Routine Routines and the Dead TV Brain!

I recently heard of an anonymous study done on cell phone users across the country.  In the study they found that 50% of people never travel more than 3 miles from their house.  And add to that, the same people averaged only 5 places they traveled to throughout their week.  Pretty frikkin sad huh?  Get up; go to work.  After work, go to the gym, go home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed!  Shoot me now please!  (I felt bored just typing that)  There must be more to life than that, right?  We all know that it is good to have routines; ways of doing things that eliminate wasted energy like hanging your keys up on the key rack when you walk in the house so you don’t have to spend 20 minutes looking for them in the morning (after you got up late).  Or, figuring out what you are going to wear to work tomorrow before it’s morning so you don’t learn that your favorite jeans are in the washer (after you got up late)… Or, putting your tools back in the toolbox so you don’t have to use the butter knife for a screwdriver or your shoe for a hammer.  But sadly, we tend to try to fit our whole lives into routines and then life becomes…well, routine..  Same thing, same system, same stuff, different day.  No-one really wants to live that way, do they?  I don’t!

So, how can we escape the mundane and the same-o, same-o?  How can we use our time rather than finding things to occupy our time?  How can we summon up the courage to actually turn the TV off?  I know it seems weird but there actually was a time when there was no TV.  Scary, I know?  What the heck did people do?  I remember years ago when my wife and I first got married and lived in a ghetto little apartment down on Adam’s Avenue in Ogden, UT.  (Utah’s mini-attempt at the other side of town).  We were poor college students.  One day the unthinkable happened; the TV broke!  For a few days we stared at the spot it used to be in, above a table and we lamented its demise.  What the heck were you supposed to do in the evening?  We broke out the Scrabble and the Backgammon and played some games together.  Can you imagine that?  Married folks doing something together.  So, I got to thinking…hmmm.  No-one rushes home to watch mindless TV do they?  Oh I know we’ve got our Grey’s Anatomy, our sports, and the Good Wife ~ nothing wrong with that.  I mean that thing you do where you turn on the TV as soon as you get home and then flip through the channels looking for something to…wait for it….occupy your time.  Again, shoot me now!

This is no condemnation because I know how it happens to us.  It happens the same way that we are coerced into driving the exact same way to work everyday.  (At my house if we run out of Dunkin Donuts coffee you would think someone did a homicide there from my reaction ~ umm, I digress)  We eat the same meals, go to the same Target, same gas station and we even do the same exercises at the gym.  It happens to us because it is a whole lot easier to do things the exact same way, everyday.  No thought required; no adventure; no scary unknown.  We complain that we don’t have enough time to work on our new book or our new job or our new hobby because…because we can’t break ourselves away from Facebook, our iPhone, our Ipad or our cell phone  or from tweeting (or from the TV in the livingroom, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen).  We have as much time as we have always had, but we don’t see it being eaten away day after day, month after month.  In fact, we don’t see anything at all…

So, how can we escape the routine, the mundane, the boring?  We have to do something different.  We have to shake things up a little.  We have to open our eyes and look around us.  What’s going on?  What kind of life do we dream of but can’t ever seem to get to?  What do we want out of our next 24 hours?  What do we enjoy?  What makes our heart beat faster?  What do we have to offer this world?  What unique skill do we possess that can help someone’s life get a little brighter; a little better; a little more hopeful?  When I travel to Northern California on business I never actually turn the TV on.  I exercise, I read, I write, I go out to eat and usually end up at the lounge.  Interesting things happen at the lounge.  After a glass or two of wine people do something odd.  They talk.  They tell you stuff.  Now despite having to sit through some endless, pointless conversations about seeds or the competitive nature of lettuce, some conversations are actually useful.  Sometimes people want to learn about God or even unlearn some bologna about God.  Some people tell you about their failing marriage.  Some people give you advice about your marriage or your kids or yourlife.

You and I have to make up our minds to travel outside of our 3 mile prison.  We need to take a different road.  We need to tear the iPhone from our fingers and talk to someone.  30 minutes of thoughtful, meaningful conversation with your wife is better than 5 hours of mindless reality TV.  Family discussions at the Washington household last for hours and trump electronic entertainment times a hundred!  (Just ask them…)

You want a better, more fulfilling life?  Find yourself a human and talk to them.  Who knows you might share something that changes their lives forever and lo’ someone might even be able to help you out!

In the words of that odd cat, Rick James, “Were bustin out  of this L7 square, we done braided our hair, we don’t mind if you stare!”  And if that was too urban, just do something different!

Find a human…and talk!


18 thoughts on “Routine Routines and the Dead TV Brain!

  1. I love your post and the subject matter. I didn’t have a TV in my home probably for about 20 years. That doesn’t mean I haven’t felt all of those issues you mention. I often used my computer and watched endless movies and surfed mindlessly for many nights on end.
    Every once in a while I would break out of my “routines” and do something different!
    I am a restless soul anyway. So sitting too long on my butt makes me crazy (but what am I doing now to write this….?).
    I agree that people should sometimes go out and see what the real world is like, how people really think and all the funny things people do and the stories they have to tell! Some of the things I have experienced and heard from other people-could not be on TV. So absurd, so beautiful and so full of joy! (If you know where to look. That’s what this life is for me.
    I don’t put down TV. I have one in my apartment now for the first time and there are days or evenings when I’m glad to have it (because I need a break from the web or my internet isn’t working). For me it just shouldn’t become a boring routine that stops me doing other things too.

  2. LizEccentric7

    Yes, people will not comment if squint to read comments. Check out mystudentstruggles theme on my blogroll, that is a nice them…She only been blogging short time and now has good comments. It’s also masculine. A photo on the about page is also good. Makes site more human. 🙂
    Would change theme right away. People are clicking off due to poor eyesight. Posts are good.only way to change it is with a new theme. I changed mine 30 times to find the right one with large writing. 🙂

  3. Would like to put your blog on my blogroll, one issue….This theme makes the comments very small – I can barely read them. Many of my readers cannot read small writing (I have known them along time). See how small the writing is in the comments for this theme? My readers, if have to squint will click off the page.

    Cannot throw traffic your way – if readers cannot read the comments. I can barely read the comments know. The post is large – comments way too small.

    Suggestion – not bossing. Keep in mind, many readers may have eyesight issues, readers do not like to squint to read – takes too much time. 🙂

  4. I wasn’t trying to criticize how people choose to live “their” life. I was merely pointing to a way out of an unfulfilled life. The blog was for the bored and unhappy, not the content and at peace! I never judge (on purpose)…

    1. Myself – being quite bored now…I used to hike up a creek (alone) I would hike about 7 miles, and rock climb. Ever since I hurt my foot, cannot do this. Not being able to hike has changed me considerably. I went from feeling great, to feeling like crap. Not only that but the being with nature I think does something in the brain, perhaps makes more serotonin? Believe there are such articles on the subject. Noticed since no hiking that I do not feel so good. Can’t wait till I can hike again. If I tried to do such things now, probably fall about 7 miles out in the wilderness, with noone to hear me screaming.

      That being said, getting away from the screens I believe makes people less depressed, feel good, and to interact with others is what humans crave.

      I am very outgoing – so talk to people at the grocery store and everywhere – thus why I have a million blogging ideas and a ton of different subjects on my blog.

      My ideas come from talking to people….yes talking. I recently made a good friend. He always texts me…I called him and told him to call me to talk, do not text. Tired of text and e-mail, it is impersonal. I actually had a person e-mail me for a job interview. Needless to say, did not go…

      Interaction with other people is essential in having a fullfilled life. New people bring about thoughts and ideas.

      Thesis of comment to readers: It is a good idea to go out of your “box.” To travel miles outside of your own zone and meet people, in person.

      For example: I have a friend who joined a group online. It is a group that meets weekly and does fun things…It is called “The Thirties group.” They meet and go and do all kinds of things.

      Joining this group…they go to amusement parks, and out to dinner. It is not to meet people to date, it is to meet new people…good idea.

      Great Post.

  5. everyone is entitled to their own opinion but some may differ from you, there was a time in my life where i prayed for the life you describe as mundane, people have differing ideas of what fulfilling, i am more than happy with my life and i am more fulfilled than anyone i know yet i wonder how you would describe it? i think i wouldnt judge on how people choose to live their lives and i think some may want only peace and the ability to have a life with stillness and yes the tv for for company 🙂 i hope you have a fab weekend which ever you choose to play it, tv or no tv, you go for it and live your life the way you choose 🙂

  6. LizEccentric7

    Your wonderful post has made me pick a day or two, and make them screen less:
    No TV
    No IPhone
    No laptop
    Just a few days with nature a week and people to feel more grounded.

    Thank you for reminding me of how to feel more alive!

  7. wildacademicwoman

    Hi there–I just moved and decided to not have a TV in the house (I have two kids). All my friends with kids laughed at me. Truly, the TV has become a babysitter of sorts. Now I still need to have my internet connection though…

  8. Pingback: Liz’s Rant Pick of the Week « ec·cen·tric

  9. LizEccentric7

    I agree! People need real human communication, so sick of people texting me…call me for goodness sakes. Humans need true interaction. Feels like I live in a virtual reality land with no real people.
    I call a person, they text me back and I never call them again.
    I mean can people have lunch anymore together? Life seemed happier prior to the Internet. I am 34. It seemed simpler.
    Great Post! My post of the week!

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