My wife and I decided to give up Netflix for Lent this year. We're not far along in our carrying out of this Christian tradition that entails relinquishing one's hold on something they enjoy during the 40 day leading up to Easter for the purposes of reflection growth (spirtual, intellectual, physical, and soon), but I'm already feeling the effects — good and bad. Season 3 of House of Cards just appeared in full on Netflix last week, but of course, I can't ditch out on the commitment I've made to avoid our television. Though I'll be honest... I have definitely considered it.
And yet, this television detox has also been noticeably positive despite my yearnings to see what happens to my favourite stories and plots; not just in the sense that we now have more time to spend time engaged with each other as compared to zonked out beside each other watching endless episodes of Dr. House be mean to (and diagnose) people, I also feel better. Like, happier. More at peace. Less dissatisfied with aspects life that would have previously produced angst inside me.
Whether it's because I'm being less exposed to media that presents certain ways of being in and thinking about the world that aren't always helpful, fulfilling, or proactive, because I now have to find other, probably better, ways to spend my free time (i.e. reading more, writing more, exercising, buying and selling music gear, hanging out with my wife and cat, etcetera), or a combination of both, the giving up of this engrained aspect of my current life has produced great results.
To me, it's a reminder that all of us need to stop every one in a while and look critically at the routines and habits we've built in our lives; think about whether they're helping or hurting us and then act accordingly.
Of course, House of Cards is going on right at after Easter, but I'm still going to approach my Netflix consumption with caution.
What about you?
How might your life benefit by changing or tweaking your habits and routines?