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7 Perks For Having ‘NO TV’

Last winter we became a TV free house.  Really the transition went very well.  We hardly watched anything on it before and now we watch what we need to on the computer.  The ugly pile of electronics and cords is gone from the living room as well as the temptation.

As I exercised the other evening in front of the TV at the fitness complex (because people feel they need a constant TV distraction in almost every situation in their day) I thought about how our not watching TV has changed life for us.

First, people usually think we are crazy, but that doesn’t really count 🙂

What are the benefits of living TV free?

  1. Time – I have to start with the obvious one.  I have seen results over 5 hours a day on some sites but according to the American Time Use Survey Americans over the age of 15 spend about 2.7 hours a day watching TV.  What could you do with 2.7 hours a day extra?  After sleeping, eating, and working this could be %50 or more of ‘the day’ you are in control of.
  2. Materialism – TV is the #1 way companies are using to make you feel like you need to buy more/own more.  Not only in advertisements but in all the shows people are shown happy when they have more, bigger, shinier, newer, things.  Some of it is blatant, and some is just slipped in without us thinking much about it but it is there and it is everywhere.  “Buy stuff to complete yourself and to find happiness”.  I sure don’t believe this is true …it is the underlying theme of the website :).  Whether you believe it is true or not is only part of the battle.  What we surround ourselves with talks to our subconscious more than we realize.  Surround yourself with entertainment and leisure that supports what you believe.
  3. Health – Very much the same as materialism TV is used to both communicate a perfect body (weight, hair, skin, etc) as well as feature terrible health habits.  These two only go together in a fictitious world.  So, just like materialism, make sure you surround yourself with pictures and habits that you are trying to create (instead of bad habits you are trying to break).  I noticed this the other day, somehow the TV can make take-out pizza look so good.  Almost every time I give in to the temptation it makes me feel terrible, but every time I see the fancy pictures on TV I think I want more.
  4. Comparison – There is no (or few reasons) to ever compare myself with others.  I don’t want to compare what I own, how I look, what I do/make, how I parent, what I believe and more with anyone else.  The thing with TV is that it makes it so easy, and the comparisons are not accurate.   We can see features of amazing people changing the world (at their best moments) and feel guilty for not doing more, or we can see people making huge mistakes (at their worst) and it makes us feel better about ourselves.  Neither of these comparisons have anything to do with us.  Other peoples stories have to do with them (if they are even portrayed accurately), and our life has to do with us.  What we want to do, what we can do, how we want to grow, what our challenges are – these are all things we learn and grow from but it comes from looking into ourselves, not comparing ourselves with others.
  5. Negativity – The world can be a terrible place and the TV is there to tell you all about it.  Lots of people are talking about the danger of too much news and talk about ‘news fasts’ to help your mood.  …well no TV sure helps with the ‘news fasts’.  The internet still has lots of news, however, I would recommend sticking to what you really need to know.  The world is full of lots of good as well.  How about finding a place where you can hear about the good things (or ways you can make a difference) instead of the bad?
  6. Mental Instant Gratification – Lots of the trouble with the TV is that it is used as a drug.  Bored, tired, lonely, trouble focusing?  Turn on the TV.  It typically doesn’t help you think or learn much, it is just easier than thinking, working on relationships, or picking up a (good) book.  Quick, easy, and the evening is gone before you know it.
  7. Addiction – Add on top of the first 6 things the fact that it is addictive (link to Readers Digest article about how to beat the addiction)  Sure, lots of things in life are addictive and there are lots worse things (possibly) to be addicted too.  But there is still a good reason to ‘cold turkey’ it and just say ‘NO’.

Just because you get rid of a TV doesn’t mean you can’t see the shows you really want to:

  • Some shows and sports can be seen on the internet
  • News can be seen on the internet
  • Schedule gym time during your favorite show
  • Get together with family or friends to watch a big show or game
  • Rent or buy seasons of your favorite shows to watch on your own time (if you still really want to see them after they come out)

Getting the big box out of the house does wonders 🙂  I recommend it!

Like this post? This blog?  I would love it if you would help get the word out by sharing on your social media.  
What do you think?  How has more or less TV affected you?

19 Comments

  1. I think the statistic is even higher for TV watching, upward of 4 hours a day. We have one I only watch about 1/2 hr a day and we get shows on net flicks that would be on paid tv. My daughter is the most drawn to it I have to make sure she doesn’t go over an hour a day… Yeah, though I am shocked at how much time Americans spend in front of a tv and it annoys me to know end that it is in restaurants and gyms, everywhere. That’s why when some tells me they can’t exercise or get involved in an activity because they “don’t have anytime” I know were there time is going.

    • yeah, the stats I found and put in my book were higher too. The thing is that lots of people are watching less or none.. so the people who are watching are making up for the rest of us. That is scary…

  2. We have a tv but use it very sparingly. It’s not on during the day and is really only used for movies. Maybe twice a week my husband and I will watch certain shows on our local public broadcasting station. But even then it’s on for about an hour each time.

    I love that we have broken our ties to needing to watch certain shows. I remember the days of turning it on first thing in the morning and having it on for much of the day.

    • Yeah, there are a few shows that we would probably watch if we had a TV and could watch without the kids around (because of adult humor and the commercials that have sometimes been so scary for them). We just found some old episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ we were watching last night on the computer.

  3. You will be happy to know that we pretty much never watch tv anymore. It has completely changed out morning and evening routines-and i now feel that we have more quality family time. We have our movies the girls watch one a day-but that’s that. I hardly know what’s going on the world anymore..and I like it this way. So thank you for taking the plunge and ibspiing me!

    • Yay! 🙂

  4. Catherine Catherine

    Hello,
    Once again, I fully agree with you regarding the bad influence of TV. I can say I never had any TV since I have been an adult except during the Football World cup in 1998 (that France won !!). There was something I was sure about when I started my parent life and this thing was no TV at all. No TV to entertain my children before/after school, no TV preventing the parents to talk and communicate, no TV to tell us what to think, what to like or dislike and how to behave !! If I had to put a rule that would have been my first one.
    Nowadays I have a PC where I can watch what I’d like (news, films it is enough for me. And it does not happen too much as I do not have the habit to be surrounded by images all the time !
    Thanks for your post.

    • Yes!

  5. We have a compromise in that we have tv, but no cable so if we do watch tv it is from a movie or a netflix tv show we’ve ordered! 🙂

    • Good idea 🙂

    • Andrea Andrea

      We are cable/satellite free as well. We pay for netflix to stream from our Wii. That’s all we really need. I mean it’s tv it won’t kill you or keep you alive lol

      • lol 🙂

    • Yay! Thanks!

  6. Your post really encouraged me. We have been t.v. free for about two years (we still watch some movies). I am continually amazed at the difference it has made in our lives. I kept meaning to blog about our experiences, but hadn’t gotten around to it. I think when we want to make an improvement in our lives, it is always very comforting and encouraging to see that others have had those same convictions, and been able to accomplish it.

    • yes, I have heard and found so many other people who are giving up TV as well. It is fun to find the like-minded 🙂

  7. […] in the last week two different blogs I follow had articles on reducing television viewing. Both Loving Simple Living and Simple Mom blogs had very insightful articles. I figured it was time to throw my few thoughts […]

  8. Back in December we got rid of cable and went with a Roku box. It was a great decision, and we don’t regret it at all. We watch very little TV now, and I think we could easily get rid of it completely. We have a TV in the bedroom but it is used once a month at most, and I am thinking of getting rid of it. My mom is having a yardsale in the fall and it just might make an appearance there!

    • Yay! I just love the way the living room looks without the box in the corner 🙂

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