I used to be a huge trash TV junkie. Anything that I could zone out on and didn’t have to take too seriously would be something I’d be interested in watching. I’d watch some seriously mindless TV for entertainment, after an episode of which I’d feel like my IQ had dropped several points.
Along with the mindless TV, I would read tabloid magazines. Not because I preferred them (in fact, I have always been an avid reader of historical fiction, memoirs, autobiographies and novels) but because they were around at work and we didn’t have long enough breaks to do anything but flip through a tabloid in the break room over soup.
Luckily, I grew out of this phase quite quickly. Now I watch very little TV, and what I do watch tends to be educational in nature (though very entertaining nonetheless). There are a few of my favorites that I still catch here and there, but it’s not nearly as big of a habit as it used to be.
There are a few ways that I can score some extra knowledge while staying entertained, so I don’t feel like my brain is rotting quite as much.
I think documentaries became more and more popular with the onslaught of Michael Moore specials. When I started watching documentaries, I quickly realized that they were downright addicting.
You watch one documentary on one topic, and you’ll find yourself searching for more information or another documentary on the same topic.
Documentaries can be very eye opening and, depending on the film, give you something to mull over.
Reading Actual Books
I’ve never not been an avid reader. People who read because they enjoy it, however, are becoming a dying bread. Reading books – it generally doesn’t matter whether they are fiction, non fiction, or a memoir – can be very educational.
Sometimes I’m surprised as to how much knowledge I can pick up just through reading.
Instead of reading Cosmo (though Cosmo even has some educational material), try picking up a book. Whether it’s with a classic or a light read, get yourself more comfortable with reading for pleasure. You’ll find that you are learning things without even trying. I am always picking up words I hadn’t heard before and absorbing facts.
Podcasts and TED Talks
This may be a bit easier for me than it is for some music lovers, because I am not a music person, but instead of listening to a Taylor Swift album, try listening to a TED Talk or podcast during your morning commute.
These things can be so educational and entertaining.
I have a habit of watching a documentary, reading a book on the same topic, and then digging for podcasts and TED Talks to round it off so I can really get a broad range of views. I can’t be the only one that finds this entertaining!
Good conversation is extremely stimulating. As a society, we don’t put enough stock into good conversation when it comes to entertainment or stress relief. We generally would rather veg out in front of the TV than meet up with a mentor or somebody with whom you can talk for hours, because we equate not thinking as relaxing.
Good conversation is very entertaining, and it does a lot of good for your brain, relationships, and even open mindedness.
This is where I must differentiate between a blog and an online journal. Online journalling, to me, is more of the “today, my friends and I went to the mall”, and less educational.
I do quite like some online journals, and they most definitely serve their purpose, but reading authoritative blogs on topics you are either interested in or ignorant towards can help you learn a lot, and you will also find that you’ll lose hours digging for more information.
I’m a big fan of entertaining yet educational activities. How do you stay entertained?