Sunday, February 3, 2013

MY TV Free Life

It is always amusing to watch the reactions I get when I inform someone that I do not in fact have television. I usually avoid telling people I don't watch tv just because of the reactions I get. But when I get asked direct questions like, "What is your favorite tv show" I have no choice, but to admit that not only do I not have a favorite tv show, but I have no idea what shows ever air anymore.

But Why!? Why, oh why would you choose not to watch tv??

I didn't set out to not have TV. After years of living with roommates I finally moved out on my own (although my now husband did move in with me about two months later). While living on my own I had an epiphany that I wanted to go back to school. I had enough savings to kinda sorta scrape by, but we did not have any extras to pay for things like television. At first it was really weird. I missed my shows, I didn't like being confused when my friends chatted about the latest episode of the latest fad show, I didn't like the lack of options when I wanted to lay comatose on the couch. I started watching shows online, but due crappy internet I had so much trouble viewing the shows that I gave up. At the time I seriously missed television.

After a year or so something strange started to happen. I started to forget about my favorite shows and I started to like the quiet. I began to fill my free time with more productive uses of time that did not involve laying on the couch not moving. I also started to have better body image because I didn't have perfect bodies displayed on a screen all day or adds blaring at me about how I needed longer lashes, tighter skin, shinier hair, and whiter teeth. Eventually, I forgot about my old tv shows and was so clueless as to what the new shows were about I stopped feeling like I was missing out. And suddenly I kinda liked not having TV.

Recently, I played with the idea of buying cable. I am home all day and sometimes I want to be comatose after I finally get the baby to bed. Then one day I was watching videos a few friends posted of their babies on Facebook and while their kids were doing adorable kid like things, blaring in the background was the television. It was distracting and sort if annoying. But more than that one of the scenes seemed extremely violent which isn't unusual when it comes to tv these days. It was strange to see and innocent child taking their first steps in the foreground with violence going on in the background. It made me think about what kind of environment I wanted to raise my family in. I want a calm peaceful place for Kaylee to grow up in and I did not want the background noise in my home to be that of the television.

The main reason I decided not to get television at this time is that without tv I have control over what messages come into my home. I do not want messages of needing more, needing to be better, prettier, richer to taint my home environment  I do not want her to have unrealistic body ideals thrown in her face on a daily basis. I do not want television ads to tempt my child with their unhealthy crap they try to sell kids. The media is powerful especially on young developing minds. I decided for now while life seems to be going by too quickly I did not need another distraction that won't add to the quality of my family's life.

Will she eventually watch tv? Of course! Will I maybe hook up the tv someday so she can watch cartoons? Sure. Will she go to friend's houses and watch tv shows I don't approve of. Yes! But for now while she is so little and the world is so new I would like to keep the media and television out of her little world.


  1. And it makes a GREAT way to get rid of the door-to-door saleslady trying to get you to buy a satellite dish! That happened to me 2 or 3 months ago - a knock on the door, the question, "Do you use Dish or Cable?" When I said I didn't have a TV at all, her reaction was priceless. I have never seen a door-to-door rep shut up so quickly!!! ;)

    We do watch some shows online. More over the course of the pregnancy, because I've spent enough of it sick enough that I have just not been up to moving off the couch, and watching a show is something that my husband and I can do together without it being tiring (vs doing other things I love separately, like reading or working on projects). We still don't watch much compared to most, though! And it's not something I plan to have on much as our kids grow. There are so many better ways for kids to spend their time!!!

    1. I SO agree that there are much better ways for kids to spend their time.

      A few years ago hubby and I tried watching Modern Family together on Hulu, but our internet was so bad (the area just didn't get good signal with any provider) that we gave up. We are big cuddlers though so we when we have a chance to hang out together, but are feeling lazy we lay on the couch and snuggle/talk.

  2. We do still have a television (and cable for a few more months until we ditch it in May for just Netflix and Hulu). I've been thinking about this a lot recently. I was reading many books about how even having the TV on in the background is very distracting for children. I've pretty much made the decision that I will not have a TV on during the day when it's just me and my sweet angel. I don't think I can convince my husband to give it up as easily, but we'll see ;)

    Great post about your opinions on TV. I think it opens up a lot of ideas for others to consider!

    1. I saw someone talking about television and brain development on TED and it was so interesting! It actually looked at Baby Einstein and how bad it is for babies(which seems pretty obvious, but SO many people buy those stupid movies for their babies).

      We do watch movies sometimes. My husband is more of a movie person than I am, but we always wait until K is asleep before watching. The only problem with that is it is hard for me to stay awake in the evening! Geez, I sound old!!