I remember cosy winter evenings with Masterchef on the box. Every night. It was my sweetness at the end of the day.
I zoned out. Usually with a glass of wine in hand. I got involved in the storyline of the program and was seriously invested in the outcome!
I remember a friend of mine said that she watched Neighbours every night when she got home from work (is that even on anymore?!) to space out and give her brain nothing to think about. She had a stressful job.
I guess I used it like that too. But as an escape from the kids or to keep myself company as my husband tinkered away at his music, or a painting, or studying. He has always been busy at nights after work. The only thing he watches on the box is Monday nights on the ABC – and Foreign Correspondent if he remembers.
But something happened to me last year – I got busy! I had my own project to tinker away on at night and turning the TV on started happening less and less.
As I worked away at night, answered social media posts, planned out exciting projects, stayed up ’til all hours uploading videos (OMG the waiting!!), I saw less and less of the old shows I used to enjoy.
And you know what? I didn’t miss them. I started reading books in bed again (OK – only a page or two because #sotired) but I was looking elsewhere for entertainment.
I was choosing to consume information that educated me instead of helping me zone out. I was so damn productive without the box in my life! And how I enjoyed the silence. Because my house is a pretty noisy place (and so is my mind…).
I wasn’t watching ads, I wasn’t being told what I needed by mass media, I wasn’t getting cross about idiotic plot lines and being made to feel dumb. Liberating!
Wowser. Have I lost a few months of my life. First Jane the Virgin, next Gossip Girl (don’t judge!) and then Suits…ooooooh Suits!
Absolutely, 100% addicted to these shows. I was watching them cooking dinner, hanging washing out, instead of working, when tired, when not tired, on the toilet – I was escaping my life into the world of Netflix.
And I couldn’t stop!
It was so enjoyable. I loved escaping into another world for a while. But here’s the thing – I stopped being present in mine. Sure, the normal things still happened around the house, but I wasn’t living the kind of life I want.
I have lots of projects and dreams. I spend time thinking about my kids and what they need. I love getting in to the kitchen and there is VALUE in being present in the task you are doing. There is value in silence. There is ridiculous value in conversation (like, real-life conversation!) and my husband was ignored a little while these shows took over…
I hope this makes sense. In no way am I saying that enjoying the entertainment that is The Bachelor, or crying at the grand final of The Voice is the wrong thing to do – absolutely not! Those shows are popular for a reason – they are created for your enjoyment. And don’t we all need a little ‘escapism’ in our lives.
I’ve just decided that the real estate space in my brain requires uplifting, inspiring and, dare I say it, educational content to fill it. That’s what I’m on the search for (Not that Suits wasn’t uplifting…#donna).
So I’m taking a small step (as I do) and I’ve decided to enjoy the occasional movie on Netflix and always ABC on a Monday night and steer clear of the addictive TV dramas that I can easily access on my phone now. I don’t want to enter that vortex again – for a little while at least. Small steps…
My head needs to keep exploring all the excitement of the real world!
I’d love to know – what do you watch? And why do you watch it?