Friday, April 8, 2011

Why We're Getting Rid of the TV

We moved our huge, rear-projection television our into the garage on Monday.  The long story coming up to our decision is below.  But before I get into that, I found this update on Man Vs. Debt yesterday.  Some interesting things the post notes is that the average American watches about 5 hours of television per day!  Not only that, but there are roughly 2.55 people living in each American household but 2.73 televisions in said household.  That means that, on average, there are more televisions than people in our homes.

How many TVs does one lady need?

When a TV is on, I have to watch it.  Maybe I have no self-control, I don't know.  What I do know is that I waste a lot of time watching TV and movies and don't get a whole lot of satisfaction out of it.  Some people do, but I don't.  On Saturday, Donald and I had "date night."  We went to see the Lincoln Lawyer (this I did enjoy).  I'd read the book a few months ago and I liked it.  I was pleased with the movie version too.  I recommended that D read the book and he said he just didn't have time to read anymore.  I started thinking about how I didn't have time to garden or to read much either.  Then we got to thinking......well, we just spent 3 1/2 hours watching Netflix.  What exactly don't we have time for?

After mulling this around, D sent me a text on Monday that said, "Wanna move the tv to the garage tonight?"  "Hell yes," was my response.  Why not?  What would we really be missing out on?

If we don't REALLY miss the TV in one month, we're going to sell it and cancel Netflix and Xbox Live.

Already it's had some positive improvements on our life.  We don't watch TV during dinner.  We talk, maybe put on some music, and just spend time together as a family.  Little Bit also eats more attentively when there's no TV on.  In the evenings after dinner, I've gone out to garden and D has been able to get some additional work done. I'm still playing World of Warcraft on the computer from about 8-10pm though.

Last night after dinner, the whole family sat on the front porch with the dog.  We played in the yard, Little Bit played with sticks, pushed planters around the porch and pulled up the grass.  And just today when I normally would have put on an episode of The Wonder Pets to distract Little Bit while I did the dishes, we sat down and fed imaginary food and water to all his stuffed animals and the played Hide and Seek.  I saved the dishes for his nap time.

Inside watching TV when he could be outside playing ball with friends.
I do not want this for my son

We sat down in January and made two common goals.  1) Eliminate all debt other than the mortgage, and 2) Be more productive.  We are making a lot of progress on the first, but we're stagnated on the second.  We just can't seem to get anything done.  Because we always watch TV at night.  Every night.

I don't mean that TV is bad, but I think it had too strong a hold on our family.  I think of it a little like chips or soda or candy.  A little bit is just fine, but too much is never a good thing.  And like chips or soda or candy, TV is really hard to say no to if it's always around.  If we really want to watch a TV show, we can still watch in on the computer but it's a conscious decision.

I was putting an update on Facebook about getting rid of our television and my husband said, "Uh, you know if you do that, people are going to take it the wrong way."  I asked him what he meant.  He meant that people would see me as gloating or that I was saying I was better then they were.  I didn't intend for it to come off that way.  I just wanted to tell people about something that I felt was a big move for us.  It was also a way to keep us honest.  I want people to ask, "Hey, how's the no-TV thing going?"  Then if we cave and bring it back in, I would have to explain myself.  I also felt that if I read about someone else doing the same thing, I would find it interesting and think about doing the same.  Or hear from someone else who did it and it worked or didn't work.  D and I always complain about how it's hard to find people who share a lot of our values and I thought this might be a good way to start.

It's only been 5 days but I don't really miss the TV.  On May 4th, we'll find out for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I do not have time to watch much t.v. since I'm in school, but I do watch some and I enjoy the mindlessness of it. It is a nice escape from reading and writing papers and constant new information I have to process. I watch maybe 5 hours a week, all programs I've recorded (I love ffwding through the commercials). I have pondered the idea of watching less, but until I'm out of school it's not really an issue.

    I have seen how the tv affects the focus/attention and behavior of my nephew and I do not like it. I try to get him to play more; and, now that it's warmer, we'll be outside playing when he visits, not propped in front of the tv altar. Should be fun.

    Good luck to you guys! I'm sure with all the other things you've got going on, the tv will quickly become a distant memory.