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Kill Your TV: The Season Finale

Our 30 day Kill Your TV program is officially over – and it’s time to share what you’ve learned from your experience. Did you make it through the whole 30 days, or did you encounter some unexpected stumbling blocks? What did you do instead of watching TV? Do you expect your viewing habits to change substantially, a little, or not at all?

We’d like to hear about your Kill Your TV experience – so post your thoughts, feedback and lessons learned to comments.

And after your done posting your thoughts, read what two program participants had to say about their experiences – Melissa Joulwan of the Clothes Make the Girl (TV, Now Just Half-Dead to Me) and “Primal Jude” of The Great Primal Experiment (Kill Your TV – Breaking the Drought).

While we won’t be running this program as a regular 30 day challenge, we encourage everyone who stumbles across this later in the year to give it a go, and let us know about your experience. You can read more TV-related articles by clicking on our Kill Your TV category under the 9-Blog header.

Comments

  1. says

    Melissa & Dallas, thanks for the shout-out and THANK YOU, as always, for encouraging us to question our habits. This was another good learning experience!

    Everyone else… I shared my experience in excruciating detail in my blog post mentioned above… overall, I think I was less TV-entrenched than I thought, but the problem I have with TV is the same one I have with food: I really, REALLY like some things that are junky. But for now, I’ve got my TV cravings under control.

    Last night, in fact, I gave myself permission to watch Downton Abbey, which is not junky TV. It’s a Masterpiece Theater mini-series about life in a pre-WWI English country manor. But at the last second, I decided to read instead… being the passive recipient of entertainment didn’t feel like what I wanted to do at that moment.

    Curious to see how everyone else fared.

  2. says

    Thanks for the link love! Also wanted to say thanks for throwing the challenge out there – who knew that so much could change in 30 days?

    I’ve been a bit fluey lately and had some time off work – settled in to watch TV, as I’d usually do, and found that instead of helping me to zone out, it made me feel agitated and a bit stressed.

    I wasn’t expecting that!

    Thanks again, it was a really valuable experience!

  3. IreScotsWelsh says

    I didn’t participate in the 30 Day Challenge. But I have a good reason: I stopped watching television 21 years ago when I became a parent. I simply didn’t have time as a new mom. After a while, I lost complete interest in TV, replacing it with reading, being outdoors, exercise, cooking, in other words, LIFE!

    Something to think about is how much TV has changed in the last two decades. When I walk within earshot of a television playing, I am offended by the language, trivialization of marriage, the treatment of women as nothing but sex objects, and the general stupidity of the dialog. People don’t realize how desensitized they’ve become, so much so that they readily accept the crap coming out of the box. I’m sure many will disagree with me, but I seriously don’t care.

  4. says

    Well, I’ll admit it – I caved. I started the month with the best of intentions, and actually did pretty well for a while. My hope was that the month would bring a renewed sense of connection, both within myself and my family, and turn my time towards productive uses, rather than just zoning out in front of the tube. After all, I used to be tv-free, not so many years ago, so how hard could it be?

    Resisting the tv wasn’t hard, really. I find 99% of tv to be vapid, chatty, and noisome. But what I didn’t expect was swearing off the box ended up being more isolating than connecting.

    Being the only member of the family who was making the slightest effort to reduce tv time made me the instant outcast, so I ended up spending most “family” time alone. True, I was able to recruit the others into some evening walks here and there, but for the most part, I started spending a lot more time alone. (Not that alone time is necessarily bad – but as a web designer, who spends most of his time alone in front of a computer, more alone time—especially on Facebook or the internet in any fashion—is not what I needed.)

    So, after a couple weeks of reading, taking walks here and there, and generally putzing around, I decided to watch some stuff here and there. Not as much as I did before, and not just “tv”; mostly movies or videos on TED.com, etc.

    I did take away from this month some real positives, though; movies are less of a default choice for evening entertainment… I’m much more aware of the choice to cultivate other options, and I choose them often enough to make a difference in my state of mind… I’m back into more introspective habits than before… and I’m even less tolerant of broadcast tv than before. I also find I have even less desire to spend time on Facebook, or internet nothingness. Good stuff, overall, even if it didn’t conform to the zero-video policy of K-Y-TV.

  5. Stephanie Linihan says

    I broke my fast on the second day to watch bin Laden coverage. A week later I watched the Kentucky Derby. Other than that I was very good! And I really loved it, I am reading a lot more now, and I don’t feel like I am waisting so much time.

  6. says

    Well said, IreScotsWelsh. I haven’t had TV in my home since I moved to my first place 13 years ago. (I do have a TV set in the basement bedroom, but watch a documentary on it maybe 3x per year.) I, too, am appalled by everything from the ads to the programming when I’m exposed to television elsewhere. How much better for the body and mind to actually go outside and LIVE! People often comment on how much I seem to accomplish in a day…umm, it’s not hard when you aren’t WASTING the day…

  7. says

    Thanks to all who contributed, and who started (and/or finished) the program. Adam, I’m sorry you found the experience to be isolating – that was the exact opposite of the intention. You’ve given me a good idea for a post, however, so you’ll be my inspiration as I write for the next week or so. ;)

    When we gave up TV, it made us realize how insufferable broadcast TV (and the commercials) really were. When I happen to come across TV now – while at the airport, or at someone else’s house – I can only stand a few minutes of the drivel before I have to tune out or turn it off. I feel the same way about US Weekly and fashion magazines now, by the way… and I used to devour those 5 years ago.

    We’re glad you’ve had positive experiences and taken some lessons away – thanks again for contributing, and for sharing your results here!

    Best,

    Melissa

  8. says

    I kept to it for sure. For me the hardest part was not clicking youtube links from my coach! And I ended up knitting so much in this month!

  9. Aaron says

    I don’t have a problem with TV. Haven’t had one in at least 5 years. Rent the occasional movie for the laptop and that’s it. However, I do find that I spend similar soul-sucking time browsing the internet for hours on end. Sometimes up to 4-6 hours at night after being on it for 8 hours at my job! I am thinking of doing a 30 day internet fast……makes me *shudder* a bit, so that prob means it is worth trying!

  10. says

    I started this challenge but decided it was not for me. Why? I don’t watch TV. Ever. I am never the one to turn it on but if its on in the house then I might watch for a few minutes. I live with my parents and its on in the morning for an hour or so and then again at night for about 2 hours or so. I can’t avoid it unless I want to stuff myself in the bedroom all day long.

    I will be moving out in July and I won’t be purchasing a TV. In fact, I may go my entire life without purchasing at TV. I just don’t see the need for it. I love sports but thats what sports bars are for. I don’t drink but I enjoy watching events with friends and family members. It’s exciting.

    Thanks for the challenge though. I am sure this changed a lot of peoples lives in a positive way!

  11. Dan says

    I gave up TV about 18 months ago. I’d worked in Japan for several years and, although I’d enjoyed fondly misremembering how awesome UK TV was, when I got back home it was terrible, vapid and obnoxious. I couldn’t bear it for more than 5/10mins. After staying with my parents for a few months (who watch 3/4 hrs a night) I moved out and chose not to get a TV at all. At first, it was definitely odd. There was a gaping void in the evenings. I’ve always been active (sports, music, language learning) but removing TV made it clear that I was spending far too much time alone. But this had a really positive long term effect – it pushed me out of the house several nights a week. I got involved in the local international community, tried out different gym classes, attended live music and arts events and also started playing music live. Not to mention all the time I had to work on my languages and business. My thought after giving up TV was just like when I decided to avoid refined carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol and dairy…why didn’t I do this earlier? Life is just better without it.

  12. says

    Hearing from lots of folks who “killed their TV” ages ago – and we love that! We did the same, and our experience giving up TV (years ago) was what prompted the idea for this particular challenge. NOT watching TV enriched our lives in ways we didn’t expect – and we’re happy that some found the same lessons and benefits in their experiences.

    Best,

    Melissa

  13. Todd says

    After being without a TV for 9 months (it was in the closet), I decided to sell it and sold it this evening! While I do watch movies on my computer occasionally, it’s nice not having the TV. My friends think I’m nuts. I have noticed a desire for consumerism has definitely decreased! I can now enjoy the quietness too. After 30 years of having a TV in the house, I’m now truly TV-free! Thank you for the challenge that got me to this point.

  14. says

    Todd, we loved hearing from you after the fact! So glad to hear our challenge inspired you. Hope you are enjoying all that free time, and thanks for reporting back to us. Happy holidays!

    Melissa & Dallas

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