Cut the Cord and Run

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cut the cord and run

I tossed my TV in the closet on April 1 and have not looked back. I live in a studio apartment and can see the damn thing from every angle. So even when it’s not turned on it takes up a significant amount of space and importance in the landscape of my home life. And it’s so easy at the end of a workday to unconsciously flip on the TV. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because I think it can be healthy to zone out sometimes. But it too often trumps other options like reading or listening to music or writing or even doing a little more work before bed, i.e. stuff that might actually enhance my brain and my life.

I needed a break, and in this case that meant limiting my access to TV so that I’d be forced to do other things. Just like with food, there are certain things I don’t buy because I know it will push me to eat healthier options by default. In general, I rarely buy chocolate or ice cream these days. I definitely eat way too much peanut butter, but I ain’t given that shit up for nobody. I also stopped buying crackers and chips (as often) because I’d seen way too many bags of baby carrots turn ashy in the fridge after sitting untouched for months. When I finally got sick of this game I stopped buying crackers and chips. Guess what happened. Yup, those bags of carrots are flying off the shelf. Funny how that works.

What I can say after 1-2 weeks of making TV less available is that I have been way more productive. I’ve been writing more, reading more, and getting more work done overall. Even from an aesthetic standpoint, my entire apartment feels lighter, like the TV was weighing not just on my productivity, but on the overall energy in my home. Which doesn’t mean I’m not still watching a few shows on my iPad. Cuz who could give up Billions,Shades of Blue, or RuPaul’s Drag Race?? But, it’s frankly just not quite as enjoyable to watch TV that way, which is exactly what I was banking on. That poor TV’s a goner.

Onward and upward!


John Kalinowski
John Kalinowski is a Redding native based in New York. He’s an NYU-Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Expert, Columnist, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Art-Lover, and Truth-Teller. You can connect with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or visit his website at
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9 Responses

  1. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    In the 1950s, TV came to Northern CA, Pinky Lee, Miss Francis and Howdy Doody shows were most quirky, yet nothing has topped those productions.  You could sit right in front of Pinky Lee and learn how to sing and dance and repeat his child-like incantations….it’s me, it’s me, my name is Pinky Lee !  But now the TV set brings on subliminal addictions, we find ourselves doing all kinds of weird things we don’t even know where they’re coming from, enters the subliminal.  I, about 6 months ago, marched into Charter office with their box and said, ‘Here, take it, and goodbye to your ever-rising rates and your addicting channels’.  Goodbye to Rachel, the Tree House carpenter and Runway…I am recovering quite rapidly. I gave in and purchased a small TV antenna and now occasionally watch 4 channels, with a few other sub-channels, but no monthly fee.  Freedom at last !

  2. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    I could give it all up . . . . right now . . . . . except Jeopardy!

    Okay, bet you’re all humming it:   Duh, dee, duh, dum, duh, dee, duh. . . .

  3. Avatar Barbara Stone says:

    I’m totally addicted to Jeopardy…everything else I could care less about…but I still watch several programs! “My name is Barbara and I’m a tv-holic…”

  4. Avatar KarenC says:

    My TV addictions are The Kitchen on Saturday mornings.  I record it and watch it later in the day when I am finished with my chores.  I love GZ, Katie, Sunny and that goofy Jeff.  I love the kitchen tool hacks, the fun recipes and interesting cocktails GZ makes.

    My second addiction is The Pioneer Women. I have watched it since her kids were tiny.  Now Alex is in her first year at Texas A & M.  I love the horses (because I rode with my cousins every Sunday when growing up) the dogs, cats and ranch life.  This one is on later in the afternoon when I am tired and want to relax with my wonderful, soft, furry dog relaxing next to me.  So, the TV will remain in my family room. Who can resist the local news, which gives you quick snippets of news and the weather every ten minutes!

    Who can resist the local news, which gives you quick snippets of news and the weather every ten minutes!   It has become the place to meet up with my hubby at the end of the day.  We catch up, lots of chatting and before we know it the news is ovoer!

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Now I’m feeling conflicted about buying a second TV for the exercise room.

    • Avatar EasternCounty says:

      I hit the treadmill twice a day, and, like Doni’s confession that she wouldn’t stick with her exercise regimen without the brow beating encouragement from Matthew, I know I would find lots of excuses not to work out if I didn’t have the television in the exercise room.  So stow your conflict; a television is just another piece of your exercise equipment.

  6. We dumped our satellite TV when we started playing music as a family — about 12 years ago. Never missed it. At all. We get a few channels with our antenna, but just about the only reason we turn the TV on is for….yep…Jeopardy.  Nice to know we’re not alone. 🙂

  7. Avatar Wilma says:

    With an antenna ( on the roof) you get all the major networks, pbs, and a few other channels. Beautiful picture as well. We got rid of a monthly service years ago and have never regretted it. I admit I would miss it to have no television.  Every situation is different. To each his own.

  8. Avatar Melanie says:

    The issue of cord cutting is something that those of us who work at TV stations are trying to manage and figure out. What will the future be for local stations when everyone is streaming individual shows? Also, if you are able to seek out individualized content does that mean that you will only hear one point of view (left or right) because that is what you are searching for online so all the suggestions for stories you may like fall into that vein? So then will we become even more polarized? Just things to think about. I am encouraged by the number of people who have commented though saying they have antennas because I still think there is value in local news and being able to watch something spontaneously and maybe discover something new.