Can you live a week without watching television?

November 17, 2009 — by David Eng

As I trudged about the room contemplating my next pursuit, I innately plopped down on the couch, reached out for the black button-laden remote control, fired up the flat panel screen and sat there mesmerized.

In the ever-expanding age of technological advances, one generation-spanning activity has captured the eyes, and minds, of nearly every American—the TV. In my case, it’s nearly an addiction.

Perhaps some may criticize me for my affection for this mindless leisure pursuit. Others may question my commitment to school and time organization methods if I have enough time to indulge in several hours of simply gazing into “the tube.” But somehow I seem to get away with watching the Warriors game while typing that essay for English.

So it was then that I set out on a quest to test my own will power: Could I survive a week without TV?

The experiment began Nov. 4 and five days later I still had not watched any telecasts. During that span, the weekend was easily the most straining on my self-values. What else is there to do on Sundays besides watch football? Well, homework or Facebook would be what most high schoolers would answer and church is what my mom’s would say. Simply put, it was a struggle to streer my fingers away from that remote control, but I did.

My tactics included convincing myself they were getting destroyed with Alex Smith at quarterback and telling myself that watching the game translates into three fewer hours of sleep.

Anyway, then Monday came, the night I typically devote to watching an hour of “Hereos.” Tension built. My 13-year-old brother fired up the large screen that stood before me. I had finished all of my work and practiced the piano like a good boy should. Oh and I recalled this episode focused on Hiro medaling with the space-time continum! Who cares? You have nothing else to do whispered someone on my shoulder. No. Don’t you want to show off your self-control to the people who will read your newspaper article whispered someone on my opposing shoulder.

One hour later I found myself sadly sliding into bed, considering what I had just done. Failure. I suppose I can not survive a week without watching television.

I fell short, but perhaps you could succeed. Can you survive a week without watching television?

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