Not So Strange

According to an article in the Washington Post today, I am not alone. There are quite a few people who do not own televisions. Okay, we are talking about less than 2% of the total US population but 2% is still 2%. I do own a television from back when I had cable tv but I decided about 3 years ago to discontinue my cable. And I live in an area where if you do not have cable basically you have no reception. Even public television has extremely poor reception. My main reason behind cutting of my own cable was the cost. In order to get BBC, I had to get the higher price package. And about the only thing I watched was BBC. The cost did not justify itself for just one channel. I did occasionally watch FoodTv but not that much. I decided to turn off my tv for exactly one week. And that one week turned into two. When two weeks turned into 3 weeks, I called the cable company and canceled my service.

My mother still can’t figure out how I can survive without cable. But she is also some one who will turn on the television first thing in the morning and it will be on all day until she goes to bed at night. And we are not talking about one television but she will have two televisions on at the same time. I was over at her house yesterday and I had to go out side to the sun room for some quiet.

I still have my television but I use it to watch DVDs a couple of times a week. I do use Netflix for my movies and documentaries. I love documentaries and I watch quite a few of them. Plus I find that I am willing to watch unusual movies that I would never have looked at before. I will watch foreign films over American films now. Although if you were to look at my queue, right now the top 10 are all cartoon. Okay, I admit it, I like Darkwing Duck and Scooby Doo. I also watch Duck Tales. But I can also pick and chose when I want to watch them.

I have found that I read more and, of course, I knit more without television. I have always been a reader but I have actually been reading more over the past few years. And I am not a library person. So yes, I know exactly how much I have spent on my reading materials. (I do not use my local library because they never seem to have in what I am interested in reading. I do admit to having very eclectic tastes in reading material.)

So have you ever considered turning off the television in your house for week? Try it and see how much time you find that you actually have to spend doing things you want to do.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Not So Strange

  1. MJ

    I’ve been tv-less for the past 6 years, and haven’t missed it once. The only times I do watch are when we’re at the family’s or friends’ houses. And I find that the quality of programming is so mediocre… The best part of not having it is that you have more of a “real” life. It’s not that hard to walk away from it.

  2. I’ve gone through several periods where I was too broke to pay for cable and simply didn’t watch TV. I’m back to watching now though, but, like you, I have specific channels that I like. I don’t really understand people who are addicted to certain shows (be it Lost or American Idol)… And I have to admit that I cannot read and knit at the same time, so TV is a must!

  3. When I lived by myself I didn’t have cable/watch TV. I also used Netflix for DVDs and I had a really great independent bookstore up the street from my house so I did a lot of reading.

    It was a very peaceful existence. Now of course I live with three people and two dogs, the TV is always going and I never have those sweet quiet moments alone ::sigh::

  4. Acckk! The horror, the horror! My kids actually don’t watch that much tv – 1/2 hour a day at most. But I like to have it on in the evenings after they’ve gone to bed. I get a lot of knitting done and still read about 10 books/month so I don’t mind the tv.

  5. EKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!! NO!!!!!! How do you survive????? Well at least you still have a TV to watch the much needed DVD fix every once and awhile. For me now a days I basically use TV’s to cover up the other white noise in the house. The squeal of hard drives is not what I want to hear in the morning when I wake up. So CNN is survival. You are right though TV shows in America are really mediocre at best. So DVD’s and Asian dramas are my TV programs of choice.

    MG hasn’t had a TV of any sort for 3 years and I don’t know how she does it.

  6. I’ve always been a total TV junkie 🙂 Then 2 years ago my TV broke and as I was broke it took me 6 months to get a new one (I got it 2 days before Xmas as I couldn’t face 5 days at home with no TV and nothing but Xmas music on the radio LOL). I do watch TV most nights, but there’s also weeks where I don’t watch at all. I do have one of those hard disk recorders so that I can record all my favorite stuff… I just have to make time to watch it all LOL.
    Since I’ve started to knit, I don’t read that much anymore, although I’ve just discovered audio books and so I can now ‘read’ while knitting again 🙂
    Cheers Eva

  7. I turned off the TV seven years ago. I still watch shows, just by download or buying the set. More and more it’s download free from the network.

    Books are another story. Not a library user either as interlibrary loan takes ages. I buy what I want and keep it. I have convinced DH that they are good insulation and the more we have the less wood we’ll burn (he chops the wood).

  8. I’m on the opposite side of this debate. I didn’t have cable for 5 years, and I didn’t watch much tv as a result. Paul would watch grainy sports games through the lousy antenna reception.

    We had cable installed last November. Now Paul watches more sports at home (and spends less time and money at the pub), and we sometimes watch The Daily Show and Seinfeld re-runs at night. Generally I just don’t think to turn the thing on. We do netflix, too, and probably watch one movie a week or so.

  9. globetrotteri

    Personally, I think your money is better spent on reading material than TV. I think it’s great that you don’t have cable!

    My guy couldn’t live without TV. He’s glued to the set from the time we get home until the time we go to bed. When we’re traveling, he considers it a sin if we stay in a place that doesn’t have TV.

    His next purchase when we return from traveling will be a new TV. He wants to put the old one in the bedroom. He’s going to lose that battle.

    Personally, I can live without it. I’d rather spend my time writing, reading, working out or beading. And, like you, I also enjoy watching films.

  10. Good for you. You sound like an incredibly healthy person in more ways than one. Before I got married, I lived by myself for one year and had no TV. I saved money, got a lot of sleep, read many books, and didn’t miss out on a g.d. thing. Go on wit yer bad self!

  11. I went for a year and a half without TV, Video or dvd and the first question people asked me was — “What do you do with your time?” (Like reading or doing something else was beyond them.) I also don’t have cable but (luckily or unfortunately?) do now have rabbit ears & a dvd player so I can check out PBS if the reception works.

    I don’t know why people pay for cable. I mean that extra 60 bucks a month can buy a lot of yarn!