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Is computer use worse than TV time?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I don't have a TV. Well, I do but it lives in the closet and doesn't come out unless there are red sox playoff games on regular tv.

Anyway, I spend the same amount of time on the computer that I used to spend watching tv (too much). And sometimes I feel like the tv was almost better because I could be in the other room and just listen to some program, or get up during commercials and do something. And the TV could not go to bed with me like the lap top sometimes does.

But when I'm being lazy on the laptop there are no commercials to make me get up (unless you could MDC server crashes as a commercial), there is no "end" to a program, and since it's all visual I can't be in the other room listening to someone read me a blog or emails.

Are other people finding that they killed the TV but replaced it with something worse?
post #2 of 28

yup

i do, totally. i gotta turn it off.
post #3 of 28
For Dh and I, computer is not as bad as TV. We don't seem to be as sucked into the computer.

But, we could definitely spend less time on the computer!

NAK
post #4 of 28
My name is Naomi and I'm a computer addict (or maybe just a mothering addict ).

I really don't like the TV because it feels passive to me, but I tell myself the computer is more interactive
post #5 of 28
No- the computer for me:

1.) Is something I can walk away from... If I leave it, all the same stuff is there when I get back so I don't miss anything.

2.) Is a way to relax, but is still active. You have to choose where you go, read, think, etc. You can't "zone" in front of the computer.

3.) Is a connection to others. Without TV, it's not too easy to get the news or other more specific information or entertainment. With the computer, we can talk, look things up, email family and friends, learn, etc.

4.) I belive that we are all entitled to some "down time" where we don't have to feel bad if we are not reading "War and Peace" or stuffing envelopes for our volunteer time or whatever. I even don't think TV is inherently evil for this, the problem is it is addictive and the 1/2 hour of "fluff" turns into 3 hours of vegitation. A little computer surfing is OK.
post #6 of 28
Yes, definitely, I replaced TV with the computer. I find that it is "worse" in the ways you mentioned, but it gives back more than tv-watching does. It is absolutely a time-suck for me, though, and I think on the whole I would be better off going "computer-free", at least for a time.

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obiandelismom View Post
Yes, definitely, I replaced TV with the computer. I find that it is "worse" in the ways you mentioned, but it gives back more than tv-watching does. It is absolutely a time-suck for me, though, and I think on the whole I would be better off going "computer-free", at least for a time.

Hey! Maybe we need a "computer-free" forum! Er... wait a minute....
yeah...exactly.

But I was just out walking in the woods for a hour, so I won't fret about a little computer time.
post #8 of 28
For me the computer is way worse than tv, I have never been a big tv person, but the computer.. my goodness I am an addict. More later but its pretty bad and doesn't help that my work (freelance grant-writer/consultant) requires me to be online a lot.

Shay
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
No- the computer for me:

1.) Is something I can walk away from... If I leave it, all the same stuff is there when I get back so I don't miss anything.

2.) Is a way to relax, but is still active. You have to choose where you go, read, think, etc. You can't "zone" in front of the computer.

3.) Is a connection to others. Without TV, it's not too easy to get the news or other more specific information or entertainment. With the computer, we can talk, look things up, email family and friends, learn, etc.

4.) I belive that we are all entitled to some "down time" where we don't have to feel bad if we are not reading "War and Peace" or stuffing envelopes for our volunteer time or whatever. I even don't think TV is inherently evil for this, the problem is it is addictive and the 1/2 hour of "fluff" turns into 3 hours of vegitation. A little computer surfing is OK.

See for me, the computer turns into 3 hours of vegging.. tv, after a few minutes I fall asleep, but I literally can stay online all day. :
post #10 of 28
For me, yes. I need to get off the computer more. I feel so good when I limit it and do something else in my "free" time.

Although dd's just think I read and write on the computer and really don't see it all that often, so in that sense the computer is much better then TV for dds.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
See for me, the computer turns into 3 hours of vegging.. tv, after a few minutes I fall asleep, but I literally can stay online all day. :
Same for me. And I've been taking the computer to bed with me. Which I really don't want to do, because I don't think it's good for me. But I keep doing it. I have a lot of trouble with self regulation. And since I use the computer for work, I'm on it all day and need to check my emails, etc. so I can't just leave it at work.

What I need is a program, that I am unable to override, that will shut it down every 1/2 hour in the evenings and say "go do something else" and will then shut it down at 9:30 pm and say "go to bed".

And I imagine for you, being a mod, you have built in excuse for "having" to be online "well, I'd better stay on a little longer in case I'm needed."
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
And I imagine for you, being a mod, you have built in excuse for "having" to be online "well, I'd better stay on a little longer in case I'm needed."
Oh gods, how did you know??

It can definitely be a timesuck. And it has similar effects as TV for me (I get headaches with too much screen time), and I do think it could qualify as a minor addiction. But it's not as bad as TV, because it is my "job", and my social outlet (I met all my local friends through MDC), and my intellectual stimulation. It's not without its own issues, and its own addictive qualities (OK I'm almost done - but wait, this thread I'm subbed to just got a new post. oh, and now I have a PM asking me to handle this issue, but it's taking a while to load, I'll just go check this other forum while I'm waiting, hey look I want to reply to that, and... ), but no, not worse than TV.


And speaking of, I'm going to post this and NOT go check my UserCP before I shut the 'puter and go do the dinner stuff DP asked me to do five minutes ago that he can't since he's wearing a sleeping baby...
post #13 of 28
In the last several months, I've become acutely aware of how the internet, for me, plays the same role that TV plays for many others - and I don't like it, despite how many justifications I have for why computers are better. I'm planning to give up all screen time (aka the computer) for the tv turn off week that's coming up, and re-evaluate how I want to use the computer in my life from then on. We'll see how it goes.
post #14 of 28
Oh, I could definately spend more time in front of the computer than the tv, so for me it is worse.
post #15 of 28
For me, it's exactly what alexsam said. In front of a computer, I am active, whereas in front of a TV, I am a veggie.

With a TV I don't learn anything, even with the most interesting programs, I can't remember a thing afterwards. That passive learning mode doesn't work for me...
post #16 of 28
Coincidentally, I read a blog : yesterday about computer addiction with some tips on how to self-regulate your usage. I like her idea about using different browsers for different things (fun v. work)
post #17 of 28
MAJOR computer addict here :
Yea, some of it is useful and important but really its just too, too much.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
I did a few new things today:

Before I went walking this morning, I shut down the computer and put it in my work bag. That way, I couldn't "check a few things" while I got ready. I found that I stayed outside exercising longer, and I was able to get ready for work faster.

Then, when I got to work, I didn't immediately turn it on. I checked my phone messages, returned calls, completed some work - all without the computer. I did this for about an hour, and then turned it on. I noticed an immediate drop in my productivity at first as I had to "catch up" on emails, Perez Hilton Gossip and other vital things. I'm going to try to stretch the non-computer morning time, as I think that will be a good way to get more done.
post #19 of 28
Fundamentally no, because computer use is active (unless you're watching videos...) and TV use is passive. But the computer can be as much of a time waste and brain sucker as TV.
post #20 of 28
I've never had cable in my adult life, and only occasionally rent DVDs. I love my computer time . I find that the computer is a tool that can be used for good or evil .

On the plus side, it's a source of information that is critical for my parenting and paid jobs. It's also a very important source of networking - it's the way that I've met so many incredible MDC and homeschooling families. Sometimes it meets a social need for me, when I can "chat" with other parents after my kids go to bed after spending a lonely day with no other adults to talk to - yes, it's a surrogate, but it's better than nothing. It's also a source of self-expression - I really enjoy putting my thoughts into words and sharing them with others. Rather than writing a journal for my own use only, I am bouncing ideas off others and getting their responses - I find this a creative and intellectually stimulating process. It's funny how people think of Victorian letter-writing in such a nostalgic way...I write "letters" on the computer all the time - the tools are different but connecting through the written word is the same.

On the minus side, "chatting" on MDC or "researching" things to death can definitely be an avoidance mechanism for me. I want to keep my computer time in balance with my IRL activities. For example, it's so much easier to hang out in the decluttering and simplifying forum than it is to actually declutter some chaotic corner of my home .

My kids don't have access to the computer at all. It's not at all clear to me what a good age for introducing the computer would be .
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