43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Tips from the Wiki for watching less TV

Watch less TV - 43FoldersWiki

There's a good, evolving page on the Wiki with tips for Watching Less TV. Some of the most immediately useful advice comes in the "Dealing with channel surfing" section:

It can be guaranteed that if you give up channel surfing, you will watch less TV. * Never just turn on the TV and watch whatever is on. * Only ever turn it on if you have first looked at the TV Guide and specifically decided to watch a particular program. * When that program is over, turn the TV off. If your TV has sleep timer, set it for the length of the program. * If you still want to watch TV, consult the Guide again and choose a specific program. * If nothing grabs you, go do something else.

I used to smugly think TiVo was my salvation, but I now realize how often I'm sitting through yet another C.S.I. or King of the Hill--shows I love, but that I have seen a half-dozen times and now just treat like a constantly-replenished bowl of video M&Ms.

Seems like the distinction in quality is subtle when any activity becomes rote; casual media consumption that's becomes automatic or compulsive could probably use a bit of reflection and possibly pruning.

Andrew White's picture

I'm currently trying to tweak...

I'm currently trying to tweak my TV experience as well. Two things I'm doing:

Using Freeguide to bookmark favourite shows, and only view sets of channels that have good content, like History, Discovery, Space, and the local Toronto channels like Rogers and City or TV Ontario.

Messing about with The Pirate Bay's RSS feeds and Azureus to grab shows I want to watch via BitTorrent. (BTW, I'm talking about current episodes here, not snagging DVDs of shows or anything). I might muck about with iTunes, because I'm actually willing to pay for this, but until TiVo comes to Canada my only recourse is BT. I watch on my PPC and Gameboy (with Movie Player), and will hopefully be modding my XBox soon so I can watch on our solid home theatre set up.

This allows me to be more selective and deliberate about what I watch. Problem is, though, my big problem is coming home and throwing on the TV while I cook, or getting sucked in while my wife is cooking and watching TV. Haven't figured out a way around that yet.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »