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Learning Versus Watching TV As Entertainment

If you are a regular reader here, you know I’m against wasting time watching too much TV (especially reality TV).

In the defense of TV though, it’s a quick and easy for of entertainment.  In fact, I would go so far as to compare it to going through a Drive-Thru line at a fast food restaurant like McDonalds.  It hard to ignore when the prettiest actresses and most handsome actors are calling out “LOOK AT ME” on the TV screen…

If you can avoid the temptation of TV (hard as it may be, including for me), perhaps you could take up the task of learning something new for fun?  Not only can such endeavors be fun, they can also be financially frugal to boot!  Now I’m not saying go and buy a book on Calculus, or Latin (unless that’s what you enjoy).  What I’m talking about is any form of learning, whether it be learning to play the piano, hacky sack, or even juggling.

The key is to learn something that you didn’t know before that could give you enjoyment either knowing how to do or play it.  For instance, when I was in college, there was a bunch of us at my dorm that would go out in the courtyard or parking lot, form a circle and play hacky sack.  While this activity was simple to learn in concept, it took a week or two to develop the skill to be decent at it.  Many of us would always carry a hacky sack in our book-bag when we were on campus.  With hacky sack you can play it alone or with friends, it’s a great quick, physical, social game.

The same could be said with anything that could be learned,  Perhaps poems is your thing, such an activity could be done any time and if you didn’t have paper on hand, you could repeat it in your head until you pound it into something that you enjoyed.  If not poems, then perhaps jokes or analogies.

The benefit of such topics of learning is not only will they entertain you, but also make you smarter and help you keep your wits about you.

Now I’ve just scratched the surface, but for example of learning, consider my starter list:

  • Art – painting, sculpturing, writing, etc.
  • Learn a foreign language, or multiple languages
  • Learn geography, or other forms of knowledge.
  • Politics – This one is actually huge and everybody should consider learning this!
  • Law – If you know what other can and can not do to you, that is power.
  • Cars, computers, constructions, shooting and really anything that you don’t know.

What about me?  Blogging is the activity that I’m continually learning about….




And at this point, I would like to segue into the recent carnivals that I’ve been included in:

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Totally Money Blog Carnival at Stupid Cents
Carnival of Retirement at Passive Income to Retire
Yakezie Carnival at Watson Inc



11 Responses to Learning Versus Watching TV As Entertainment

  1. I don’t have enough time in my day to watch too much TV – I watch maybe an hour and a half a week – but when the boy watches TV he’s always watching the discovery channel which I guess teaches him something. My entertainment of choice is reading – which isn’t really learning but I have a theory it keeps your mind sharp 🙂

    • I think reading is in the same camp as learning, it’s just you are learning a story instead of how to do something specific… And hour and a half a week is even less than I watch TV, that’s great 🙂

      I think watching TV to learn something is okay, it’s manly he talk shows and reality TV, and dumb plots that I dislike. But one of two shows isn’t bad 🙂

  2. I much prefer to do learning, reading and research on the internet than the TV. I’ll leave it on in the background, so only the most entertaining shows will catch my attention. These days I prefer to be active when I’m looking at a screen in my spare time, rather than watching tv which I’ve come to accept is too passive.

  3. i agree with you.. the only thing that keeps me watching tv is an addiction to professional sports.. i have had since i was a small kid, and its hard to just put it aside..

    that said.. i love your idea of making a list of things/skills that i want to learn, and spending free time on those instead.

    i would add “learning a music instrument” to your list

    • I think if you get value out of it, like watching sport then it’s not as bad. I think I mostly dislike the reality TV shows and the brainwashing shows that influence people without them thinking for themselves…

  4. The entire library of CNBC originals has been added to Netflix streaming, so lately I have been catching up on interesting companies and industries. It is a great way to learn while being entertained.

    • That’s educational, so I have no beef with that sort of watching TV.

      TV can be a great learning tool actually, but most people just watch Jersey Shore or similar reality mind-numbing shows.

  5. How about learning a new sport? And I don’t mean watching it on TV, but actually learning to play it. Basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, boxing, running… running requires the least amount of money and you don’t need to schedule with other people, but there’s a lot to learn about how to do it well and get better.

    • Yes, running is a great solo activities, if you have a buddy, then tennis rocks for two people, more than three people, then perhaps a team oriented sport like volleyball…

      I agree doing sports is a great way to spend time too.

  6. Very true… what’s tv for you is mindless internet browsing for me.

    I’d also add in learning a new hobby – gardening, knitting, cooking etc And youtube has videos to learn everything on earth!