How long can you go without television? It’s been two and a half years that we’ve been living a television free life and honestly we don’t miss it at all.
How it happened
Let me start at the beginning. I was an ardent television watcher, but never quite hooked on to serials. If anything, I’d watch a whole lot of movies back to back. Then I married an ardent football following man – so it was the sports channel for him. Somewhere down the line he got put off with all the scandals surrounding sports and isn’t so keen on football anymore.
We sometimes watched the news together but very rarely. Jose can hardly ever watch a complete movie. He prefers ‘serialized movies’, so watching on DVD was a better idea for us. But that hardly happened. There were three to four times that we were glued to television together – during the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, made more real since we lived there at the time; the run up to the US Presidential Elections, watching Obama in action; our national elections post the terrorist attack; and mindless television watching when we moved to have our flat renovated. That project went on and on and left us bored and depressed.
Other than the occasional movie on Hallmark or Romedy that I watched, the television remained part of the interior decoration in our Mumbai flat. When we moved to Secunderabad, we left all our furniture behind and presently live in a rented flat that is furnished. There is a television set but we couldn’t be bothered getting the cable connection fixed. We moved the TV into storage!
A Television Free Life
What’s life without television like you ask? Much more quiet. We are not assaulted by the mindless chatter that passes for talk shows and news. We don’t have a Mr Goswami yelling about what ‘India wants to know’.
I’ll confess that social media can be equally distracting and intrusive, but I’m learning to cut that down a lot more too.
We get to read a lot more.
Our news comes to us via the Internet. I get to watch movies via YouTube.
Most of all we have more choice about what we consume and when we consume it.
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” — Roald Dahl
Can you think of life without television?
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No TV illustration via Shutterstock
Though we do have a TV at home, rarely do I watch it. During the week I’m here at this hostel and during weekends, there’s so much to do that there just isn’t any time for TV. I don’t miss watching it 🙂
Ah from the comments, it seems that many bloggers have no time for television! 🙂
Ah Dear Corinne, I have three TVs at home but no time to watch even one! Occasionally I watch tv and find it quite stressful especially at night time when there is a debate/catfight going on.
But there are times when I do want to watch a mind numbing brainless movie just to destress. I find that far better than going to the cinema ( traffic, high costs of tickets etc)
I watch the movies on YouTube, Sunita. I know what you mean about TV stressing you out. I forgot to mention that.
I too have a TV at home but rarely watch it… It’s just the laptop that I watch series and movies in… I don’t really miss…
But without a TV at home…. I don’t think I can imagine that yet…
Thanks for sharing, Pratikshya. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do without.
Angel Stew & Devil's Brew
I wasn’t a big tv watcher either. In fact it wasn’t on unless the kids were home to turn it on. It really bores me but.. Then I got Netflix and I’m addicted. You are absolutely right. The computer and social media are just as distracting and intrusive. I could definitely live without tv.
I can imagine getting hooked on to Netflix, Karen. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t go in for the cable packages we have here.
Ha.i hardly watch any television. If I feel like, I check it on net. With the three men in my family fighting for the remote, I hardly get a choice. I support your initiative. It’s more peaceful.
I was smiling at the three men fighting for the remote, Lata. Best to stay far, no? And the best part is that we get to read more books, what say?
Laurel Regan, CZT
I think I could watch less TV (though I don’t really watch a ton of it to start with), but I wouldn’t want to totally give it up as my husband and I have a few shows we like to follow together. It’s nice to have the DVR option so that you don’t have to be chained to it, though!
Ah makes sense when you have a husband that’s willing to watch along. That doesn’t work for us, as I’ve shared. And certainly recording helps a lot.
When I was in my Graduation and post graduation period, I used to stay in P.G away from my home town and there were days where I spend without TV and it is actually a fun because you are not glued to that box so somehow I manage not to be addicted to this box called TV and I only watch TV when I just feel like and there is no addiction at all.
Life without TV ,I say its peaceful. I hardly watch television and its not after becoming Mother or so. It started when I moved out of Home for hostel. It has become a habit now. I prefer reading newspaper for news and download a movie if I want to watch any. I spend my time and does not kill it with TV. Its a great message Corinne. I wish my Husband also realize this. may be some day 🙂
Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life
I must admit I find TV a waste of time. I don’t have cable here and free-to-air television has nothing on it. I do enjoy the cricket during summer though. However, a year ago, I got a subscription to Netflix and I must admit, I’ve watched more TV than before. I’d love to go back to watching less again! As always, you are inspirational! 🙂
Darla M Sands
Friends keep trying to get me to watch current sitcoms and I just don’t have the interest. We do spend evenings in front of the television but tend toward movies, old series we recorded earlier (“House M.D.” or the cartoon “Futurama”), or educationally entertaining programming. Thank you for sharing this! It’s certainly thought provoking. Be well!
WoW, that’s great, Corinne. We do have TV at home now and we watch some shows. We had gone through periods of not having TV in between. And it wasn’t a big deal. Now with the laptop and other screens and youtube, TV is not something that will be missed. But these days I’m watching more than usual. 🙂
I am loving TV free life too. Earlier I liked to watch English movie channels but then I realised Dhruv was getting addicted to TV. To check his addiction, I have made No TV rule from Mon to Fri, even in holidays. TV can be watched only on Sat and Sun. I know I am able to achieve this only because both of us live alone. It won’t be possible in any other situation.
I don’t watch much TV but have to save my kids from this…..weekdays is still fine – they need some respite after a long school day, I feel…..but beyond that, it becomes an addiction….These days, I read to them every day one book on this very topic – Too Much TV in the Berenstain Bears series which they enjoy a lot….:)…..and then there is my husband who needs that TV break too…..what should I do….? And when I come to India, all the family members want to watch for some reason or the other……!!!!! No escape…..!!!!!!
I used to have a television set–and was watching too much television. Then I decided to cut back–and the change to my life was so wonderful that I eventually got rid of my television set at my house-period! That was about thirty years ago. No regrets! Instead, I’ve read lots of nonfiction, thrillers, classics, some science fiction, how-to books and magazines and more. No regrets! No regrets! No regrets! Nothing beats the magic of reading!!!!!!!!