Most of us enjoy watching TV now and then, but sometimes watching your favorite shows can become a habit that’s hard to break. How do you know when you’re watching a little too much TV? Here’s what experts and regular folks told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
1. You skip work to watch TV
Missing work for any reason other than illness or a major emergency is a big no-no. If television has become such a big part of your life that you’re ignoring work responsibilities, it’s time to change some things. Rachel Davidson, founder of Watchdog Pest Control told us she used to be so consumed with television that she sometimes didn’t go to work. “I’ve been there. I didn’t go out of my room and binge-watched, calling off work for a couple of days. All because the show was too good and could not get enough of completing the seasons!”
2. You watch TV shows you don’t even like
When you’re binging on shows you don’t even like, you know you have a problem. If you feel like you need to have your television on, even if the show is a program you can’t stand, that should clue you in that something isn’t normal about your television viewing habits. Project Untethered blogger Mitch Glass told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that at one time in his life he watched shows he disliked so he could forget how lonely he felt:
When you’re caught up in the world of your favorite characters, you forget about how lonely you are. That is, until the episode ends. Then you have to decide whether you’re going to face reality or watch just one more. At one point, I was watching entire series of TV shows I didn’t even like, just to avoid feeling lonely. That’s when you know things are getting out of control.
3. You can’t sleep without television
It’s important to get enough sleep, but if you can’t sleep without the television on, you may be at a point where you’ve become too dependent on it. Anupriya Basu, writer for EffortlessInsurance.com, says not being able to sleep without her television clued her in to a bigger problem she was having with TV dependency. “I realize my TV watching is going out of hand when I can’t sleep without watching all the episodes of a show or feel extremely sad when a show ends. To fight that sadness, I start looking for a new show that will be as engrossing and feel content only when I have found something similar.”
4. You ignore emergencies
Are you putting television ahead of your personal safety? It’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your TV watching. Umair Ahmad Khan, blogger at Explainopedia, says an inability to stop watching an episode so you can take care of more important things is a cause for concern. “One sign your television watching has gotten out of control is when you’re not able to let go of a new episode even if there is some emergency.”
5. You don’t want to do anything but watch television
When taking care of your basic needs takes a back seat to your favorite show, this is a big sign you’re watching too much television. Self-care should be at the top of your list. Kristiana Kripena, owner of TV Show Pilot says choosing television over caring for yourself is a red flag. “I think some surefire ways to tell that you’re TV watching is getting way out of hand and is bordering an addiction is if you can’t stop watching a show and choose to binge the next episode instead of eating, sleeping, or interacting with the real world. Or if you’re watching TV all day everyday instead of working, studying, or otherwise being a functioning part of society.”
Read more: Why We Really Watch TV When We’re Lonely
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