reviews

Self improvement through telly

I found this list on lifehack.org today. In the main, I think it is an excellent list and I already do almost everything on there. However, I very much disagree with number 7: “Stop watching TV”.

Obviously you shouldn’t watch shit tv. That’s fair enough. Don’t watch trashy, mind-numbing, negative crap. That’ll rot your brain for sure. But, the thing is, I learned shed-loads of good stuff from tv as a kid – long, long before I had the interwebs to feed my thirst for knowledge.

I am very much an advocate for good tv: Watch documentaries, quality dramas… anything really if you enjoy it or find it uplifting. There is nothing wrong with viewing for entertainment alone, just don’t let it be what’s euphemistically called a “guilty pleasure”. Watch good movies or stream your favourite shows, because I truly believe that elegant storytelling is not just for books. There is some truly excellent writing in television these days.

I do think it’s a lot easier to keep your viewing quality up if you avoid broadcast tv though. Your telly is smart now – use it to get smarter yourself. As well as the various streaming services, you can watch TED Talks or learn something new via YouTube. There are so many options now.

I really don’t believe TV is intrinsically bad. Just make sure you let it feed your mind instead of dulling it. Rant over.

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