What would happen if you turned off the TV for a month?

Have you given something up for Lent? We’ve talked a bit about the common practice of choosing something in your life—a habit, a particular type of food, etc.—and voluntarily foregoing it during the weeks leading up to Easter.

Among my own circle of acquaintances, two things seem to come up frequently as things to give up during Lent: unhealthy food (soda, fast food, etc.) and television.

I’ll leave the food topic alone for now (and I should note that not everything people choose to give up for Lent needs to be “bad” or unhealthy); but the practice of giving up TV is something I’ve also seen written about a lot online. (And feel free to substitute another entertainment medium—your iPod, video games, online video, etc.—for “television.”)

Most of us have from time to time had the feeling that we invest too much of our lives in passive entertainment, to the detriment of our spiritual and personal growth. If the idea of going cold-turkey on your TV sounds weirdly intriguing, here are a few resources to help you think it through:

If you read through these resources, you’ll notice something important about them: the point of these efforts is not to arbitrarily cut TV out of your life, or to feel holier-than-thou because you don’t watch American Idol, or to rob your life of fun. It’s not about banning TV in your house forever, or making you feel guilty for watching your favorite show. It’s about becoming more aware of the way you use your time throughout each day and week.

It’s an experiment you can try any time of the year, not just during Lent. How about it?

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