I have been friends with the same group of people for almost half of my life. I met them in middle school, and we decided to go to the same high school. But even if we did not see much of each other during our college years, we made sure to remain in touch by phone and get together on any holiday.

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One thing you should know about my friends is that they love going on trips. For example, three months before the summer break, my phone would start buzzing because one of them tried to make us choose whether to go up in the mountains, swim in the lake, or drive across the country with no specific destination in mind. Even when we all had our careers, they continue to do the same thing, so it did not feel like I left my childhood for good.

I want to say that my friends keep doing it as a force of habit. There are nine of us, and our schedules need to be in sync. Most of us are willing to drop whatever we are doing to go on whatever trip they have in motion. I personally only need to give my counseling partner a week’s notice before I go somewhere. However, my friends feel the need to schedule our trips ahead because we have one gal pal who tends to back out of social gatherings at the last minute: Jenna, the only married woman in the group.

I mean the literal “last minute” here, guys. Just a few days ago, for instance, we were supposed to meet Jenna at a coffee shop. We had been so busy in the last few months, so we had not been able to catch up until now. As always, this meeting was set a couple of weeks before the actual day to ensure that she could make time for it. We also reminded her about it almost every day so that she would not forget it. However, my friends and I waited at the coffee shop for two hours, waiting for Jenna on the D-day. Then, when we finally got ahold of her, she was like, “Oh, I’m sorry. There was a sudden visitor at the house. Let’s meet next time.”

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Of course, our eyes rolled after hearing that, but we just went on with our day and went to a KTV bar afterward. But then, when one of my friends was about to post our pictures on Instagram, she saw an update from Jenna’s account. It was a picture of her on a beach with the caption “perfect getaway.”

Everyone went quiet for two minutes until someone said, “So, are we nothing to Jenna now? Couldn’t she have invited us to go with her?”

 Despite my annoyance, I decided to look at Jenna’s behavior from a counselor’s standpoint. “It can be neglect, but I feel like it leans toward more procrastination. Jenna has been doing this ever since she got married and stopped working. She may have thought that she would see us another time anyway since we were a constant in her life,” I tried to explain.

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“That does not sound good,” another friend quipped.

“No, it doesn’t. However, who do you think procrastination hurts more, her or us?” I asked.

“Us!”

“Nah. Jenna is only hurting herself by continuing to put things off. She knows her promise to meet us today; she also knows that bailing out on us would be upsetting. Yet, she still did it and even lied about it,” I uttered.

“Why do you think our friend keeps doing that?” one friend asked.

“Hmm, procrastinating typically means that someone is harboring negative emotions mostly towards themselves. They cannot deal with those emotions, so procrastinators end up setting aside activities that may push them to confront how they feel.”

“So, in Jenna’s case, does she probably feel bad about being the only person without a career among us?”

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I thought about it carefully. “It’s possible, but then again, it’s challenging to know without giving Jenna a psychological assessment. The only thing we’re all sure of is that she is always procrastinating, and that’s self-harming.”

What Happened Next?

My friends did not let that conversation go. They booked a group counseling session with me the next day and dragged Jenna to my office. Then, when our friends started airing out their grievances, I saw how Jenna’s expression changed from confusion to denial to anger to defeat in less than an hour. She knows she’s a procrastinator, but she never admitted it – not even to herself – until now.

I could understand how Jenna must have felt at that moment. It could be overwhelming to know that your worst fears about yourself were true. For your closest friends to reflect on that, it might be worse. But the good thing was that our friends decided to accompany Jenna to all her counseling sessions, which was all right with her.

Though there’s honestly no cure for procrastination, it’s ideal to immediately know about it and curb its causes.

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If you ever go to my new house, the first thing you might notice was that I did not have a TV on-site. The closest thing to it was my computer monitor in the office, but that was it. I was not hiding it in my bedroom; it was not in the kitchen, bathroom, or any part of the house.

People would realize that their initial response was, “Oh, that’s very unfortunate. Don’t worry; next time we come here, I will surely bring one as a gift.” Even my parents, who were TV lovers, were baffled by it. If I did not learn about it immediately, they would have ordered a 60-inch flat-screen online when they visited me.

The thing was, I did not get a TV because I did not want one. It was not because I could not afford it, considering my counseling profession was paying me more than enough. It was also not because I forgot to get one as I hurried to fill the new house with the essentials. The sole reason was that I did not care for it.

Airing Out My Issues With TVs

Before anything else, I should say that I did not always have an aversion towards televisions. As I said, my parents loved TV, so my childhood days passed by with me sitting in front of it and watching all kinds of shows with them. While those were fond memories, it also meant the I had is a sedentary lifestyle. I enjoyed the TV shows and eating the snacks that my mother would always bring, so I did not feel the need to go out and play with my friends. As a result, I grew wider than taller, and I had been called fat by other kids.

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When I was in college, I almost did not continue studying psychology because all I wanted to do after my boyfriend broke up was binge-watching TV shows. It served as my coping mechanism for weeks, but it was an unhealthy one, given that it made me too lazy to go to my classes. I only realized it once my friends from the same department visited me at my apartment and gave me a little intervention. Hence, I swore off TVs since then.

Then, just a few months ago, my best friend from high school caught up with me on the phone. We were talking about our lives and careers when the topic somehow diverted to COVID-19 vaccination.

My friend said she had been encouraging her parents to get vaccinated and protect themselves from the virus. But, unfortunately, since they heard that some people had an extremely adverse reaction to the drug, they did not want to do it. So instead, they insisted on taking their chance on avoiding people who might view virus carriers instead of getting vaccinated.

The latter was not something I could meddle with, especially if the people involved were not asking for my professional help. Still, it was technically another problem created by media outlets. And if they did not turn on their TVs regularly, my friend’s parents might not think like that.

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Because of that, I always encourage people to avoid watching TV as much as possible.

What Happens If You Don’t Watch TV Too Much

Talk To Loved Ones More

I remembered watching TV can make people cross towards others, especially when their favorite show was on. For instance, if my mom or dad watched TV, no one was supposed to talk to them. If you try, they will cut you off with a loud “Shh!”

When they tried not watching TV at my new home, I was pleasantly surprised by how much we got to talk. I pointed it out to them, and they had the same reaction as I did. Although I could not make them throw away their TV, they said they no longer minded not having one at my house.

Hold On To Your Beliefs

Before I got slightly addicted to the TV during my college days, I believed that healing came from being more active and interacting with your loved ones more. As for my friend’s parents, her dad used to be a doctor, so they should have known better. However, since he retired years ago and gained medical information through news reports, it sounded like he did not trust science as much as he used to.

Now, things could have been different if there was no TV in the equation. For example, after my breakup, I would have gone out with my friends and cried it all out in one go instead of bottling up my feelings. And without TV, my friend’s parents would have been vaccinated by now.

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Keeps You Realistic

TV programs are notorious for pushing a standard of beauty for both men and women. It may happen a lot less now since they are all supposed to be “inclusive,” but we know that idealism still exists.

By not watching too much TV, you get to be who you are and stay contented with yourself. Then, you won’t always say, “How I wish I have a banging body like the Kardashians or as rich as the Kardashians.”

Final Thoughts

TV can be likened to an easily abused substance. It will pull you in and make you feel high; when you stop watching it, you feel down, so you go back for more.

If you can stop watching TV too much, that’s great. But if you want to do it gradually, go for it.