What Giving Up TV and Video Games for 7 years, taught me.

     The year is 2011, I’m twenty-five years old and I am absolutely sick and tired of media and consuming it. Every other movie is a remake, every other video game is a sequel or update and television is filled with even worse television than some of the stuff I imbibed as a child growing up in the 1990’s. What is a person to do when you’re bored with the same claptrap day in, day out, year after year? You give it all up and see what happens.

     First, lets put it all out there so that we know what led into this, since it wasn’t just waking up one day and quitting. The last video game I chose to play was Modern Warfare 2, I bought a used copy of Skyrim in 2013 and beta tested The Elder Scrolls online. Before Modern Warfare 2, I had bought was MLB 2k6 in 2007, when I was 21. I finished Elder Scrolls 4 in 2011, five years after it was released, one winter, whilst having a few beers. I rented Ghostbusters: The Video Game and loved it! Gears of War was also the last series I found intriguing.

     These are all major gaps in my video game history, as an adult. So already, as I was getting older, I was moving away from video games as they were just a waste of time, constantly the same thing they yielded nothing in return. Basically, video games were a slightly healthier version of cigarettes.

     Next came television, which started at about 20. I never watched much past 18 and when I did, it was Monday Night Raw or Smackdown as well as the news. I watched the first season of Lost in 2004 and said screw this, it wasn’t good enough to keep me watching. Part of that was the poorly done, lack of tying up loose ends at the end of the season. I tried the first season of The Walking Dead and said the same thing, for similar reasons. I did find myself enjoying How I Met your Mother, but little else that I hadn’t already liked as a child or teenager.

     Movies, the last one I saw prior to Star Wars The Force Awakens was the remake of A Nightmare on Elm St , before that, The Dark Knight, Toy Story 1 and 2 3D and Friday the 13th remake, Clerks 2, Superman Returns preceded by Revenge of the Sith.

     As you can see, my desire to consume media was waning and the older I got, the more it thinned out into a watery clearness, like a glass of wine. So it wasn’t like I just got sick and tired one day, it was a long journey and the build up to freedom.

     First thing, I went back to writing a lot more like when I was a child and teenager. I quadrupled my book buys and had a lot more to discover new enjoyment. I exercised, gain weight, lost weight, gained again and lost again, and will lose weight one more time. I rode my bike again, something I hadn’t been able to do since I was a child, since we lived in areas were doing so was tough. I ended up giving my bike to a homeless man, who needed it to get to and from work and he thanked me with a hug. I brushed up my skills on middle school Spanish and learned German as well. I’m currently planning to learn three more at the very least, plus sign language. I finished multiple novels and Pre-Crime, as well as starting Bestinyourgirl.com, along with exercising my right to dissent against local politicians and making their lives an outright living hell, for their ineptitude.

     I accidentally started smoking in 2011 around the same time and actually drinking, but those are going to be easy to extirpate from my life. Well, maybe not booze entirely, but cigarettes, absolutely. Life has been really, really good in what I have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, within the last seven years.

     I have since decided to give some entertainment a try, after a long time away, but I don’t miss it and I am very selective on what I am willing to waste my time on. I rarely watch Netflix, but will visit the movies, I play some games from my youth, but could see myself adopting Virtual Reality games when they get more honed and I don’t think I will bother much with traditional television ever again.

     I think the journey was one of the more interesting undertakings I have ever done and would do so again in a heartbeat. You can learn so much more about yourself and I always favored a more active style in what I do as opposed to passively sitting there watching one more crap movie, one more crap show, play one more crap video game just to not even have the energy to review it, because it sucked your soul out, like a dementor at Hogwarts.

     I’m not saying what I did was right for everyone, but if you’re so inclined to give it a go, I would highly recommend it, as I think you’ll find so much more pleasure away from the mindless monotony of zombified entertainment.

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