Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I am giving up television and netflix for the next three months

Hello, hi. My name is Mollie, and I am a recovering netflix addict. You may not know that I like to watch television since I am on the road to becoming a librarian and because I am a blogger (because let's face it, everyone knows bloggers hate TV, right?) well, now you know my secret. 

It's not so much that watching TV is bad, in fact, I don't see anything wrong with keeping up with a fun show every now and then, or informing yourself with local news, whatever it may be. But friends, I will tell you honestly: I cannot limit my time with TV successfully, or manage my time well when I fit  netflix into my schedule. No matter how many times I say to myself, "just one episode" or "I'll clean later" or even "I just need a little break from everything" I always end up feeling unproductive, lonely, lazy, or depressed that I spent my day on something that I thought would make me happy. But the entertainment is temporary, and at the end of it all, I'm going to bed with a stack full of dishes, that book I haven't read sitting on the table, my dog staring at me with sad puppy eyes because I didn't walk her, and trust me, you can fill in the ______. I am not at all suggesting that everyone should take up this challenge of mine, but I do want to explain why I am giving up television and netflix for the next 3 months - in hopes that you might be encouraged or inspired to stop some of your bad habits, and also for accountability for myself!

1. For my own sanity and pursuit of all things joyful, I need to be creating. 
We are made in God's own image, and we are called to be like him. Of course our creator has made us into beings that enjoy creating! I know that when I take the time to let my mind and body create something - whether it be poetry, words, music, crafts, prayers, food, friendships, stories, etc. - I know that I am leaving space for delighting in creation, just as God the Father delights in me. Also, I am able to reflect on those little moments and processes, knowing that making something takes time and effort; it takes some level of aesthetic appreciation and understanding of beauty that causes us to stop and think. When I am sitting mindlessly in front of the tube, I'm not inspired to create; I am not able to sit in silence and listen to what is around me.

2. I need to invest in friendships, not fictitious friends on some show. 
Sometimes it's easy to live vicariously through characters. Book lovers, I'm talking to you too - but for me, it's definitely easier to detach myself from every day relationships that take work and vulnerability to grow and watch friendships grow in a witty, perfect and comic way. Also, if I decide to glue myself to the TV for a while, not only do I feel isolated from other responsibilities in my day, but I often neglect those responsibilities and therefore cannot go out with friends or be flexible/spontaneous with my time because I need to get those things done before xy&z. If I commit to ending my love affair with netflix, I am essentially freeing up my time to be with real people while also ideally creating an atmosphere that is encouraging timeliness.

3. Not trying to be efficient with my time can cause me to feel inadequate or depressed. 
This is definitely a side effect to having a wonderfully efficiency-driven and productive husband (love you, A). Let's be real here, the reclusive side of me wants to curl up in my bed with a bowl of icecream and watch a feel-good show to siphon off nervousness or anxiety. I am a type B person. I know how to put things off, and I generally back away slowly when it comes to that big scary word: organization. I don't know if I am the kind of person that just expects things will get done on their own, or if I'm truly in denial, but I will always rationalize when it comes to facing real responsibilities around the house or errands outside of the house, and when my favorite show is calling my name, I just can't say no. 

4. Going along with #3, not watching TV will prepare me for library school and the amount of work that follows. 
This is pretty self-explanatory, but I need to make sure between internships, school work, and my job, I am using my time wisely. I really can't trust myself with that netflix account, especially when things start to get difficult. I always think it will help, but for me, it just prolongs problems and contributes to procrastination. 

5. I believe it is healthier for me to quit watching TV. 
I am a bored snacker, and if I am not inside watching netflix, I am more likely to be out with my dog or riding my bike, working out, or preparing a meal that is healthier than frozen taquitos because I didn't have time to go to the store. 

5. My time with the Lord suffers because time and time again, I choose TV over His word and prayer with Him. 
Being in this big city without Aaron to motivate me is hard. I am prone to fall into self-pity, which usually ends up with me mindlessly seeking to escape loneliness or whatever it may be by turning on the remote. I am tired of bringing a heavy heart to the Lord for the same thing. I know that he is calling me to sacrifice more for Him in my daily life. And to think that TV is seriously a sacrifice to me is pretty disturbing, considering how blessed I am in this country and in this place. 

Anyway, this is my goal. I needed to put it out in writing in order to keep myself to it. This isn't a typical post, but I hope that it brings you encouragement and pushes you to rid your life of something that is destructive to you spiritually, physically, and mentally. God wants us to make war on sin! But also know, He is sufficient of all things, and no matter how many times we intend to "clean ourselves up" for Him, our best attempts are still filthy rags. Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace! It is a fine line, this "living to pursue righteousness and holiness" and knowing that we can never earn salvation or clean ourselves up. All the more reason to come to him with gratitude - that He chose to love us!


  1. "I can't help but wonder why we, as Christ professing young women so easily submit our minds and emotions to an industry that openly mocks the purity and righteousness of our Heavenly Prince."
    -Leslie Ludy

  2. Praying for you as you embark on this. The Lord called me to something similar--cancelled Netflix, blocked Hulu, etc., for 40 days. God will bless your obedience!!
    grace and peace, Susan


"Pleasant words are [like] honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24