7 Reasons You Should Stop Watching Television

“You cannot turn it off successfully, however, until there is something you want to be or something you want to do, right then and there that is more important than the television.”
– Manly P. Hall

The average person (in America or Britain) spends nine years of their life watching TV – with three years wasted on ‘rubbish’ and repeats. Let that soak in for a moment. Now here’s 7 reasons you should not necessarily completely stop watching television but perhaps cut down:


Many people may not realise that when they turn on the television in their home, what they see as a constant flow of images is actually flickering. Although we do not see this consciously, the repetitive pattern of flickering images creates a state that is similar to hypnosis in the television viewer. The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning Without Involvement have shown that within 30 seconds of television viewing, brain waves switch from predominantly beta waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to predominantly alpha waves, indicating an unfocused, receptive lack of attention. A state of mind not far from sleep. The question is, do you want to spend even more of your precious time asleep?


Every hour you spend in front of the TV is another hour you’re not making the most of your life. You could be playing with your family, conversing with friends, reading, painting, starting a business or another activity you enjoy. Connection is one of the basic human needs we all have and it will never be fulfilled by your television set. Want to know how little time you actually have free to yourself in life, outside of working, sleeping and eating that is? Save this video to watch later.


Just about every television show, from comedies to drama to reality TV and the news, is negative. If you look at almost any TV show there is a complete lack of positive redeeming messages. While there are exceptions to this rule they are few and far between, so choose carefully what you decide to spend your time watching when you do.



In comedies, we laugh at the stupid/overweight/socially awkward/racial stereotype/different people. The news is filled with stories of pain/suffering/disaster/death, and arguing and drama has to be about problems in order to create the drama. Very often they are first world dilemmas that as a result are causing petty arguments, does this type of drama happen in your household? All of this is affecting your outlook on life and the way you see the world. 


Television distorts our understanding of reality. It’s filled with beautiful people doing amazing things and having great adventures every show. Ask any TV/movie/reality star, they’ll tell you that the images you see of them on the screen and magazine covers are photoshopped/edited and the scenes scripted to create drama, fake drama.


Life is never going to be like a TV show and this can make people very disillusioned when they compare it with their real life. The messages within television imply on a regular basis that we’re not pretty/smart/funny enough. Our lives can feel quite empty when compared to the perfection of the TV world. Oh and here’s another advert for a product that will make you feel better. Happiness I can assure you, does not derive from material objects.


My personal argument for watching TV is that it’s easy. You stop working for the day and get to relax and turn off your brain for a while, but the reality is that what is easy for us is hardly ever the best thing.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield.

I also get to relax when I’m out at a martial arts or dance class. I get to relax when I’m hanging out with friends or spending time with my girlfriend. I also get to relax when reading a book, listening to uplifting audio or even watching uplifting videos (like TED talks or educational materials).

We get one life to live and it’s up to us to make the most of it.
I know personally that thanks to the incredible psychological hooks that television uses, it’s very hard to stop watching it. However, every hour of the day is an investment that pays off right now and in our future. Invest wisely with your time and you’ll uncover new experiences. Those experiences are the times and memories that will be cherished, more likely at least than the time spent watching a superficial reality.

I finish with a 9 minute highlight of Manly Palmer Hall’s lecture “How to turn of the TV and live happily ever after”

For those wishing to read more into this, here’s a wikipedia article for Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and here’s the book on amazon

Personal Excellence
The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning Without Involvement

Thanks for reading.


[title subtitle=”What’s your experience with television?”]Share your thoughts[/title] [separator type=”thin”]
  1. I think the fundamental mistake of this articles is in treating all television programming as if it is equal. I entirely agree that reality shows, ridiculous news programs, run-of-the-mill sitcoms, and killer-of-the-week procedurals fit what you describe above, but there are so many quality programmes that should be considered similar intellectually to “picking up a book.”
    It’s the same with watching television versus socializing. I’m sorry, but I find it a lot more rewarding in so many ways, to spend an evening watching something like Mad Men than making small talk with people I don’t like at the bar.

    1. Also just for fun irony; I’m pretty sure that inspirational poster in the photo came from a movie.

    2. ok valid mad men vs boring bar talk no contest tho not all bar talk is boring, n yes there are some intectually stimulating shows u can watch on tv tho wen u don’t control the schedule of shows u get stuck wit shit filling up ur time, off wit the tv, take a walk , go to a bar u neva been to life is jst dat. chance

  2. #1 makes no sense. When I’m watching a show I like, my attention and focus are both on what I’m watching.

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  4. yeaaah hey gig mate listen ya live and ya learn aye, I know ya were in tears mate but that’s no excuse.

  5. yeah nah grub here, me cooks tiny as hell but don’t let that put ya off cause me starfish is gigantic.

  6. Yeah na i have to agree with Snake and worm here mate, Gota give it a crack. Cook tiny as fuck but anus is plum size.

  7. Yeaah ahh Snake here… I do quite like switching on the olde box myself… been getting into some cook porn lately, although i do prefer the starfish, i’m gonna have to say i disagree with this article there mate…

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  9. Although I admire the writer for putting his beliefs/opinions out there, I don’t entirely agree with his reasons. As Sandpaper Blues mentioned in a comment, not all Television programs are equal, and this whole article is basically telling us to give up on reading too. Shows like Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead can enlighten someone far more then go outting for tea time and spend time gossiping about others or having a conversation about the Kardashians.

    I also want to throw out there that without the news, we are living in a state of denial. The news educates us, shows us that not everyone out there in the world is as fortunate as us. That being said, its basically telling us to stay ignorant. And honestly, would it be so bad that it would affect our outlook on life? Are you telling those ‘spoiled rich brats’ to keep living as they are now, oblivious to the suffering around them?

    1. Yawn. If you consider shows like that enlightening, then you simply are not bright enough to know what real enlightenment looks like.

      As for news, don’t make me laugh. One would best be served by getting news from nearly anywhere other than television. Maybe once upon a time television news outlets were serious about their journalism, but that time ended, long ago.

      Outside of a few mostly foreign news outlets (BBC, or, in their saner moments, CNN International and Al-Jazeera), the “news” on television is not news. 95+% of it is fluff, sensationalism and outright propaganda. The shows are constantly full of factually incorrect information, and you’d be shocked at how often they knowingly lie. Only the disgustingly ignorant do not know this.

      The facts bear out how dumb it is to get news from television. The people who watch TV “news” channels or programs are frequently the least informed people about issues and current events. Most of them have zero concept of the nuances of key issues, and can only think in terms of black and white, us vs them. In addition, there is a direct link between ignorance about general knowledge and the amount of television someone watches. The more they watch, the dumber they are.

      As you so aptly demonstrate.

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