Byte Tank

Pedro Lopes Notes

The Case for Not Having a TV

Listen to David Sinclair or Andrew Hubberman on how to extend lifespan or improve health markers, and a common trait emerges: the body strives and improves when exposed to just enough stress and struggle. Not too much, though. Cold baths, saunas, fasting, exercise, red light (which disrupts the way that our mitochondria make energy), eating stressed greens, are examples of just that.

On the other hand, if you spend your whole day sitting, or typing, always satisfying your hunger, your AMPK and mTOR pathways (which are master regulators of cell metabolism) and sirtuins say: “Hey, times are good. Let’s just grow tissue, go forth, multiply and not build a sustainable body in the long run.”

The idolized unhurdled, stable and comfortable life, the easy access to resources and high caloric food, can do more harm than good when left unattended.

The riveting third person

I’ve consumed gargantuous amounts of television throughout my youth, so I’ve grown familiar with it’s charming alure. In an almost frictionless experience, where it suffices to lean back and pick one of the channels or series/movies/documentaries readily suggested by a streaming provider, an experience is entered where carefully crafted packages and passionate stories are delivered to us, requiring only our attention. It can even serve as the third-person to liven up the room, when in a tedious moment with a loved one.

No real struggle, no real effort required. A passive experience. The body rejoices in it, like it does when ingesting a sugar packed sweet. Just like most, I enjoy that feeling. Just like most, I have a limited amount of willpower. Hence why I don’t have a TV at home. Neither do I have sweets.

I love it. I don’t love the fact that I’m blocking myself away from those satisfactions. No, I relish the long term results. The time it opens up to actively read, write (this post for example), create, think, be present with others, and even watch podcasts (of which I make an effort to pick an episode outside the normal recommendations). I’m not perfect, and the above serves as a rule for me. And rules do have exceptions, and that’s ok.

Still, this is the case for not having a TV.