How I threw the TV out of the house and how it changed my daily life

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Indre, tell us what challenge you took on and why you chose it?

I've been thinking for a long time about going TV-free for a while.  When the cable contract ended and the TV itself broke, the whole family decided to start:

...A year and a half TV-free challenge!

I was getting annoyed by the very presence of the TV in the house and the irritability and sensitivity after watching it. I used to get angry at everyone and everything when I sat down for half an hour to relax in front of that box and I didn't notice how a good hour had passed and there was no free time left - just a lot of unfinished business.

Overall, how did you go about achieving your goal?

In the first few days we tried to turn on the TV out of habit, but it just wouldn't show anything. The child seemed to want movies.

My husband never missed an opportunity to remind me of the surprise I had prepared for him, even though we had agreed before the experiment that there would be no disagreements and no quarrels about it. I tried to ignore it, but sometimes the hypocrisy hurt.

As you would expect, friends and family reacted in many different ways when they heard about our challenge.

There were sceptics, shaking their heads and a few praising their determination.

Of course, visiting them didn't completely avoid the flickering images on TV. Sometimes we would watch a film, Eurovision, basketball or football matches, or let the child watch movies at grandma's house, but that was very rare.

Eventually, my husband's gloominess disappeared, and I didn't have to explain to people around me why we don't watch TV anymore. Gradually, we noticed a positive change: we went to bed earlier, so we got up earlier and had a good night's sleep without feeling sleep deprived.

But what was the biggest obstacle in your way?

I didn't think it would be so hard if the TV itself was not at home or not working.

I have been thinking for a long time: what if I miss something important by not watching the news, and that reduces my knowledge and prevents me from discussing important topics with others? That was one of my biggest doubts.

So what did you do when it was hard and you wanted to throw everything away?

I won't hide the fact that I was tempted several times during that period to go back to my old rhythm of life with the TV at the forefront...

...That's why we ended up replacing the TV with a computer.

This made it much easier to watch films, read the news or check the weather forecast.

This way, we did not feel completely isolated from current affairs, we lived a full life and the fears that we had at the beginning of the challenge were not realised.

However, over time, I noticed that the computer at home stayed on much longer than I needed to read the news or watch movies. This made me feel frustrated and maybe even despairing - the time I had saved, the rest and the time I had spent with my family was lost again.

How did you feel after completing the challenge? Did you achieve what you initially hoped for?

Giving up TV has benefited each of us differently.

My husband was able to do early morning chores that he had been putting off. His son became calmer, his sleepwalking almost disappeared, and he filled the time he used to spend during the day watching cartoons with more active activities. And I was happy, because there was time for different activities.

Most importantly, in the evenings there was more time for close contact with family.

And it ended as simply as it began. We moved into the house, connected the aerial and now we use the TV as before. We only have about ten channels, all Lithuanian, and we don't plan to have any more for a very long time.

What did you learn during your challenge?

Without TV, you can live a full life. Giving up TV has given me time for a variety of activities. TV takes up a lot of our precious time, and in my opinion, the information shown is only about 30% relevant.

Anything else is just stimulating imagery that tries to hook the consumer in every way, is perfectionist or aggressive, and has a negative impact on our minds, health and energy.

I've finally seen that it's not so easy to give up something harmful.

Even if we manage to do it temporarily, we often replace it with another harmful habit. A smoker who gives up cigarettes may turn to sweets, and giving up sweets is unlikely to lead to other snacks. That is why it is said that addiction lasts a lifetime.

Do you have any advice for people who want to repeat or surpass your adventure?

I recommend that you try to live without TV, at least temporarily. It was a fun and rewarding experience. You know why? Because it is only when we get out of our comfort zone, i.e. when we try to do something different from what we have always done, that we start to improve and grow.

If you can't give up TV completely, hide the remote from you at least once a week.

My advice would be to keep working on yourself, because there is always room for improvement and improvement. Let's be honest with ourselves, let's not beat ourselves up for work that is not fully done, let's just move forward, even if it is in very small steps.

Thank you for conversation!

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