How to stop watching TV
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- This topic has 43 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by observanteen.
November 12, 2013 6:15 am at 6:15 am #611255
Hello cr, im hoping you can give chizuk to me and many other people who are struggling with watching tv. Any inspirational stories on how you stopped watching shows? Any advice on how to stop? Cuz i just dont know how!
(btw i dont listen to non jewish music or read non jewish books, but giving up tv is way too hard at the moment!)November 12, 2013 7:01 am at 7:01 am #1006619Sam2Participant
Just find one Kosher show (does such a thing exist anymore?) and only watch that for a while. Then you can stop completely.November 12, 2013 7:07 am at 7:07 am #1006620Burnt SteakParticipant
First pick up the tv.
Next throw it on the ground.
repeat until broken.
Besides for sports there really isn’t anything good on tv anyways so you are not losing out on much.November 12, 2013 9:35 am at 9:35 am #1006621akupermaParticipant
1. Removing the power supply (as in unplugging) is most effective.
2. Disconnecting from the antenna (cable hookup, internet connection) works well, and leave open the option of using the hardware for other purposes.
3. It seems most frum people addicted to things, somehow manage to break their addictions on Shabbos and Yuntuf (which according to the professional psychologists isn’t possible if they are truely addicted).November 12, 2013 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #1006622yaakov doeParticipant
I gave up TV years ago after watching very little because there was so little worth watching. After a few days without it, you will no longer miss it.
You can watch thousands of great video shiurim and speeches on Torahcafe.com and Torahanytime.com. Some are serious learning, but others are infomative and even humourous. Rabbis Fischel Schachter, and Label Lam on Torahanytime are not to be missed, and Dr. Luchins, Prof. Sarna, and Nathan Lewin on Toracafe.com are captivating.
Give up the TV and expand your knowledge through these web sites.November 12, 2013 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #1006623
First of all, do it slow. It’s hard to give it up, been there done that. I found that before turning something on I would ask myself why am I watching this? If the answer was cuz I was bored I would turn of my computer (no physical TV in my house…) and do something more constructive. After I found myself only watching cuz I wanted to, and I actually had better things to do with my life I limited myself to only watch things I’ve watched previously. No new shows!!! And once I set myself to that, things just became easier and easier. One things I keep in mind now is something I heard from R’ Wallerstien. He says that if you struggle with something and don’t even try to work on it, in the not so distant future YOUR kids will wonder why THEY have such a hard time overcoming that particular nisayon. I remind myself all the time, do I want to be that selfish or do I want my kids to have an easier time than I did? Thinking back, since I’ve heard this speech I haven’t watched anything questionable since, and that was in August.
Whatever you do, good luck!!! It’s a long road but it makes such a difference in your quality of life.November 12, 2013 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #1006624keepitcomingMember
wow streekgeek couoldnt have said it better myself.. after school thats all i did..watch my favorite shows back to back and even somtimes in the morning before i got up.. i have 2 tvs in my house.
RisingSun613- u can do it! no more thats it! (thats what i did) u can give urself some leeway if your gonna crash and watch something clean that u saw already.. that way u wont feel like u failed but u didnt get back into it at the same time. this is a huge step and not an easy one kol hakavod hashem shud give you the strength and siyata dishmaya to let go of it and be metaher yourself. figure out why you watch tv- when your bored sad angry? get to the root of the problem and change that habit to somehting positive.November 12, 2013 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1006625keepitcomingMember
another point- when i stopped watching i was able to see the world in such a different light. i was able to grasp many more torah concepts it was amazing. i was able to be in reality and delt with my problems instead of trying to escape .November 12, 2013 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #1006626RedlegParticipant
Akuperma has a point. I gave up smoking 35 years ago but I was quite a heavy smoker (started in yeshiva. Didn’t we all?). The odd thing was that not smoking on Shabbos never bothered me. Just act like the day after Shabbos is still Shabbos and the day after that and the day after that. Worked for me.November 12, 2013 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1006627WIYMember
1. Do you discuss your favorite shows with friends?
2. Have you ever gone a week or longer without watching TV?December 15, 2013 4:31 am at 4:31 am #1006628
Just keeping you all posted. Its been about a month and i haven’t watched a single show!!!
Its a long journey but just daven that HaShem should help you along the way.
At first it was tough but it gets easier as you go along. if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
just letting you all know, ITS POSSIBLE!
Keep going strong! Tizku LeMitzvos!December 15, 2013 4:35 am at 4:35 am #1006629🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Great News!!! Keep it up!!!December 16, 2013 5:46 am at 5:46 am #1006630a maminParticipant
Rising sun:: kudos to you!!!! Kol hakovid!
May Hashem help you with all your challenges and may you always come out a winner!!December 16, 2013 6:21 am at 6:21 am #1006631HummingbirdParticipant
I stopped cold turkey & it’s been about 10.5 yrs. since & haven’t gone back to it. It’s probably one of the best things I did for myself. Besides, I don’t have it in my apt. anymore-I gave it back to my Parents.December 16, 2013 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #1006633
RisingSun613 – I am seriously so happy to hear that 🙂 Thanks for keeping us posted!!December 16, 2013 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #1006634charliehallParticipant
My then 22 year old television died in 2003 and I never bothered to replace it.December 16, 2013 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1006635
Dr. Hall: There’s a constructive use for laziness!December 16, 2013 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #1006636
rising sun and hummingbird: You have my admiration!December 16, 2013 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1006637miritchkaMember
Hummingbird: stopping cold turkey is my way too. Some people need to be weaned and its great that you were able to find a way that worked for you!
RisingSun613: thats great! May you continue to have the stregth to overcome..you are amazing! Keep it up!
charliehall: it’s great that you overcame the tayvah to buy a new one!
aishes chover: no matter how its done, if someone can overcome an obstacle, thats great!December 16, 2013 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1006638
miritchka: absolutely!December 16, 2013 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #1006639apushatayidParticipant
just turn it off. throwing it out would be better.December 18, 2013 1:32 am at 1:32 am #1006640
What helped me the most was the guilt. Before and after every show, i would constantly think about all the time i was wasting and the things i should be doing during that time.Knowing i would be judged for every second that passed.
More importantly, i would think about how it would affect my future (my seminary, who i marry, my kids…)December 18, 2013 2:01 am at 2:01 am #1006641
Rising sun- How inspirational! I stopped watching TV a while ago, before seminary. And In my house there is a huge flat screen tv. I dont even give it a second look Baruch Hashem. I take chizuk from your story though to know that other people over come such struggles! shkoyACH
Streekgeek- wow what you wrote was seriously inspirational! I never thought of my struggles that way 🙂 Thank you!December 18, 2013 2:21 am at 2:21 am #1006642
Wow. This is just in time. I am married have a good job and in general a healthy guy. I have a few shows that I watch and I simply cant kick the addiction. Bh they are pretty clean shows (I dont want to give ppl ideas but for those who know – BB – is really clean)and I am simply wastin hours of my time. I cant figure which is better to quit cold turkey or slowly like Sam2 mentioned and yes there are a few really clean ones. Any real suggestions and chizuk. Please none of that shabbos stuff…December 18, 2013 3:38 am at 3:38 am #1006643
newyawker- generally this is going to sound pretty obvious, but I’m gonna say it anyways. Most of the time when people do something they don’t want to, they are not understanding fully why they shouldnt be doing something. Even if they are clean shows, if you find it porblematic, start up a new hobby. Talk to you wife more, take her for walks and cute trips to town. Leanr more Torah. Learn with a friend or on the phone like Ooorah. Do some chessed. Fill the time you would spend watching meaningless shows and fill them with real time meaningful experiances that will last a lifetime. (and not to mention build up bonus points with Hakodosh Boruch Hu!) Hatzlacha! I did it too, but for me I came from being immersed in it and took me my whole life to realize what a waste of time it was.
Well said – 29December 18, 2013 4:44 am at 4:44 am #1006644
Just to clarify, I technically didn’t stop right away. These are just some of the things I did BEFORE I started this post. A couple weeks after, I said I had enough and went cold turkey.
newyawker (or for anyone really)- I suggest you take small steps at first then go cold turkey. For example, pick one day a week that you won’t watch any shows and on that day, find something more constructive to do with your time, like learning, family time, errands… (for me it was Wednesday, my BY chesed day).
if that’s too hard then try something like watching only on a smaller screen to take away some of the chashivos…
Just remember that you are doing this in order to get closer to HaShem and it says in Shir HaShirim Rabbah (i think), “My children, create for Me a small opening of Teshuvah, as tiny as the head of a pin, and I will open for you openings that even wagons and chariots can pass through.”
Lastly, daven for HaShem’s help along the way. (most important)December 18, 2013 6:24 am at 6:24 am #1006645
OurTorah thanks for the chizuk. I actually just finished watching (since I last posted – 3 hours!) I missed maariv with a minyan and didnt learn my short seder and Im going to sleep late. The wife is sleeping since then-she wasnt feeling well.I usually watch when she makes an early night or is on phone or whatever..But I have to say that RisingSun613 – that is definitely a terrific idea – not to watch one night a week!
I actually promised myself that I wont go on Netflix this week but there is always a workaround – I found the shows on those pirate sites;(. bottom line its a sort of addiction and the same way i kicked smoking i will have to kick this too as it is starting to interfere too much…anyway just venting….thanks again for the idea, I think I will give it a try. If anybody has any other suggestions I am open to hearing them. ‘nighty nightDecember 18, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1006646
Thanks 29 :)!!!!!!! Best mod ever!
Yea id suggest you learn about three things then: learnabout the importance of tefillah (shock it might not only be gemora it might be from a more hashkafic perspective) learn about thr importance of learning everyday (sounds obvious right? But if you are missing yor seder you might need some reminders and strong ideas ti help motivate you s little more!) And learn about time and judaism (the ogher opportunities yoh have. cuz yhere are soooooooo many! I know all that sounds obvious so dontattack mr and sau u know it all cuz im sure you do. bit trust me ive been there. If you are doing an action you dont want to be doin and you are a God fearong yid, you gotta reteach and emphasize to yourself the importance of the action you are inoring or the cknsequences of the action you are doing!! You can fo this! Seriously the second you find yourself finding meaning in other things in your life youll stop 🙂December 18, 2013 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #1006647
OURtorah – Thanks! That is not to say I sometimes mess up cuz I do, we’re all human. But I always remind myself that I don’t want my kids to struggle with this like I did. It’s sort of like giving over your spiritual DNA to your kids – why would I want to plague them with problems if I could avoid it all with a little self control!! And as usual – I love your posts, so inspirational 🙂
newyawker – I hope you’ll find the strength to follow through on this! I’ll daven for you 🙂December 19, 2013 2:48 am at 2:48 am #1006648
streek my buddy!!! Nice to hear from you! Of course we all make mistakes, but I appreciate that Hashem gave you the zchus to hear such a beautiful vort and then you decided to share it with us and it really has helped me (and this is not even a post about my problems!!!) What a special person you are 🙂December 19, 2013 5:19 am at 5:19 am #1006649
thanx everyone for all the inspiration 🙂
For those of you who decide to do the once a week thing, keep in mind that you must be consistent with it. don’t just pick one random night every week or else u’ll keep pushing it off. stick to every tuesday, or wednesday etc… and keep that day 100% motion picture free (no shows/movies/youtube…no exceptions!) hope this helps!December 19, 2013 6:28 am at 6:28 am #1006650
RisingSun613 you have your head screwed on straight! Streek you da man thanx for thinking of me! Bh I finished the show and now I just have to hold back from starting another show which is infinitely easier than holding back from watching another episode. I tried thinking what it is thats so addictive. I think its just pure entertainment and it is fascinating. I’m not the type who will try to find something else to watch, like an interesting speaker (like someone suggested) bec as good as the frum speakers/entertainers are – a good show is a good show. If you want to stop bec its wrong then you gotta kick it and learn a great seder or do something constructive. But like I made up – next week Tuesday no tv! g’nightJanuary 15, 2014 2:00 am at 2:00 am #1006651
So three weeks later here is the deal: I had stopped watching cold turkey after my last post and did not watch anything, not even you tube videos for two weeks straight. Last week I binged right back and watched almost every night. This week as well. I feel like i am addicted to watching, which Im sure in a way I am. After a long day all I want to do is unwind by filling my head with someone else’s imagination (which is pathetic if you think about it). Granted, they were relatively clean, but fact is I wasted hours upon hours. Since Im more of an all or nothing person, I have to come up now with a good strategy…January 15, 2014 6:28 am at 6:28 am #1006652fkellyMember
Don’t forget that you didn’t for a few weeks! You should be proud of yourself for that.January 16, 2014 2:30 am at 2:30 am #1006654yaakov doeParticipant
Just put the TV by the curb and it’s gone forever.January 16, 2014 6:13 am at 6:13 am #1006655charliehallParticipant
I haven’t watched television in over a decade. While I was watching very little by the time I finally gave it up, what worked was that my then 22 year old television set wouldn’t turn on any more, and I didn’t bother to replace it.
I agree with the person who said to put your TV on the curb. A recovering alcoholic does not keep beer in the house!January 16, 2014 6:40 am at 6:40 am #1006656
fkelly has a point, you did stop for 2 weeks! that’s huge!
Here is something I have come to realize: even if you are slacking off now, you can always go back the next time your ready. cuz its gunna take time for you to get to the point where you have no desire to watch anything at all. (in which case, if you think about it, there’s really no such thing as going “cold turkey” or “all or nothing”) so even if you do stop cold turkey for 2 weeks and then completely start up again, that’s perfectly normal. Maybe the next time you stop, it will last for 3 weeks instead of 2.
this battle will last awhile. In all honesty, BEFORE i started this thread, the first time i stopped completely was only for 4 days, then the next time for 2 weeks, then for 3 months(but unfortunatly for that time i still watched youtube.) then i did one month were i watched shows but no youtube, (then i got frustrated with myself and started this thread…) -you see the pattern… point is: even if you fall, don’t let it discourage you. Remember “Sheva Yipol Tzadik V’kam”
and about the whole unwinding in someone else’s imagination, i completely get you! My solution: make yourself busy/ occupy yourself with other things- not necessarily chores, but other things you enjoy aswell. (and since your a man and have a chiyuv to learn, then learn more as well). However, I also get that alot of the time that might not work, so this might sound a little nerdy but sometimes dealing with your own life’s situations in different and creative ways will have the same effect as wondering in other people’s lives. (i hope i phrased that in a way that makes sense)
lastly, remember to Daven to HaShem that He should help you (and all of klal Yisroel for that matter) stop. cuz although, there are many personal benefits from cutting out tv, in essence you’re really doing this for HaShem.January 16, 2014 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm #1006657
newyawker- I dont belive in an addiction to anything except for the Torah and Hashem. everything you like outside your avodas Hashem is just a yetzer Hara trying to diverge you from your life plan. I don’t mean you job, playing with your kids, shopping etc. is C’V your yetzer hara. Those are all part of the beautiful life we are each given! But the things outside what you are really doing here (overindulging, watching tv, wasting time on the internet etc.)
Now That sounded harsh (and you know my posts r never harsh, so lemme explain)! From my understand, we each have a tafkid in this world. At certain points in our life we are given different challenges o overcome to make us a better person and continue building ourself, but we msut remeber we are constantly being challenged. So how do we look at the challenges, it can literally kill us (ex: you really think your addictied to TV! You just cant stop!. We must look at our challenges as brachas. this is how I attempt to make my way through everyday.
Perhaps right now, you could be doing something alot worse, but you are watching Tv instead. Perhaps you are not mentaly ready to make a step forward in your yiddishkeit and Hashem has given you the bracha of time to help comb your way through your personal needs to get there. Will you ever know, only Hashem knows! So it is your job to FIRST stop thinking its an addiction and stop thinking its a challenge. Its a bracha and with time you will realize it.
Once you recognize Hashem has blessed you with the bracha of time, please come back to us and ask us for the next step in abolishing what you consider “a waste of time”. your first step in moving forward with anything in life is recognizing hashem!!! HJatzlacha!January 17, 2014 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #1006658👑RebYidd23Participant
Read fairy tales. They are almost as stupid but less tempting.January 17, 2014 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #1006659fkellyMember
Ourtorah- you obviously don’t know anyone who had an addiction. People who are addicted to something can not just stop. It doesn’t work like that. And when they do they have withdrawal for weeks. And the craving is always there.January 19, 2014 8:08 am at 8:08 am #1006660typicalMember
personally i found that stopping cold turkey was the easiest. tv is like alcohol it doesnt work to just dring less or less often, need to just stop. and after a while you lose all teiva for it. one must also have a good support system. good luck!March 4, 2014 5:18 am at 5:18 am #1006661
Here’s a story worth mentioning: (please dont judge!), the past 2 days have been kinda ruff and today i said to myself that i’ve finally had enough. I just needed to clear my head and my yetzer hara got the best of me. I grabbed my laptop and was about to watch one of my old shows -I realllly didnt want to but couldn’t control myself, just as i was about to click play my eyes started tearing and i whispered 4 words: HaShem please help me! and then i clicked play. just them and there the screen went black and said “error occurred, try reloading”.
to some people the message may not seem so obvious, but to me the message is clear. i didn’t “try reloading”, like it had said because i knew this was a sign from HaShem. And right then and there i realized that HaShem watches us during every moment, and He is with us every step of the way, even during our hardest times. HaShem wants to help us and guide us! and He always listens to our every Tefillah, even the softest and shortest, during our lowest moments: HaShem please help!March 4, 2014 7:38 am at 7:38 am #1006663mazal77Participant
You can always, open a window, and take the TV and drop it outside. Just make sure, no one is in the way. Or if that is too messy, just take it outside and place it by the curb, it should be gone in the morning.March 4, 2014 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #1006664observanteenMember
RisingSun: Wow, that is so inspirational, thanks for sharing. May you continue shteiging. It’s so good to receive these little signs from Hashem, it shows that indeed, He does care and is proud of you, ?????.
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