7 Months (and going) without TV
It started like any other long-term idea we’ve been thinking about doing but never did – by chance.
I’d just moved on this new appartment, which is near to my work place, and when I connected the TV cable to the oulet nothing but static shows on the TV. I prompted called the landlord, who said I would need to connect a cable just outside my apartment – something simple. But then something happened – I started wondering what it would be like to don’t have TV, which was something that was floating on my mind for a while.
Needless to say I didn’t connect that cable.
The results: I’m not up to date with mainstream news, or fancy new products or brands and not even with politics. I don’t care about football or any sport on TV (but I do enjoy and do sports). Sure, I know who is running my country (to hell) but that’s basically it. I don’t get brainwashed as often, and I have more time to do what I like. There is no downside to it.
I quit speding so much time watching people do stuff, and since then I’ve got the time to do that stuff myself.
This last seven months I’ve been reading more, running more, loving more, talking more and getting to know other people more.
I don’t miss it at all. Whenever I would normally be watching TV I find myself starting projects for which I would never had the time.
If it wasn’t for that little cable needed to be connected, I would had spent the last 7 months watching TV for most of the evenings. And I wouldn’t done anything during that time but sit on my butt.
Am I alone here?
I agree with you. Americans waste far too much of their time watching TV. I have avoided subscribing to cable TV for years to minimize this (and I don’t get Netflix or Hulu) but I still watch far too much with just the over the air channels.
To give you a TV reference as to why I think TV dominates too much (a contradiction in terms to be sure, but memorable for me): in the Star Trek Enterprise series there is an episode where the alien doctor, Dr. Phlox, is watching a movie on the ship with a human woman.
She asks him at one point when he seems disconnected from the plot, “They don’t have movies where you come from, do they?”
And he says (paraphrasing a bit here), “Oh, we had something like this once on my planet years ago. But people stopped watching it when they found their own lives were far more interesting.”
That’s what I’m striving for myself. Not entirely there yet.
Just pull the plug, man. It’s fun without TV, it appeals to your creativity and the laziness just fades away.
Oh, I’m trying….
You know, something else goes hand in hand with this. I used to check the news sites daily online (CNN, MSN, USATODAY, NYT…) and I realized how depressing it was and how much a waste of time recently that I no longer go to them.
CNN alone is very misleading. You think its the best informative news organiztion. But go to their site and at least 50% of the stories on any given day are about killings in the US, weird murders, killings around the world. They focus on this more than anything else. I guess they think it draws in viewers. How much of this crap do we have to hear about? Why is it so important? The big news organizations online are just as one dimensional as they are on TV, so I’ve sworn off of it…
Every newstations on the TV are misleading. In Europe there are free daily newspapers on major public transports (train, subway, etc). These newspapers are the same accross europe (same name, same news), and they come all from the same source. If you want to everybody have the same opinion on any subject, just print some “news” or “opinion article” on those newspapers.
Mainstream news are made to shape our opinions.
There was a point in time where my SO and I had basic cable when we moved into our apartment. I believe it was only 13 channels in no particular increments, all of which had programs we didn’t care much for. Still, we watched them like mindless junkies in our free time. About a year later one of our animals fucked up the cable that connected our converter to the TV and game systems so our only source of entertainment was netflix or nothing at all (sans video games). Still, at that point, I really did notice a change in the flow of things.
Exactly like you put it, “I quit spending so much time watching people do stuff, and since then I’ve got the time to do that stuff myself.” We DID more, instead of dreaming of doing them. I’m in a really tough spot right now where I browse for hours finding hobbies and crafts to do (woodwork, glass blowing, making runes, etc), but I never actually DO them since I wind up getting sucked into BO2, television, or netflix for hours on end. I’m a self improvement junkie. I like getting rid of things and researching and studying meditation… pretty much everything in question or of ‘high existence’ in a sense.
I’m learning and experiencing so much more in the way of spiritual experience (sans religion), psychical practices, meditation and self-discovery in a way. I’m establishing a base for the big personal changes to come, and I think that you’ve brought to mind a strong distraction in my life. I guess I never REALLY looked at how much of a stress TV and related stimulation can be, aside from the sort of anxious feeling I get after playing black ops for 5+ hours. I expect it, but never considered those things to be what could be holding me back in my meditation and focus.
All in all, you’re not alone. I do remember what this feels like, and you’ve made it that much more apparent how much I’d love to be back in those shoes again.
Well, I’ve got excellent news for you. It’s easy to be back on those shoes again. Just remove the batteries of your remote, cancel the cable subscription or simpy sell your TV. Just think of the space and protagonism it takes on your living room – reclaim it by re-organizing your living room in a way your TV (if you want to keep it) occupy a secondary position, to say the least.
Most living rooms are layout around the TV, with sofas, chairs, dinner tables all face fronting this life-sucking machine. But it is your “living” room, it should be around the living, and not about wasting life.
Just pull the f’ing cable already!
hm, i respect what you have done here, you have revealed to yourself that you had an impulse control problem in response to the Tele,
what i mean is, all the things you have discovered that you were not doing when you were watching TV instead, and how you were unaware of this until the Tele was gone,
though, and there is a really good South Park episode that shows this, an extreme response is never about real control, the control by denying completely is a response to the person’s inability to control themselves,
i guess, to put differently, if you deny something completely it reveals you still have a problem with it, real control happens when you have the option to watch the Tele, yet decide to do everything that is important prior to settling down,
to complete this circle of discovering yourself and mastering your impulse, if you can get to a point where you see that the problem is not the Tele, but rather your response to it, you will see what i mean,
there are advantages in terms of learning and being socially aware that come from some TV use, the Tele itself is not bad, only the use of this ‘tool’ can be, the individual using it,
what do you think ?