every day. I also never watched TV during the day and only watched it in the evening. I now can switch the TV off and read a good book when I want to which before was completely impossible.
I cut out the new but currently I am really interested in the credit crunch (what we call it in the UK) and I am watching all programmes related to Economics, Recession and finance.. this includes the new. I only watch the new when they talk about economics then I which off or over to another program when the article is finished.
I love watching factual programmes and any program related to my various hobbies.. these usually come on TV from 8-11pm. I also read during that time too.
As for news papers I don't buy it and only read the deadlines in the shops when I am passing. I sometimes read the paper when a friend hands over her news paper.
I get a weekly moneysavingexpert.com email message summary that I read and sometimes read the articles/thread related to a particular topic.
I must say that I can go over board with researching for things/stuff/actions to take so I am working on taking action with less research and tryng to gain info from others without me doing all the leg work.
My son does not watch normal TV. He watches pre-recorded programmes on cable for DVD. If on the rare occasion he does watch normal TV then its the BBC which has no adverts. Pre-recorded Tv has programmes where the adverts have been removed. He is only allowed a limited screen time every day in the evening where he can choose from internet/DVD/pre-recorded cable/playstation.
Since my son was born and I want low with TV I found that I would be more interested in the news from my everyday life .. like what was actually happening with my friends, family and community. I new how the government was effecting my actual life and not what the new was saying.. e.g. I could see new schools being built and I could see improvements in facilities for parents. I could also see what they were not doing & how it was effecting my life. Before I would be only listening to what the TV was saying they did or did not do for us and now I can see for myself.
I personally still love watching TV. I am now very selective with what I watch and many times it has started off new interest that I have taken over as hobbies.. like gardening. I have learnt a lot of gardening skills on the BBC. When I watch a program there is always a good internet page or pages that expands on the program content BBC and Channel4 are great for that. Many times the program comes with a book that I can order from the library to read. TV no longer dominates my life.
02-09-2009, 08:09 AM
I don't own a TV and haven't for my entire adult life. I see stuff now and then when I visit friends, but as far as I'm concerned, all of the news is pretty much re-runs. I only check my email about once a day. Otherwise, I hear enough. Though may buy a TV soon, just to have something to watch movies on with friends.
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