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28 Days

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“I’m going to try going for four weeks without TV,”

“Why?”

“I don’t know, just curious I guess,”

I had been wondering how TV affected the mind, and I finally decided it was time to experiment. Does it affect sleep patterns? Does it make you less smart? With the first few days, I felt a lot of withdrawal. It scared me that I had actually become dependent on TV, but each time I was drawn towards the awaiting screen, I managed to pull myself away. I was still in school for most of the experiment, and we watched a few informational videos. I watched them because obviously I couldn’t just say, “Oh, I can’t watch this; I’m not watching TV right now.” I was worried that watching them would jeopardize the results, but looking back, I believe it didn’t change anything, and if it did, it was very minor. Throughout the entire experiment, I do admit to watching some videos on you tube. It mainly consisted of music videos, but I did watch some comedy videos. About one and a half weeks in, I spent a few hours on you tube. The affects from you tube were very minor, but I know that is pretty close to watching TV. Two weeks without TV, I no longer craved it; I was very proud that I had conquered my biggest addiction. I also found that my insomnia had almost completely disappeared. At night, I was falling asleep in under one hour. I also found that I hadn’t needed the aid of a lamp or nightlight. All nighttime anxiety was gone. Two and a half weeks in, I began to realize the social aspects TV brings. My family would watch TV at night without me, and I felt lonely hearing their laughs as I sat alone in my room. Three weeks in, and I had relatives visiting for a short time. They wanted to see a movie with me, and I had to decline and stay true to the experiment. I explained what I was doing as best as I could, but I could still see the hurt that I didn’t want to join them. Three and a half weeks in, I grew excited; I was almost done with the whole thing, and couldn’t wait to see the final affects. As I played on the computer, I realized something, throughout the few weeks; I hadn’t written a single thing. Writing was a hobby of mine, and at night I would often find myself scribbling down notes of what I should write about the following day. The final day came, and I turned on the TV for the first time in twenty eight days. I can’t say it felt good; honestly, it seems watching TV has become almost boring. I just feel as though there are better things I could do with my time. I watched, I laughed, and that night, I thought about how I had changed. It seemed that without TV, I would always find some other mind numbing thing to do. Playing on the computer had become a very big part of my life. I also found that without TV, my memory was the same. I did the same as usual at school, and my attention span remained the same. I was disappointed that I hadn’t undergone any major change in the month I was free of TV. As I tried to sleep that night, I was a little confused; I had a bit more trouble falling asleep. It took me about an hour and ten minutes to finally sleep. The next night, I watched TV during the day and late at night. That night, I could not fall asleep. The clock ticked slowly and painfully, and as I lay awake in the darkened room, my fears began to creep into my mind. Has someone broken in? What was that sound? Was that always there? For the first time in a month, I needed to turn on my lamp. I tossed in turned in a desperate attempt to get comfortable, an idea for a story popped into my head. As I scribbled down some notes, I realized that this was the first time this had happened in a long time. I also realized that the TV seemed to be the cause of my stories. I lay awake in thought after that, confused. Was TV a good or a bad thing? It is pointless staring at a screen and it keeps me awake at night, but it also has a social aspect and is the cause for my writing. All in all, I’m not entirely sure what this experiment has proven, but I don’t regret doing it. Maybe in the future I’ll try to go even longer without TV.



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