Everyone is always so surprised when they hear that we don't have a TV. I'm sure we're not the only ones. Surely there must be other families out there who have chosen to go TV free.
I'm not posting this to be self-righteous or holier-than-thou. I just get so many questions about this "lifestyle choice" that I thought I'd write about it. We're not fanatics. We're not crazy. We just don't happen to watch cable TV at our house. It is what it is.
What?! Not even 1??
Full disclosure: we actually have a TV set in our basement. It was given to us by a friend and we used it as an excuse to get a Wii and DVD player. :) It's small, and doesn't show the picture completely right, but it does the job. We do not have cable or rabbit ears etc.
SO, when I say we have no TV, it means that: we don't have cable; we don't flip on the tube after dinner; there is no unintentional background noise from the box in the living room. [Actually, the living room has a stereo and the notebook - but these play noises we choose to hear.]
It wasn't really a conscious decision. In uni, my roommate and I only had a tiny set with the rabbit ears that picked up all of one channel. When I moved to Europe, I didn't really feel any desire to watch shows in a language I didn't understand. When I first got married, we were not in a position to justify another bill. Then, when we were in a position to, we just didn't.
But you have a computer...
Screen use in our house is very intentional. Yes, our 2 computers log a number of hours each day. I use a computer for work, so does the Man, and it is our main source of screen entertainment. If the kids want to go online, they have a set number of minutes before they need to log off. They don't just sit mindlessly clicking. We use the main notebook to watch movies we borrow from the library and certain shows that are available online. We may try Netflix soon...
What do your kids do all day?
During the week, my kids are in school most of the day. When they come home, they spend their time doing homework, fighting, playing outside, reading, arguing, playing etc. They're just kids. They don't need the extra distraction. I honestly don't see how they could even fit TV time into their "schedules". Every other day or so, they get the urge to play on www.ClubPenguin.com or something similar, and they'll get 45 minutes to do it. Any more than that and the seem to go brain dead. Once a week they'll borrow a movie from the library. On the weekends, there always seems to be stuff to do that doesn't involve any screens. I wouldn't say they're deprived. They still get to watch when they are at a friend's or family member's house, but I see what it does to them and I don't like it: irritable beasts who don't pay attention to what's going on around them.
Have you seen that show....
Probably not. :( There are so many shows that I've heard about that I'd like to watch - but I don't. We do have a few favourites. For example, almost every Sunday night in the summer you'll find me at my mother's house to watch True Blood. That is one show I will not wait to watch. Everything else [Big Bang Theory, Community, How I Met Your Mother] we can watch via our internet provider. Yes, we see them a week or two after they air, but it's not the end of the world. I do admit, I feel lost and out of the loop when friends start talking about the latest episode of [fill in any show here]. I get over it though.
Are you going to get TV?
Again, probably not. We've managed to make it this far (10+ years) without one, I can't see why we'd want to spend the extra every month for something that offers no benefit except as a way to [passively] pass time. I can pass time on the interwebs just fine. :)
What about you? How long have you gone without TV? Could you manage a week? a month? a year?