Television is a large, ever-changing medium of storytelling. Additional TV shows are released every year, making it overwhelming to keep up with new episodes. How much television can one person watch before exploding? Plus, if you don’t want your favorite TV shows to be spoiled by well-meaning friends, then you have to stay up-to-date on all of them. Luckily, subscription based services like Netflix and Hulu allow you to watch television on the go. However, with television being so widely and easily accessible you may find that it’s consuming your entire life. You wouldn’t be the first to admit to having put off studying for an important test because a new episode of you favorite show premiered. And you probably know how easy it is to start watching a show and then realize that it’s more than a couple hours past your bedtime. Be not afraid! It’s possible for you to balance television and the rest of your life, and it’s not as hard as you may think.
Checklists are your best friends. If you’re feeling conflicted between your growing “to do” list and your desire to catch up on your favorite shows, then create two separate checklists. On one, list, in order of importance, everything that has to get done that day. Homework, chores, hanging out with friends and family and anything else that’s essential to your day goes on this list. Then, on the second, list all of the episodes you’d like to watch. Typically, you watch one episode followed by another and possibly more, until your whole day is gone. Writing down the episodes that you want to watch beforehand, and only watching those episodes, keeps you from binging. If your first list and your second list both exceed five things then you may have to consider the fact that you don’t have time to watch all of your shows that day. You’ll want to reschedule your TV-watching experience for another day when you’re less busy.
Consuming television responsibly is all about balance and moderation. For example, you have an important test coming up but your favorite series is premiering its season finale the night before. You’re several episodes behind and you want to catch up before the premiere. But, you need to study. You’re not sure you can do both. Here’s where balance becomes crucial. Instead of choosing one over the other, use television as an incentive to help you study. Come up with a system that works for you; for instance, if you study for two hours, then you’re allowed to watch one hour-long episode. By the time test day arrives you’ll be ready to ace the exam, and enjoy the premiere.
Television is such an integral part of society that it’s not practical, or necessary, to try and cut it out of your life completely. If you feel like television is taking up too much of your time, the simplest way to remedy that is to set boundaries. Maybe for you, one hour of television a day is the perfect amount to keep your life running smoothly. Or perhaps three hours a week is more likely to keep you focused on your schoolwork and other activities. Whatever the right amount is for you, once you find it—stick to it. There’s no shame if you don’t know what happened on the last episode of Girl Meets World (Disney Channel), as long as you feel comfortable and productive.
These tips are small, but they can help you find a healthy balance between television and your day-to-day routine. Ask the Lord how you should be spending your time, and follow His guidance. When you choose to watch television, invite the Lord to watch it with you. It may seem silly, but God wants to partake in all things with you. Perhaps watching television with Him will provide you with a unique perspective that you wouldn’t have achieved otherwise. If you decide to implement these tips then tag us on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TVandMe and let us know how these suggestions helped you reclaim your time.