The Media is a Waste of Time

TV, anyone?

TV, anyone?

Unless you are in the business of informational services and need to be updated on pointless contemporary events, you should absolutely avoid all mainstream media.

As a rule of thumb you shouldn’t be reading newspapers or magazines, watch television or download 100 TV-series or movies to watch on your computer.

That time is much better spent reading books about things that actually teach you stuff that can be both useful and interesting.

It can be somewhat hard to know what books to read at first when you are not in the habit of doing so.

If you are interested in business then I would recommend reading books from the list of The Personal MBA.

If you don’t mind reading off your computer or perhaps your ipad, then you can download virtually any book through epub/mobi format, or as ebooks to read in PDF-format. There used to be a torrent with over 500 great books of different sorts, mostly metaphysical and spiritual type books. Unfortunately I can’t find it anymore, but if you search for it perhaps you will find it.

Stephen King on Television

stephen king

Once weaned from the ephemeral craving for TV, most people will find they enjoy the time they spend reading. I’d like to suggest that turning off that endlessly quacking box is apt to improve the quality of your life as well as the quality of your writing. And how much of a sacrifice are we talking about here? How many Frasier and ER reruns does it take to make one American life complete? How many Richard Simmons infomercials? How many whiteboy/fatboy Beltway insiders on CNN? Oh man, don’t get me started. Jerry-Springer-Dr.-Dre-Judge-Judy-Jerry-Falwell-Donny-and-Marie, I rest my case-

–Stephen King, On Writing

King is on point.

How is TV going to complete you?

It will only serve as a distraction to keep you in a passive, zombie-like state, and keep you from finding out and going after what matters to you..

Television is screwing up your perception of reality.

You want it to be real, but it’s not. Stop clinging to the convincing illusion of cool TV-shows.

You want to live the entourage life-style, except you can’t, because it’s made up.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a quality film or TV-show once in a while, but it has to be only once in a while. It can’t become a habit. It’s supposed to be a very thin icing on your proverbial time-cake.

Colin Powell on Television

colin powell

We had entered an age where TV images formed perceptions, and these perceptions eclipsed reality. I was going to see this distorting phenomenon increasingly at work in our foreign policy deliberation.

These were Powell’s thoughts during an event in which he and colleague George Schultz thought they were the targets of admiration to a group of Japanese tourists in Helsinki, however they had no interest whatsoever in either Powell or Schultz. They wanted to take pictures and get autographs from Charles Redman, the national spokesperson at the time. He was the one they’d seen on TV.

Why Media is Either a Waste of Your Time – or Possible Harmful to You

The only media you should allow yourself to be exposed to are the ones that you believe will impact you positively and teach you things that you find really interesting and fun – or important in context to your goals.

Anything else should be thrown out the window and treated for what it is – a distraction and waste of your precious time.

Media only serves to keep your mind off of what matters in the world. There is no better example of populous control and propaganda to my knowledge than that of American mainstream television.

Someone wise once said that if you want to keep something a secret from the people, put it in a book. That is just as true as ever. How many people do you know that regularly read books?

Comic books don’t count.

I bet you know a lot of people who watch TV, read dumbed down sports or fashion magazines though – and they can tell you all about who scored the last goal in that recent soccer game, or who that new mass murderer in God-knows-where is – or about what Obama and his wife were doing last night.

Do YOU know what Obama & his wife did last night!?

Do YOU know what Obama & his wife did last night!?

The media only detracts from the big picture by making you focused on small-time bullshit that you deep down don’t care about, but think you do.

By paying attention to these “new”, “original” and “important” stories you fail to notice when the big players pull the rug from under your feet.

This time could be spent on something actually useful and meaningful – such as doing an activity that you are passionate about and enjoy doing, getting in touch with yourself and figuring out what is important to you and what you want out of life, or perfecting your craft.

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  1. Hey. I agree with all that you said, but I would like to add that social media like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, does the exact same. They can be useful, but can contaminate your mind with shit, doing more or less the same effect as TV. Maybe worse, I think it is way more addicting.

  2. There’s a song from Tool, ‘Vicarious’, which is about people being addicted to TV and watching other people’s tragedies.

  3. “we do this by consciously exercising the mind like a muscle – every day”
    Yup, that’s so right. Since I started getting into the personal development track, I’ve started noticing how different my approach to life in general is. Because I constantly train my mind, I can become aware of for example negative thoughts, and choose not to identify with them. It’s rather amazing.

  4. Great post. I like your blog.

    • Thanks.

      I checked out your blog as well, seems very similar to mine :)

      Very nice layout I might add.

      • Yea, we have pretty similar blogs it seems! I read your article about short-term vs long-term stimuli. It’s kind of a longer and more detailed version of the “gratification”-section in my Habit: the Road to Success article ( Pretty cool :)

        Thank you for the layout compliment as well. I like yours too, but I think you should change the color or font of the header text; it is pretty hard to read against the background.

        And lastly, a little more about this article: You are indeed correct about media being a total waste of time. But not only is it a waste of time, but also a waste of energy. If you’ve read any Eckhart Tolle books, you know what the “pain-body” is. Media is a way for the pain-body to feed on negative emotions and grow stronger.

        I see no point in reading or watching the mainstream news. Even though a robbery or murder has happened in my city, there is nothing I can do to affect it, so why should I be concerned about it?

        I almost completely stopped interfering with media, and I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything really. I’d rather read a real book :)

        • Thanks a lot for the feedback, I really appreciate it and will do something about it soon.I haven’t put that much time into the layout, but I will eventually.

          I have indeed read and watched quite a bit of Eckhart Tolle.

          I don’t really like his terminology of the “pain-body”, but I definitely agree with what you are saying – it is pointless to focus on the things that we cannot control.

          We should strive toward teaching the mind to let go of that which does not matter or that which is not under our direct control, and we do this by consciously exercising the mind like a muscle – every day. It’s a tough process, but I’m noticing a lot of difference in my life and my overall peace of mind.

          Every day it piques my interest, or rather, surprises me how much people care about unimportant and pointless stuff or discuss recent events that have happened somewhere that will never have any impact on their lives.

  5. Ludvigc,

    I think a way to restate your premise is that most media is developed to entertain rather than inform people. If we are going to be good citizens and successful in our careers, we must keep abreast of the issues of the day. But Taylor Swift’s latest boyfriend is not an “issue of the day,” except for Miss Swift and her close associates.

    The media is the opiate of the masses, and it can create such distractions that people miss opportunities while wondering why they cannot find them. The challenge is to find ways to interact with media on one’s own terms, filtering out the noise but not so much that one becomes myopic.

    • Thank you for the great comment!

      I agree with you to a certain extent – however I am set on living a lifestyle focused on efficiency, creativity, and minimalism. In my perspective, media of most sorts is a severe addiction to most people. I am most definitely an information junkie myself, but I make sure I get it from quality sources. I pretty much only read interesting books as an outlet for getting my information.

      For some people it is an essential part of their work to stay on top of current news, whether that be financial news or otherwise. For other people they are genuinly interested in reading the news and scanning the media for all sort of the latest news. But in my perspective the majority of people are just shallowly hooked on worthless information that in no way will bring them closer to realizing any of their dreams. Thus it is a waste of time.

      • Ludvig,

        I agree with this too. People (including most people in my social network) use this as conversational starters or stuff as well. It can perhaps work well as a way to find a topic to connect on in conversation, especially when speaking to strangers or meeting new people in social events – “Did you see that new goal by Messi blahblah..”.

        I am on the same page as you are though, to me it seems mostly like a way to hide/shield one’s true personality out of a fear to discuss and find people that also are passionate about the things that you love in life.

        I doubt many people areTRULY passionate about watching a sport or cheering on a team, that is more of a casual or entertaining distraction in their busy lives that they use to pass time. Except in the case of hooligans of course, hehe.

        What do you think?

        • Hey, Mark.

          Thanks for the comment!

          I think you may be onto something. It is definitely a social crutch, and when doing business it can actually translate to social value and be a good commonality to connect over. Especially soccer, great example.

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