At the local health food store lunch buffet, they offer stir fried tempeh.
I never get it. Not because I don’t like it, but because there are always so many other things on the buffet that I prefer.
That's why I don't watch TV. At all. There are so many other things I'd rather do in that moment.
Broadcast TV was a great choice when a> there weren't a lot of other options and b> when everyone else was watching the same thing, so you needed to see it to be educated.
Now, though, you could:
- Run a little store on eBay
- Write a daily blog
- Write a novel
- Start an online community about your favorite passion
- Go to meetups in your town
- Volunteer to tutor a kid, in person or online
- Learn a new language, verbal or programming
- Write hand written thank you notes each evening to people who helped you out or did a good job
- Produce small films and publish them online
- Listen to the one thousand most important operas
- Read a book or two every evening
- Play a game of Scrabble with your family
None of them are perfect. Each of them are better than TV.
Clay Shirky has noticed the trend of talented people putting five or six hours an evening to work instead of to waste. Add that up across a million or ten million people and the output is astonishing. He calls it cognitive surplus and it's one of the underappreciated world-changing stories of our time.