Why keep the T.V on the down low?

20150808_191453.jpgI may be known for a number of reasons, but its safe to say watching lots of television is not one of them. I’m not the only one out there that tries to moderate their T.V intake as many have reasons why they feel that thier focus should be on other activities both career wise and recreational. If you are considering a life of less television here are some good reasons as to why it may be beneficial.

Taking away from people around you The world has many great people in it. By overwatching the telly you are limiting your chances of meeting them, and possibly making new friendships. While those on the screen might be great characters why not forge some experiences of your own with real people. Even the introverts among us can focus on our few closer friends a bit more.

Negative F.M So some programmes are worse at this than others. In particular the soaps and the News broadcasts. The soaps have declined over the years to the point that the “negative plots” have increased and since when did you find a news piece that was positive. While they do exist I’m sure you had to stop and think for a few moments.

Overeating Ever watched something and just got restless from all the passive sitting and then gone to get something to eat to find that before you know it you’ve binged?  Don’t worry I won’t judge as we all have (including yours truly). There are many studies which link television over use with binge eating.

Money The amount of money spent on not only the box itself but TV related paraphernalia is quite high. Many households actually have more TV’s then people and just imagine all the scart leads and miscellany required. Also have you ever rented a DVD to find you didn’t watch it before the return date. I’m sure we all have done it once in our lives. Wow that’s a lot of dough.

Some of us are innately “practical people” I’d often times rather sing (albeit usually in other languages). I’ve found a meeting of board gamers which is a good alternative “indoorsy” activity. Some of us truly are people who prefer to “do” even in leisure time.

Being with nature Isn’t mother nature wonderful? By putting down the remote you will get more chance of seeing different areas of our lovely planet. Even cities and built up areas can have their beauty.

Unrealistic expectations are created In both adverts and the programmes themselves the people are subtly un-natural. I say subtly as they don’t look un-natural per se but how many people do you see that look like these actors on your local high street. All the actors are made up by make up artists (yes even the men) which gives them a look superior to that of the nicest looking man or woman on the street. No wonder our teens have self-confidence issues.

Time Ever caught yourself in that spiral where you’d like to stop watching but you just can’t bring yourself to, and before you know it you’ve watched an extra hour. Once again I’m sure we all have. It’s believed that the average American watches around 34 hours a week. Some of those hours could be better spent on relationships with people or something you’ve really wanted to do.

Advertising is big business. The TV could be playing a role in purchases you neither truly wanted or needed. Adverts are made in such a way that they can tap into your subconscious mind and at least influence your purchasing decisions. It’s no secret that Advertisers will use every trick of human psychology out there in order to make you feel you need that purchase.

Is it always truly relaxing? We have all found ourselves watching something we barely care about. Sometimes we do is as we feel there’s “nothing better to do” and other times to procrastinate, but in those situations we feel neither relaxed nor entertained.

Creativity Have a lot of creative energy? or simply have a desire to be creative just for fun? More time spent consuming is less spent creating. Whether its drawing, paper mache, poetry or music if you have a passion for creativity then the box in the corner of the room might be one of the reasons you don’t embrace it as much as you might have liked.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

Bienvenue à la société sans numéraire, ou pas

20161114_2151161It would have once upon a time been seen to be something impossible, a society without cash. Now times have moved where its feasibly possible that in the next 2-20 years we could see a cashless society.

There are many businesses that seem keen to push for cashless alternatives. A handful of years back this was relatively minimal but its increased in the last few years with the likes of PayPal advertising is services as “new money” in its most recent round of advertising.

While I admit there could be some benefits to not using cash there are also some potential pitfalls.

As a 27-year-old I easily got lulled into not having cash or a minimal amount needed (example: for a taxi fare) but I’m going to change my practises due to the fact that I could be “helping to usher in a cashless society”.

So what could go wrong in a cashless society that I need to be aware of?

Your bank has a system fault While the problem would likely be minimal due to the fact that banks have I.T departments to resolve this and allow you to make and receive payments.

Your bank blocks your account for an indefinite period This sort of thing is more common than most would think. Usually its due to overzealous application of money laundering regulations. While it seems harmless on the surface I’ve heard of stories where mothers have struggled for money to feed  their children as thier bank account has been blocked even when there are ample funds in the account. While I can understand the need to fight against money laundering criminals it has been known that upstanding people have had thier bank accounts blocked for days without explanation due to overzealous application of the rules. In cases like this cash can be a godsend while waiting for banking facilities to come available to you.

You could in theory spend more money To part with cash creates a psychological feeling of parting with something you’ve hard-earned. To pay by card or swipe a phone does not produce the same psychological stimuli.

Financial privacy would be a thing of the past While it’s great that it would make it closer to impossible for financial criminals to operate, it would essentially evaporate any privacy as to your financial dealings.

Negative interest rates This is the one that could be the most concerning of all. At the moment interest rates on savings are at an all time low in many countries, they could even be set to get lower in the next handful of months to two years. There’s one thing that’s relatively unlikely to happen all the time we have cash in circulation and that is any interest rate below 0%. Should central banks try this before cash is abolished it could lead to a bank run.

Bail ins These are a new concept but has been used in Greece. Effectively during times of financial hardship in the banking sector the banks own customers lose some of thier savings as these are “taken” by the bank instead of it being funded by the taxpayer or the government. Any cash you have that is not in the electronic banking system will be outside the checks and balances should a bail in ever be considered.

All in all I reject the cashless society, sure I can see how it’s portrayed as “the next generation” of money, but when my options are known I’ll stick with using notes and coins into the future.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable