Imagine there’s no TV

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What if all the hours I’ve spent watching TV or playing video games in my life had been spent reading, studying, doing some kind of hobby, or cultivating some kind of interest or skill instead?

I’ve thought about this many times before and reasoned with myself that video games and TV have contributed so much to who I am and how I relate to people that it just wouldn’t be right to wish I’d acted differently. That’s a load of crap, though. Had I spent all those hours (or even half of them) doing more productive or creative things I’m sure that I would have developed even further as a person and would have discovered countless other ways to relate to people.

So, in retrospect, what kinds of things do I wish I had done in that time? I wish I’d mastered an instrument like the piano or guitar. I wish I’d sought out knowledge about the world. I wish I’d studied a second language seriously. I wish I’d spent more time doing creative writing, studying photography, drawing, pursuing a voice acting career. I wish I’d read tons of books. I wish I’d learned about money, time management, how to build things, design, architecture, sculpture, painting, computer programming, and more.

What if I had to choose only one of all those activities to replace all the the time I spent on games and TV? That’s a tough one… I honestly can’t answer that confidently at this very moment. Partially because I’m so sleepy right now that I can’t keep my eyes open, and partially because I am genuinely interested in all those things and more. I can easily imagine myself pursuing any of these hobbies or passions and living a very content life.

The only life I’m discontent with is the one in which I pursue nothing. That said and realized, what room is there in my life for games and TV? I believe there is still some, but I’d like to make more of an effort to find and draw a clearer line in order to avoid using my time any less wisely than I already have. There are so many things to learn, experience, create, and appreciate in this world. Video games and TV are included, but I’ve already given those a disproportionate amount of my time and attention.

What if I went one month without TV, movies, or games? I think I might try that and only make exceptions for short films or things that I think will truly inspire me.

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