Seriously, y’all, there are people out there who actually live without a television.
After a few months of this numbing routine, we decided to get rid of our TV. It wasn’t a radical decision at the time. We just knew that something had to give. So out went the television and in came books (lots of books), cooking, lengthy discussions, hiking, marathon training, Yahtzee tournaments, bowling dates, and much-needed sleep. Ryan even learned to juggle five balls and ride a unicycle. Life as we knew it slowed down and we finally caught our breath.
That was seven years ago.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about people who choose to live TV-free. Most of those who I have met who have made the leap were professors I had when I was in undergrad. I also know plenty of people who go without cable and watch shows on Hulu and movies on Netflix or on DVD.
However, I don’t know if I could actually live without a television.
We aren’t slaves to our TV by any means. The shows I consistently watch that are actually still on include Castle, Parenthood, Bones and some random shows on the USA network when I need something mindless to watch. Oh, and Chopped. Obviously. I almost never watch these shows at their regularly scheduled time and, with the exception of Castle, I rarely watch every episode in the season. We just watch what we want, when we want. While I think going TV-free is a really great way to connect with your family and get more stuff done, I don’t think I could ever give it up entirely. And here’s why:
- Cozying up on the couch with the husband and the dog to watch a movie or an episode of Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite ways to relax after a long day.
- Sometimes, after a long day, I just don’t want to get any more stuff done. So I watch something I don’t have to think about.
- I read books all day. Sometimes, I don’t want to read books when I get home, too.
- I’m a high school teacher. Tim is a junior high teacher. We need to know about pop culture, or we will be completely lost. Every day.
- We have an Apple TV that plays music, and the television it’s hooked up to has the best speakers in the house.
- Our internet bill would skyrocket if we got rid of the cable, because we have a bundle deal with our cable company. Get rid of one, the price of the other goes up. And I need the internet, so we might as well keep the cable. This is actually the reason we haven’t given up cable in favor of internet television. That and free OnDemand. Though now that OnDemand has found a way to not let you forward through commercials, we may rethink this whole thing.
- WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT THE FOOD NETWORK?!
- The computer screen has to be so close to you to watch a movie on it, and the battery heats up uncomfortably so it’s impossible to keep it near you unless you want to burn something. (OK. I’m stretching. But it’s true.)
While I see the value in giving up the television completely, I don’t think it would ever be for us. That said, I practice with TV what I do with food: Everything in moderation. You shouldn’t spend all day in front of the TV, but using it to relax your brain and connect with your spouse every once in a while can be priceless.