Don't be a zombie of the mainstream media, think for yourself!

The Captive Audience Paradox

budget, cable, cut expenses, expenses, financial independence, fitness, health, how we win, library, netflix

If you can’t tell already we are all about efficiency; efficiency in our budget and in our energy expenditure. Not only do we keep our electric bill down with this, but we also find new ways to use our free-time more effectively this way. There are many situations in life when we become a “captive audience” member. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a captive audience member, and dedicating our time to a certain activity.  However, many situations arise in which we are given an opportunity to improve our life – physical, mental, spiritual, etc. all the while partaking in a separate activity. This concept is separate from multi-tasking (which is often just disillusioned distraction and lack of focus to complete a task). The captive audience instances we are referring to range from the sedentary: i.e. watching TV / movies, to contained: i.e. sitting in the car for a long commute to work, visit family, or waiting at the airport, etc.  These are just a few examples of situations when you become a captive audience and should find ways to maximize your time.

The Winning Williams advocate being healthy and avoiding unnecessary expenses, especially when it comes at the detriment of living a productive life. Because of this choice, not having cable television is a given:

1) it is an unnecessary expense, and

2) it is a distraction from more life enriching activities such as social interaction with friends/family, exercising, reading, learning, getting outdoors, etc.

Not having cable has helped keep us from getting locked in to watching shows each and every night, saving hours of precious free time compared to those that have a daily date with their television.

At the present (August 2015), we’re 20+ articles into the blog, and if anything, hopefully we’ve successfully communicated that there are always exceptions to each rule, we support you in whatever your passions are (perhaps, as long as you’re out of debt). We want to encourage you to determine what things that will make you happy, not just being a zombie of the mainstream media. For the Winning Williams, while we may not watch much standard television, we do enjoy watching movies and even have movie marathon from time to time (thank you library). We have been using this as a prime opportunity to change an unproductive moment of potato chip eating, neural inactivity, to at-least a small degree of productiveness through exercise. We also have turned long road trips to see the family into a chance to learn a new language of listen to an audio book. We are constantly looking to maximize our efforts to be more productive.

Just by taking a moment to analyze your daily routines you can easily open many doors of opportunities, you just have to look. Think about the TV show that you watch each week, could you be doing some easy exercises during the show, or at the very least during the commercials? Below are some ideas:

  • Treadmill – 10 minutes on the treadmill will burn ~50 calories (absolutely move it in front of the TV, who cares what others think, deep down inside they will be impressed!)
  • Pushups – 10 minutes of pushups will burn ~90 calories
  • Sit-ups – 100 sit-ups will burn ~57 calories
  • Lunges – 10 minutes of pushups will burn ~79 calories
  • Squats – 10 minutes of squats will burn ~144 calories
  • Burpees – 10 minutes of burpees will burn ~100 calories
  • Wall-Sits – 10 minutes of wall-sits will burn ~60 calories
  • Lunge Jumps – 10 minutes of wall-sits will burn ~120 calories

The estimated calories burnt are extremely rough estimates and will vary dramatically on a number of factors. However, at least they give you a general idea of how you can burn a ton of calories if you remain dedicated throughout a movie or TV show. In addition, exercise results in additional calories burned even after the work-out is complete. Most importantly, use this time while watching television to get off the couch, get moving, and do something!

Yet again, this is another example of how putting something small into motion can have positive transformational impact on another part of your life. As your sweating away while watching the latest episode of your favorite show, you might rethink drinking the 184 calories in the 16-ounce Coca-Cola can, or the 275 calories in the Butterfinger bar, the 452 calories in a bag of Act II Movie Theater Popcorn, or the 262 calories in a 1.7 ounce package of Doritos.  Once you start to measure the time to burn off the calories in shows (ex. “It takes me 3 episodes of House Hunters to burn off that latte!”) you might start to notice yourself making healthier options when selecting snacks.

So what is the goal here? Think about the time spent in the car, an airport, or waiting at the doctor’s office. What podcast could you be benefiting from? Think about how much time you are spending watching television and what else you can do with that time. When you decide that the show of choice will truly make you happy then be sure to enjoy and make sure you spend your viewing time exercising and take advantage of being a captive audience participant.

3 thoughts on “The Captive Audience Paradox

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