When I was a kid, I was obsessed with watching television. I loved everything about it. Getting to switch off, imagining yourself in the lives of the characters, pretending you knew the characters, learning new words, concepts, story lines. And best of all, you could do all this while laid back and relaxed on the sofa, with a blanket and a cup of tea. I couldn’t picture a better way to spend my time (a very ambitious child, as you can see).
At school, everyone always discussed their hobbies. Usually ranging from sport, to playing musical instruments, or else arts and crafts related. When they turned to me, I would simply reply with ‘Watching TV’. And I would get the strangest looks. The athletic kids would laugh, the creative ones would look confused and the teacher would try to recover by asking ‘What about reading?’. I would explain that I like to read a lot, I like to draw but nothing for me could beat watching television.
When I got older, my house became the TV house. Every weekend, my friends would swarm over after spending the week deciding what films we would watch. We would make pizza, eat cookies and squash together on my (at the time luxurious) corner couch. It was a weekly arrangement, and it was always looked forward to. I began to see being the host of a movie night as one of my defining aspects.
When I attended University, time was expendable and the work load was marginally lighter. This resulted in a lot of extra TV shows. At this point, I had a list on the corner of my laptop screen which was a schedule of all the days my Television shows fell on (to keep track). So instead of using my laptop to do the ample assignments I had to do, I instead had perfectly organised my time around my television shows. My time in the library was spent watching Netflix, and even when I decided to buckle down and do some work, I would peer over my neighbours shoulders to see what they were watching on Netflix. Thankfully, it was nearly always Gossip Girl (easy to watch without audio, because I have seen it so many times). Now don’t get me wrong, I studied English at Uni, so a lot of my time was spent reading all the books on the extensive book lists they enforced each semester. But the best part was getting to watch the film adaption afterwards.
Out in the working world, my mornings, evenings or days off from the restaurant I worked in (which were rare) were spent curled up in my bed watching some show or another. And then Netflix added Friends and that really did a number on me. I have seen all 10 series of friends countless times, because when I was growing up it was the only reliable thing on during the day. But the temptation to watch it right from the beginning straight through, was too much. And then I finished it. So I watched it again. and again. and again. It was my ultimate soothing background noises. Cooking dinner, cleaning, getting ready to head out, it was my constant companion.
Fast forward to now. New Years resolutions are pressuring me to be more productive and I have finally admitted that I have a problem. I am addicted to watching television. And it eats up most of my time. I am terrified to count up the amount of time I have spent watching TV (even in the last 5 years) compared to the average person.
So should I go cold turkey?
Physically impossible, I will instead set a ban on watching television until 7pm (6pm GMT).