Olympic screen time

Olympic flag in front of a grey stone building

The Tokyo Olympics would be on now, but they’re not. I’m sad but I also know that during the Olympics I actually just watch television. That is something I can still do.

In honour of this non-Olympic fortnight I’ve compiled some ideas for how to make screen time more like Olympics time.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Preference Australian content regardless of merit or quality.

Simultaneous watching

Choose three or four programs and alternate between them at three to ten minute intervals. Make sure one of them is something you’re really not interested in.

Set a timer

During Olympics I set alarms for the middle of the night to watch the Women’s Triathlon or similar because I don’t want to miss out. However, when the alarm wakes me at 3am I’m usually much less enthusiastic. Even so, I drag myself out of bed and watch the athletes throw themselves around because it’s a special time.

Getting up in the middle of the night makes the most “sense” for live events but you could do the same thing with an episode of ‘The Crown’, or a Facebook video of your nephew eating a doughnut.


Choose a topic you know nothing about like orange farming or rope design. Search the internet for information and develop passionate opinions within ten minutes. Abruptly choose another topic and repeat.

Screen time = all the time

My parents had a strict rule that TV was banned before school…except during the Olympics. I now institute the same rule in my house.

Since my childhood screen time has expanded onto a range of devices and activities but most households limit screen use in some way. Times when screens may be banned include: meals, bathing, driving and during discussions about opening up your marriage.

Whatever the taboo screen times are in your house, forget about them. For this special Olympic fortnight you may stare at a screen whenever you like.

That’s what I’ll be doing until at least 8 August 2020.

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