You always see this in posts and videos around being productive:
Stop watching TV and control what you see.
I get it, that’s a good idea on paper or at least was a good idea.
Why do I say was? Because it’s not like we shout something like this and the media moguls say: Ok, seems we’re done!
What I believe is that We can’t stop watching TV. You may disagree, so let me explain what I mean.
We used to watch TV in two situations:
We wanted to watch something. We turn on the TV and start changing the channels for something good. We spend around 30 to 60 seconds on each channel and doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, we still think the next one could be better. We reach the end of the list go back to the first one and start again. We even get to the channel we thought was showing something good. But again, we feel there might be something good on the next one. It’s been an hour and you’re just tired of searching for something good, so you turn off the TV.
We follow a TV show and we know there will be a new episode on Thursdays at 9 pm and there will be a re-run of that 4 times through the next week. We either see it the first time, re-run or record it to watch it on our schedule.
Now let me break something to you: You may not watch the TV anymore but you are still watching content like a TV. Don’t believe me? Let’s revisit the two scenarios again:
1. Changing channels
You either open TikTok, Instagram, or even YouTube in some cases. What do you do?
- You open the stories, watch one for 30 seconds or if it’s good for the whole minute, and then go to another one.
- You might like one and watch it a couple of times.
- You always think the next one might be better even if the last 20s weren’t good at all.
- It’s been an hour and you’re just tired of searching for something good. At this point, you might turned off the TV but here the hope is still there.
- Okay, now it’s been 3 hours. Let’s sleep! (you probably won’t)
Wasn’t this exactly what you’ve been doing with a TV and the long list of different channels?
2. Watching on schedule
This one is a bit tricky. Yes, with on-demand platforms like Netflix at first, and now basically every possible network, you might think you have control over what you watch and when you watch it, but it’s not!
Nowadays, these platforms release their shows within separate weeks. Either it’s sections or even episode by episode. So basically you can’t watch it sooner than you want and it’s basically a version of recording it.
How’s that different from following a TV show or movie from the TV?
You might say: Well, I can watch something from 4 years ago whenever I want. Yes, you can, but you’re paying for it. You could also rent that TV show very cheap years ago.
I have nothing against on-demand platforms (I was a lot against social networks with story feature), it’s just the opinion of being more productive by “not watching the TV” that is not quite right to me.
What I would suggest is to get your content consumption in order. Use apps or the OS features to have an idea about how you’re using your time because it’s not just TV, it simply can’t. The first step would be finding out what is the situation and then making it better.