Chap. 7: Watching TV the smart way

Watching TV has developed a bad reputation over the years. We all associate it with laziness, numbness, and just simply a waste of time.

While there are clear reasons for why this is so (reality tv, informercials, dramas), I believe there is a way to use the TV in a smart, even productive way.

That is to choose to watch shows that expand your knowledge and skill set for the better of yourself and the world.

For example, picking channels in the language that you are learning. For me, I have gained precious knowledge (vocabulary, grammar points, cultural references) by watching documentaries, cartoons, the news, and detective style shows in French. These sources exposed me to certain structures that I would not have encountered in a classroom setting. Even my professors are surprised by how proficient I am in French, even though I have never stepped onto France’s grounds!

Though it is very easy to justify watching shows on celebrities by saying it could help facilitate social interactions when the topic pops up, I highly discourage it. Here’s why: there’s absolutely no advantage whatsoever for the world to discuss the latest gossip of one single human being whose life seems to be more important than anyone else’s. No one’s going to think at their deathbed about all the scandals a celebrity got tangled in; instead, they’re going to ask themselves if they have lived a fantastic life and contributed to a better world.

Even now, I’m beginning to see how useless and absurd it is to follow some people online (e.g. YouTube gurus). After all, they’re as human as I am and I honestly don’t care what they have on their iPhone 7.

We have all heard that it is important to surround yourself with the right people. This applies in the same way with media sources. It is time to really go deep and ask yourself what are you watching and is it helping you or the world in any way?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to move on.

Keep in mind, also, that the time you spend watching TV (or Netflix, Youtube…) is crucial. Remember the wise saying: “Too much of anything is bad.” Don’t go overboard with sitting in front of a screen for hours on end and forget that there’s a reality outside.

See the watching time as an educational activity. It goes on for a certain time, then you should go out and apply (or challenge) the knowledge.

So remember to get your daily dose of exercise and social interactions, or else you will end up spiralling to a slow mind-numbing death!


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