Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 1
Maheen talks about the negative effects of watching too much TV and how to cut it out of your life for good!
Episode 42. So TV is actually literally destroying your life. Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mithra maroof and Mahima lake.
Assalamu alaikum. It's mahane Malik here from Africans. And this is Episode 42. Two, we're going to be talking about why you should cut TV out of your life. As usual, all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode can be found in our show notes at Muslim life hackers.com, forward slash 42. And that's the number 42. Okay, so before we get into the guts of the podcast, just just to backtrack, backtrack a little bit and give you some background as to why I picked this particular topic and why I think it's important. So back in my first year of university, I decided to, I made the conscious decision to cut TV out of my life. So it's been about, say about four years now. And
within this four years, four year period where I had decided to cut back on my TV time, and watch a lot less than I was at that time.
I have left several several times back into my previous habit of watching TV quite late at night, watching hours of TV. So what would happen would be that I would go months without watching TV. And then suddenly, I was done, say with like a family member or a friend while they're watching TV. And while they're watching something, and I just get sucked into it for hours. And then before I know what I'm up till one in the morning watching some like crazy show in like a different language that is just not relevant at all. And I'm cooking in three to four hours of TV straight. And recently, I fell back into one of these like phases again, where I've been watching TV a lot. And so what
happened was I came home and my mom, my mom had come home at around that time as well from work. And she was sitting on the couch watching like some kind of drama. So I decided to spend some quality time that's in like, this quotation marks ironic spending time in front of a TV as family time, but whatever. And I literally sat there with her for hours watching advented The Adventures of the latest damsel in distress in search of, you know, the love of her life or whatever. But he also had an evil stepfather who was plotting a death and wanted her money. And then the guy was being blackmailed into marrying someone else or something like that. And he was gonna kill himself and
then the crazy uncle who's secretly in love with the girl and blah, blah, blah. I mean, you get what I'm talking about. You get the point. And so after I snapped out of it, I was like, seriously, I mean, did you just spend three hours watching this junk? And you know what, even for even after a week, after I watched that drama with my mom, my boss was still going back to the show. And I had like questions like
did the uncle's true identity get discovered? Or did the guy jump off the bridge? And what happened to the girl and like, it was just, it was just taking over my life. And I'm like, No, I'm gonna cut TV out again once and for all. And I know other people struggle with this as well like watching tons and tons and tons of TV pointless TV and so I decided to do the podcast to inshallah help myself, because it's something I really struggle with and to help others out there who may be going through the same thing and want to cut TV out inshallah.
So let me start making my case for why you should stop watching TV, and why should cut it out of your life. And acknowledge that? Well, one of the biggest problems with TV is that it's just everyone everywhere. SubhanAllah shopping centers at the gym, the boys with the latest episode of you know, the Bold and the Beautiful and or this show that I just heard about.
Oh my god, it's been bugging.
Well, it's where this guy or this group of girls can beat for a guy and their group of women and the guy's like, super rich or whatever. And it was airing recently in Australia.
I think it finished or Oh, anyway, but yeah, the whole of Australia was tuning in to watch the show and there was a reruns everywhere. And there's just reruns everywhere on like, TVs all around like the nation, things like that. And
some other places where you might even find TVs is like, I don't know when you go to the doctor's you're waiting there. There's always a TV in like the reception area or something. Like why
There's always a giant TV in say, like hotel lobbies and things. Even when you go to restaurants now there's like a TV with like the game, the latest game like NRL or something going on in the corner or something like that. And in any waiting area really like, do you have to put a TV there, and then I guess I do or whatever. And I'm sure that in your house, there's probably more than one TV, and they're constantly playing. So one of the biggest challenges and I do acknowledge is that there is TV just everywhere. And you know, what that just means makes it even more important that we make a conscious decision to cut it out of our lives, because it's just so prevalent, and just, it just
overtakes you just overtakes your life. So what's really happening is that there's this huge influence in our society to implement the culture of TV. And and like I said earlier, it just makes it even more important to make a conscious decision about cutting TV out of your life. Because if you don't make the decision to cut it out, someone else, and whatever you must someone else's society, and our culture will decide that you need it as well. And you're just going to follow the flow of the crowd. And honestly, you'll just be another sheep following others and what they do, keeping you roped in, in the TV cycle of like craziness that it is.
Alright, so let's, let's talk about some of the some of the big reasons why TV is not doing you any good. So Reason number one, it makes you extremely negative. And I'm not being all wishy washy here. People who watch a lot of TV have limiting thoughts about life majority. And I mean a majority of the people that I meet a super negative, and I'm not exaggerating, yeah. And look, I'm not happy, chubby unicorn myself, but the people that I do meet, a majority of them are negative.
And one little thing that I like to do well, it's actually one of my favorite things to do. And confession here, I like to do little experiments on people that I meet, like, not like, I feed them like a drug or something. Like little social experiment. So like people that I meet in everyday, and not like every day, like don't get scared people that I meet. But yeah, I like to do little social social experiments on the people that I interact with to see how they react, how they talk, the patterns of behavior in everyday person. This is a topic that really fascinates me. And so I gained like a bit of insight and so on. And maybe I'll do a podcast on how to conduct social experiments on
people in a way that they don't recognize. I feel like I need ethics approval for that or something. But let me know if that's a topic that you're interested in hearing about just tweet at me or something. But getting back to the point, most people that I meet, and I'm pretty sure most people that you meet, as well carry this negative outlook on life. And one of the biggest influences is TV. And I know that there's like social media like Facebook, Facebook, and you know, there's newspapers and things like that. But one of the biggest influence is, is is TV. So we're going to address that. And all these cultural conditions associated with TV, people who watch excessive amounts of TV think
that life is horrible and dark. There's a lot of murder, rape war. And this is simply that the simple reason for why people have this kind of understanding of life is because they watch a lot of TV, if there was no TV, you would never come to the same conclusion about the world that you do right now. Because the stuff that television television shows and TV reports is not accurate. So Pamela is so biased. TV is about shock value, it's about drama and selling. That is what the news is all about. It's about drama, and the negativity and like, getting you hooked into to, to tuning into these, like all these dramatic events that are happening around us. And it's one that we all we
already as human beings have like a cognitive bias towards remembering our negative events. And when we're fueling our mind with all these negative images, we're just going to go crazy. And we're going to get roped into this cycle of like, continually tuning in, and paying attention to only negative things in our life. And it really is going to take your perspective on the way things are, you know, just on that point. What we don't realize about TV is that whatever is it whatever is aired, is chosen by someone out there in a top hat I imagine to be portrayed to you. TV does not tell both sides. It shows one side it's there to sell it there to sell you a message and that one sided
opinion that's shown to you it's skewed, it's twisted to illustrate a certain dramatic message. So news, for example, a news channel decides to focus on a shooting that happened in some place in the world. Why did they choose this topic? Why not something else
Why'd they pick this particular piece of information about the incident report? Why have they shot the scene in that particular angle? Why do they have? What do they hope in achieving, by telling people about this incident in such a dramatic way?
It's all in the question peeps. Another really important part about like, TV's influence on us is, is that it reduces your reality in numbs your mind, you live through other people, your happiness depends on their happiness, which is so incredible, when you think about it, you know, when you watch a TV show,
and you know, the characters are happy or like, you see something like some celebrities gone through like some like happy event, and you feel happy. And like some celebrities, like we, I don't know that they committed suicide or something like that, you feel so depressed, like, you You're, you're like cognitive constructs, and how you thinking how you think about the world is being molded by what's portrayed to you, which is just really scary. It's just really scary how it has to do control over your brain, you don't feel and just and just the continuation of the point that it reduces your reality is that when you watch excessive amounts of TV, you don't feel the drive of motivation in
your own life as strongly, because you're living through other people. You're not coming in contact with the real life, you're not creating true success for yourself, you know, meeting meeting new people becoming richer and your social connections, wealth, understanding of the world through travel, or whatever it is. Additionally, feelings of inadequacy start to start to manifest themselves. Life is never going to be like a TV show. And it's, it's really hard to come in Come, come and grasp this concept. Because, you know, we're constantly being fed these images of like the perfect life or this product that could you know, can take 10 years of aging off your skin and
things like that. It's just, that's just not how the world is.
And this can make people really delusional. When it comes, when it when it comes to them portraying daylight when it comes to them, comparing their life, their real life, with what's being shown to them, the messages within television imply on regular on a regular basis that we're not pretty smart, funny enough, wealthy enough, or whatever our lives can feel quite empty when we compared when we compare it to the profession that we see on TV. Some other points, TV makes you lazy. So just some quick calculations here. And when I did these, I just really shocked me. So Panama. So for example, I watch about three to three and a half hours of TV a day. So roughly it's like about,
say, watching two shows, and maybe like a show like an hour and a bit ish or something. So that's three and a half hours a day, which equals a total of 1,277.5 hours in a year. You know how many days that is? That 1277 hours a year equals 53.2 days, which is almost two whole months. Oh my god. So just watching three and a half hours of TV a day equals two months of your life in that year. That is just oh man that's just messing with my head right now. And it's just so easy to stay like plugged into TV, you might get home from work and decide, you know, I've just had such an exhausting day, I'm just buggered and just flipped out on the couch, you're tired, you're weary, you don't want
to do anything strenuous you flick on the TV, you end you end in your mind, you're like, I just want to unwind or something like that. So you plug in and you keep doing this and you fall into the habit. And it makes it really hard to snap out of it. And you're watching three to four hours of TV after you get home. And that's equating to two months of your life in the long run. And even when you do start to like, you know, you recognize this problem within yourself that you're watching maybe a little bit too much TV, you might decide to start a different project like I don't know, you might, for example, start to exercise. And you find it really difficult to continue you know
exercising because in comparison to watching TV exercises, like super hot and watching TV is like, well, you just sitting there and your your eyes just have to be open.
And it's really hard and you start to face resistance and you're like, Oh, this is so hard. I've just be watching TV and chilling right now. And UAC that you could have put put into use to improve yourself to find some other reasons what that we should keep in mind about TV, and possibly what's going on in the background while we're sitting down to observe is advertising. TV is just so rampant with it. shows are literally set up to accommodate advertising and little ads and stuff like that. So for example
You're constantly watching TV. These subtle messages are from advertising and nurturing these really shallow consumerist, you know, mind numbing group things within you and you start, you start thinking like the masses, which is, frankly, it's just so limiting, you got to start thinking about, you know, money fame, you're going to, you're going to start to expect easy results with minimum minimum effort, which is all part of like thinking like the masses, you're gonna adopt this. I like to call it the magic pill thinking. And what I mean by magic pill thinking,
which is something that you get from a lot of advertising, stuff like that, it means that you expect everything to bow down to a magic pill, that a one stop pill can solve all your problems, or some or similar concept like that. Or Oh, like, for example, you might say to yourself, oh, if I buy this pill that can cure my laziness, tighten my tummy, give me great biceps, plastic, and make your hair luxurious, and fix your marriage. That kind of thing. And it's really easy to slip into this kind of thinking when we're constantly bombarded with advertising. That happens through TV. And it just makes it so hard to go on and do something amazing with your life. And because doing extraordinary,
extraordinary things going against the method matters. Because if you really do want to live an extraordinary life, you can't be thinking like the masses, the masses, which you know, they can tend to just live mediocre lives, lives of waste. And you can't live like a meaningful life, where you're just wasting like hours upon hours of your time in front of a screen, which is something that really shocked me, when I did the calculation of the hours of how many like how much time I was actually spending in front of a screen.
TV is distracting you from your life purpose. This is just so important. You can't do amazing things. And this is just leading on with our previous point on the magic pill kind of thinking.
You can't do amazing things with your life, when you assume the same old stuff that everyone else is doing. sitting in front of a screen, you need to choose. Do you want to get in touch with the Why? Why Allah subhanaw taala put you on this earth at this point in the history of time? Or do you want to live your life through others portrayed through a screen?
I don't think so. And I know I realize I'm being I'm being a bit harsh. Yeah. And the reason is that I'm just super passionate about this topic. I struggle with it a lot. And I know that a lot of our listeners out there, and yourself, you might struggle with it a lot as well. TV sucks away your life purpose.
Okay, so I've been talking a lot about TV. And I think I need to clarify what I mean by TV. So by TV, I mean, I mean, like TV news, those reality shows stuff like that, that you find on like normal, free to air, satellite, all those kind of cable subscriptions, these are danger foxtel and stuff like that. This stuff definitely need definitely needs to be cut out. Because it's just a constant stream, it's always available. And it's very easy to just sit there for hours, five hours, six hours. And the entertainment just keeps going. There's no end subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, stuff like that. This kind of stuff is like the cable packages that I mentioned earlier.
Or whatever the provider may be, it's so easy to lose hours and hours there because the amount of content is available is limitless. I mean, you just finish one show and you know, the next episode pops up or the another show suggested to you and it just keeps going and going. So it's very similar to like cable as cable packages or satellite or whatever. Those kind of TV needs to be caught DVDs or blu rays or something like that. With these ones. I don't think this is as as damaging as like the satellite and cable and those reality shows and stuff like that. Like if there's a beginning and an end. And in some kind of like educational DVD or something. That kind of stuff is okay. Okay,
let's talk about YouTube. And there's other streaming video platforms that are out there. And I take this point, as well as many of the other points that I made in this podcast from the girl from actualised. org. And I'll link it in the show notes. And he has this video on how to stop watching TV, which is just fantastic. So just check it out. So on YouTube,
YouTube is kind of like the subscriptions like Netflix and stuff like that. There's endless amounts of content. So what is what I suggest with YouTube and this kind of video streaming would be this home video streaming platforms. You think you only watch educational stuff. There are just so many and let's be frank here. There's just so many stupid videos out there on YouTube, like a three minute long video of dog just chasing its tail and it's got like 3 million views.
Like what my mind is blown right now. The reason why these videos is so simple
Popular is that it's just low level mind numbing stuff, it's so easy to tune into it, you don't have to do anything with your brain. There's no like hard processing involved there. And that's why these videos are so catchy and so popular and stuff like that. It's just, it's just really low level mind numbing stuff and you're not there. It's really just a waste of time. So just, if you're on YouTube, and like these video streaming platforms, what I suggest is that your focus should not be on it should not be an entertainment factor. It should be on educational factor. And I think that's kind of
the best way to kind of manage your time on YouTube. All right, so I've said a lot about the negatives of TV and why you should stop it and cut it out of your life. So now I'm going to be giving you seven steps to help you cut TV out of your life. Step number one, get a reality check and do the math. How much TV are you actually watching? Are you like the average person who watches about three and a half hours of TV a day, it could be that you're actually wasting two months of your life. And after I did the math, and I was like two months, oh my god, it really freaked me out. So do the math and have a bit of a reality check and see how much time you're actually wasting. This
is going to really motivate you to think about the possibilities that could come from you cutting out TV from your life. So get me out, get a reality check and do the math. How much are you watching? Step number two, discover the reason why you're watching so much TV. Now, like anything that we do. In life, there's a purpose behind it. And go reason for why you watching TV has a purpose as well. For some people, it's the testers for their work, and they just want to unwind for other people, they you know, they finish all of their work, they just, they just want to fill in some time. For others TV might be might be the source of education, they feel like you know, they
learn stuff when they watch TV. TV is calming and soothing, you know, helps you relax, or for others might be a means of procrastinating, you might have an assignment G or something like that. And you're you find yourself watching like episode after episode after episode of some TV show. And it's there as a, it's there as a procrastination fuel for you. So whatever it is, figure out your reason for why you're watching so much TV, see what kind of purpose it's serving your life. Step number three, acknowledge that cutting TV is going to be hot. Now, if you had this habit of watching TV for many, many years, it's hard to break, it's hard to break old habits, stopping your TV habit is going
to be really hard, you're going to face a lot of resistance, especially when you go on to do other activities. Within the time that you normally watch TV, you're going to face a lot of like pool, you got in your mind, you're gonna be thinking oh my god, I could just be watching like the latest episode of the boredom beautiful or something like that. And you can't stop watching TV without knowing the consequences. And the consequences are that it's going to be hard. So that's step number three, acknowledge that stopping TV is going to be hard, but it's worth it. Because you're going to hit so many hours of your life back. And you'll be able to be more productive and get more in touch
with your purpose and follow
some of the three, cut TV and cut your subscriptions. Cut your TV time, right now, if you got a subscription or like some kind of cable, cut it right now, don't wait till the end of the billing month, you're not going to remember, don't wait. Don't wait till like the end of the week, or don't wait for a Monday or something like that. Now you need to do it right now. Because if you don't, you're just your willpower is gonna flutter and you're not gonna, you're not gonna do it. So from today, stop TV. All right, you might be driving to work right now and listen to this podcast. Today, when you get home from work, we're not going to go straight for the couch, we're going to do
something else. And that leads me on to Step number five, have a replacement activity ready.
Now, when you cut TV out of your life, you need to have something dead that can take its place and take the tickets place and serve the same purpose of TV was as TV was serving. Like for example, if TV was there to help you educate, educate yourself, maybe you like like hearing about like people's lives and stuff like that. You need to find an alternative activity that serves a similar purpose. So for example, if you liked or if you like crime shows about like old, like, you know, history cases and stuff like that. replace that with like, say reading about it or doing some research on history and stuff like that. You can't, you can't substitute your TV time with something that
doesn't equate to its purpose. Like for example, if you cut TV, and you're like, Oh, I'm just going to like works, the more it doesn't work that way. If we're
Simple TV was your unwinding time, and you decide to instead of like unwinding, I'm going to just work some more you actually activity was actually serving a better purpose there. Because if you don't unwind, then you're eventually going to overwork yourself and burn out and then just go back to your old habits. So if TV was serving an unwinding purpose, what you need to do is find an activity that you find.
It might not be equally as unwinding and easy to do as TV. But it's kind of similar. For example, you might like swimming, or you might like going for a walk. But find an activity that can replace your TV time, it might not be easiest at first, but it will eventually become effortless. Reading audiobooks.
I like to watch educational YouTube videos, or even napping if TV helps you unwind. Maybe try and replace it with nothing, it is a super energy boost. It's good for brain stimulation and stuff like that. Other than napping, he do exercise that of like watching you know, other fit people on TV, you might like put on like a YouTube workout or something like that, and do some exercise. And you might find that relaxing, or you can do nothing at all and just ponder the world. You know, ponder on the creation of Allah. Spend time with your kids and or family. I mean, watch friends on TV, but we don't, we're not there with our friends.
kind of lame, but whatever. Step number six, commit to 30 days. So you've cut TV, you cut TV from your life, you cut your subscription or whatever, you found a replacement activity that you're going to put in place, instead of the TV time. Commit to 30 days now, not 30 days, it's not like some magic number. But most researchers would agree that this is about the this is roughly the amount of time that it takes to form a habit. So do at least 30 days just to see the fruits and the benefits of not watching so much TV, and after after. After you complete 30 days. If you like it, keep going if you if you don't see the benefits, it could be that your activity isn't serving the same purpose
as TV was. So you might want to change up your activity. And step number seven, be persistent. You might flutter you might go back to watching TV within your 30 days. It's okay, it's hard to cut out old habits. What you need to focus on is just keep, keep going. Just keep going. And I promise you that the benefits are there. And if and then many.
Instead of like, instead of that time that you usually watch TV, you could start a project that you've been wanting to do for ages, you could learn that new language that you've been dying to learn or something like that. You could go and like I don't know, work on a demo project and earn and reap rewards on judgment day or something like that. It's just limitless. And the gifts of time is truly precious. And each and every one of us should strive to utilize it to the best of our abilities inshallah. So they were the seven steps that had to help you cut TV out of your life. And just to recap, step number one, get a reality check and do the math. Step number two, discover the
reason why you're watching so much TV. Step number three, acknowledge that it's going to be hard. Step number four, cut your TV and subscriptions right now. Step number five, have a replacement activity. Step number six, commit to 30 days. And step number seven, be persistent. Alright, so that's all I've got on how to cut TV out of your life. I hope that you've been benefited from this show and inshallah learn something new. If you have enjoyed the show. Please share it with your family, friends, family and friends on your social networks or just tweet at us at Twitter handle is m life hackers. And we'd love to hear from you guys and what you thought about the show and your
comments and stuff like that. Alright, so that's all I've got on cutting TV out. As usual, you can find all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode in our show notes at Muslim life hackers.com forward slash 42 and it's the number 42 Alright guys, until next time, aim high take action and be awesome.