I have been turning off recently and I want to tell you about it because I know I need to share what I am learning. I have turned off because I knew there was something I was missing and with so many distractions I didn’t know what it was.
When I started this I had no idea what I was doing or how it could or would affect me. My partner suggested we turn the telly off (he was already ahead of me in his reasons) and I really couldn’t figure out the ‘why’ I should do this for me. For our children, it was clear, they sat and argued in front of the box and we censored everything and to be honest…
Who really wants their children to be ‘entertained’ by a naughty child?
So in April last year we turned off TV off and because I coincided this with a change in our living room, the boys didn’t ask any questions. I know. They really didn’t scream or in fact mention it. I had a whole heated discussion played in my head, but this didn’t and hasn’t happened. I also had a narrative running in my head about what they would be missing (nothing you can’t get on catch up) and from now on, we controlled this ‘box’ in our lives. This was my first taste of taking back control of what I exposed to. Now when I turn on the tv it feels very surreal and I can ‘see’ the illusion. It is very clear how manipulated we are being. We are were desensitized to the TV and I hadn’t realised the powerful impact. Now when I do watch, it surprises me how much suggestion is delivered. Even the BBC!
Do you get easily swayed?
I have learnt that I am so easily swayed in my own decision making – ‘the magpie effect’ effect is what I call it – if it glitters I am in! So knowing that I have a very suggestible nature, I need to be selective in what and who I surround myself with. I have already done this with my friends and family, but I hadn’t limited the ‘real’ issues of what I watch and listen to.
I cannot lie (I am just awful at it), the practical side of it was easy. Uuplug and move it. ‘That was easy’ and for the boys it was. We were clear that we couldn’t turn it on and they adjusted. For me. Harder because it wasn’t that I was craving soaps or anything really, it was… something far more scary…
What did I do now?
I had so much time and my ‘relaxing time’ now had a vacancy. I had so much more time to think about what I wanted my life to be and do… More clarity and yet I found I had to work to get back my own thoughts. I had been washing them away with the mass of others and I really hadn’t stopped to think about my where were my own any more. But now they were back and they were lose without a focus. I am pretty crafty and I read but there was something else lurking…
Now this was harder. Because a box in your room you and turn off. Simple. A screen in your hand… not so easy. The boundaries were so easily blurred especially because it is so loaded up with reasons to look at it. There is no point in listing them but they tickle you with lovely sounds to say ‘coooeeee over here something/one has something to tell you… you know you want me… come play with me…. I’m all yours…’ oh yeah baby it has so many ways to tempt and tease you.
And the pay off is fabulous.
You get to learn about the world and your ‘friends’ and the whole world is there for you. But what it negates is the one that is at your feet. The one that is human and in front of you. The one that responds to who you are with a slight turn up of the corners of your mouth. The one who waggs it’s tail. The one who dances in the middle of your kitchen saying ‘Ooh Sugar’. The one that gives you a cuddle.
My business depends on social media and me sitting in front of a screen to talk to many international clients via Skype. So I need it. But what I hadn’t really sat and worked out was. In my life where I am very conscious of who I am and what I want, what I had missed out was where is the balance, for me, not for everyone else. But for me. I knew I wanted to turn it off and yet I also knew it was going to have an impact on my ‘business’ by turning off at the weekends…
Currently I have turned off three weekends in a row. I know it is early and yet I feel strong. I feel in empowered to do what I want with my ‘spare’ time (two boys on school holidays leaves not much time) and I feel liberated. The lure I feel to turn back to the screen is there. I love Facebook because I am social. But I had become less humanly social. I need to get out there. Out there.
I will share with you what I am learning and the tips I have used in lessoning the grip it all has. I would love you to share your tips and tricks that you use to keep your balance right. Oh how do know when the balance is right?
You’ll feel it. You won’t watch it.