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OMPM: Television & Blogging March 14, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
42 comments

Brian-with-coffee-and-newspaperIt’s been a long time since I wrote an OMPM: One Mistake People Make post.

Two posts I read yesterday spurred me to write this one.

(1) Maggie’s post ~ Land of the Free, Home of the Ignorant?

Maggie’s review of Susan Jacoby’s book, The Age of American Unreason, included Jacoby’s unreasoned opinion on blogging:

Blogs “spew forth, in largely unedited form, the crude observations of people who are unable to express themselves coherently in writing…”

Jacoby might be right . . . about some of the blogs some of the time.

Streetlight

But that doesn’t mean that we should make Jacoby’s mistake and lump all blogs together before dumping them into a single “waste” basket.

When blogs “spew forth, in largely unedited form, the crude observations of people who are unable to express themselves coherently in writing,” the solution is simple:

Stop following those blogs.

(2) Eric’s post ~ Wasting, Existing, or Thriving

Eric’s post has much to commend it, but his admonition about television lumps a panoply of education and entertainment into a very small “waste” basket:

4.  And this one might get me in trouble… Turn off the TV. How many hours do you waste (see, we’ve come full circle to waste) in front of that screen? Lessen your attraction (addiction?) to it and find other things to do, things that will stretch or challenge you. Consider actions that will nourish your thriving.

Snoopy5

Whether watching TV is a “waste of time” depends on the viewer.  Engaging in any activity in a mindless way can be a waste of time ~ whether that’s blogging, listening to a podcast, watching TV, or reading a book.  

It’s NOT the activity but the attention we bring to it that matters.

Snoopy5Television brings nature, history, science, discovery, travel, cooking, drama, medicine, space exploration, and comedy directly into our living rooms.  

Most of us could never hope to experience all of that on our own even if Oprah agreed to finance our endeavors and we didn’t mind increasing our carbon footprint.

Snoopy5Watching thought-provoking shows (and reading inspiring blogs) allows us to expand our minds and experience life through the eyes of others.

Of course, there’s also a lot of “empty fodder” out there. It’s up to us to pick and choose where to place our attention.  See #1 on Eric’s List. 

Snoopy5We control the remote and can change channels from mind-numbing to mind-expanding fare.

When we are actively engaged and enjoying ourselves (even if we are “only” chopping wood or carrying water or cooking dinner or watching TV or reading a blog), we are not wasting time ~ we are living in the now.

Snoopy5When we are mindful as we read, write, sing, dance, and observe life (in real time or on TV), we are in a better position to:

* weigh possibilities and make wiser choices
* reclaim the reins and honor our priorities
* enhance what we get out of every experience

By way of example, watching a short clip like this might help us plan a fun, exciting, and educational summer get-a-way for the whole family:

When we remain awake and aware, we find we have not wasted our time.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Addendum:  David at Raptitude shared 15 Powerful Side Benefits of Living in the Moment.  On TV viewing, he has this to say:

11. You become less attracted to passive entertainment like TV.

One of the big draws of television is that it’s an effective way of giving you a break from your thoughts at the end of the day. A mindfulness habit gives you frequent breaks from your thoughts throughout the day, and so you no longer need TV as a therapeutic device. You’re already “unwound” by the time you get there. It can still be entertaining, but your standards for what to watch will rise.

Exactly!

Related posts:  75 Waggish Ways to Waste Time * OMPM ~ Overkill *  OMPM ~ Hanging on to Anger * Blogging: A Waggish Waste of Time? * Spring Break?  Travel Blogs Help You Pack Your Bags (WP News)