Negative TV: Why I Stopped Watching It

I used to watch a lot of negative programming on TV. I made a decision about three years ago to be more conscious and selective about what I choose to watch and it has made such a positive impact on my life. But what exactly does negative TV programming refer to?

In my opinion, TV programs that affect the psyche and the mind in a negative way are the ones to be limited or avoided altogether. Very often, the effects of these negative programs don’t seem harmful on the surface. They affect our minds the way the constant dripping of water can affect a rock. A few drops may not seem to make a dent, but, over time, the water will corrode the rock.

Some of the types of TV programs I have chosen to avoid are:

  1. Ones that depict violence or have violence as their central theme.
  2. Shows that are overly sexual in nature and with no artistic merit.
  3. Ones that take advantage of the unfortunate by exploiting them (many reality TV shows).
  4. Programming that glamorizes drug and alcohol use.
  5. TV programs that are replete with vulgarity, crude and discriminatory language or themes.
  6. Overly negative news shows that sensationalize bad events in order to boost viewership.
  7. Shows that leave the viewer with a general negative outlook and mindset.

Think of a time when you watched an uplifting or educational documentary or TV show. It leaves you feeling good and inspired. Perhaps it gives you confidence and encouragement. Now compare that to how you feel when you watch a show full of violence, vulgarity, or negative news. The difference is very pronounced. Your mind is like a sponge that absorbs whatever stimuli you feed it, either positive or negative. In fact, a famous former U.S. FCC commissioner, Mr. Nicholas Johnson, said, “All television is educational. The question is, what does it teach?” Both positive and negative TV teach good and bad respectively. Which one would you rather watch and learn from?

In addition to the negativity subliminally affecting our minds by these TV programs, there also is another reason to stop watching negative TV: it leaves you with more time to watch positive TV programming that is positive, inspiring, educational and uplifting.

It is true that our world does have its fair share of violence, famine, natural disasters, wars, injustices and the like. There is nothing wrong with keeping up to date on what is occurring in our world in order to make better decisions and make a difference. However, focusing on such negativity at the expense of all the positive that occurs can, slowly but surely, be detrimental to your mind and psyche.

Doing anything in excess is generally not good for you, and watching too much TV is definitely no exception. Watching TV should be done in moderation because it can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. However, there is nothing wrong with doing it in moderation, especially if you are careful about what you choose to watch.

There is a lot of educational, inspiring, and positive programming on TV these days, probably much more than people realize. My cable TV company even offers two channels which broadcast nothing but uplifting shows. There are entertaining programs that focus on a variety of topics:  healthy cooking and nutrition, exercise and health, how to be successful and to accomplish your dreams, travel and adventure, meditation, music, art, and much more! Those are the types of programs I choose to watch.

We are fortunate to have new technology like Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), HULU, Netflix, online recommendations, and On-Demand TV that allows us to record and view positive TV shows much more easily than ever before. I record the shows I want to watch and use my DVR to facilitate this. It allows me to always have something positive to watch when I want to watch TV.

What you watch on TV is your choice. The remote control is in your hand. What will you choose to watch?

 

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