Overload and Why Reality TV is Okay

Today was a library day for me. It was super awesome. It feels like it’s been years since I’ve holed up in a study room, gotten strung out on coffee, and knocked out a ton of work. And maybe it has been. Usually when I’m on campus for grad school I mostly hide in my room or sprawl out on the sofa and knock out the work. Maybe it’s been since college since I had one of these days.

You may be thinking to yourself: Holy cow, you’re crazy! You actually enjoy that?!?


I love learning and being a student and being a student focusing on something that I actually love – as opposed to class that I have to take to graduate. Grad school and college are two different kettles of fish.

But that’s not what this post is about.

No, this is about the after effects of studying for 6 hours non-stop and drinking too much caffeine. Sure, there’s that accomplished feeling you get, but then you want to veg out.

This is easy for my husband: He plays video games. Which is fine with me, gives me time to write and read and he gets to decompress. Win win in my book.

But I think decompressing is harder for English people. What do we do for fun? Read. What do we do for work/study? Read. After 6 hours of reading that’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t care if it’s fun reading or not. It’s still words. Words that start swimming across the page.

So what do I do to decompress?

I watch horrible TV. Not awesome TV that requires me to think. Total and complete brain candy. And non-English people just don’t get it. They don’t get the draw of the totally idiotic and stereotypic characters of reality TV. You don’t need to pay attention to what’s going on to make connections later in the show. There is always the bitch. There is always the “good” girl/guy. The slut. The goof-ball. The backstabber. It’s just new faces each time. It’s not like you’re invested on a deep level.

I would argue that a healthy balanced dose of horrible television is needed in a person’s mental diet. Okay, and here you can substitute video game or whatever. But yes, when you study for 1/4 of a day it’s allowed to watch 2(ish) hours of complete crap. For the same reasons Weight Watchers allows you to splurge a little bit each week. To keep you sane.

Now, for all of you people who are like: Why don’t you go out there and get some exercise?

You obviously haven’t studied for 6 hours non-stop. Or are really intense.

Thus I rest my case.  

One thought on “Overload and Why Reality TV is Okay

  1. Instead of reality tv, I usually gravitate towards popping in a movie that I've seen a million times but love anyways. I already know the lines, music, characters, and so I don't have to concentrate that hard.

    Some go-to favs: Ever After, Little Mermaid, Princess Bride, Shakespeare in Love, etc.

    But I totally agree about needing something brainless to stare at 🙂

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