Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life Without TV

I forget how rare it is not to own a TV this day in age, but then I'm reminded when conversations like this take place:

Me:  I don't have a TV.
Co-Worker:  You don't have a TV?  So, like, how do you watch TV then?

Life without TV can sometimes result in awkward social situations because I don't recognize many pop culture references.  I remember the day I had to google GTL because I had no idea what people were talking about.  I've also googled DWTS and SYTYCD after spending minutes guessing what these could be.  These acronyms get lost on a person living in the stone age.

Besides awkward breakroom conversations, life without TV is pretty great.  It's been over 2 years since I've had television and I honestly do not miss it.  At first, it might be an adjustment, especially if you dedicate certain nights to favorite shows, but that passes with time.  Here are a few reasons to cut back or ditch the TV. 

I have time for more important things...

Reading.  I am able to read an average of one book every 1-2 weeks.  If I had a TV, my books would sit all lonely in the corner, unread and unhappy while I gave all my attention to the Kardashians, or some other equally ridiculous reality clan.  I am part of 2 book clubs, one locally and one cross-country with my best friend. Okay, this may seem more nerdy than anything else - but I love it!

I am not subjected to these people. 
Has anyone studied whether or not The Jersey Shore causes a loss of braincells?

Running.  This is an obvious one.  I get to run all of these beautiful places that I mentioned yesterday!  I don't get sucked into my couch watching plastic, psychotic housewives or drunk italians tanning and doing laundry.  My evenings are well spent running or working out.  I realize that most of my readers are all very diligent about exercise but the average american could probably stand to spend more time at the gym and less time on the sofa.

Talking.  This might sound lame, but the absence of a TV allows more room for conversation.  Rather than zoning out, we engage ourselves in conversation.  Angela would want me to insert a note here that says, some days  many days I am not very chatty after work and I prefer to get lost in a book.  I admit it.  I don't always like to talk. 

And I am less influenced by the media...

I didn't realize what an impact TV had on my body image and self-esteem until I didn't watch it anymore.  When we watch TV we are infiltrated with images of stick thin women with perfect hair, skin and boobs.  It's hard not to compare oneself.  I know I did.  I assumed that the size of these starlets was attainable by someone like me -- but that's unrealistic.  Without TV telling me I should weigh 100 lbs, I feel pretty satisified with my body, as I should.  (I will admit, I am having a low-confidence kind of day - but typically I feel good about myself).

Average woman?  I think not.


I save $$$$

I don't know how much cable costs these days but I've heard somewhere around $60 or $70 every single month!! Are you kidding me?  I can have a membership to the fanciest gym in town with that kind of money.  The kind that has a bar and throws pool parties overlooking the Padres games.  I can't even image dishing that kind of dough out to the cable company.  I spend that money on race entries instead.

*****
I am not anti-TV by any means.  In fact, I occasionally pop on Hulu or Netflix and catch an episode of Modern Family or Mad Men.  It's rare, but it happens.  If I am going to stare at a screen for that long, I'd rather watch a movie and most likely it is a documentary or a foreign film. 

Have I completely alienated myself by talking about life without TV?  I promise I'm not that big of a nerd. 

37 comments:

  1. A girl after my own heart!
    Before moving to FL I lived TV-free for 5 full years (plus a couple of years on-and-off before that). Oh, the places I went! Oh, the books I read! Oh, the happy hours that turned into close-the-bar nights! (And I never once worried about missing "my shows.")

    I have a boob-tube now, but still don't watch often (and don't watch at all when Hubby's not home). For me, having one now is good for my teaching because I can relate shows like "16 and Pregnant" or "Say Yes to the Dress" to Intro to Sociology -- keeps the students awake.

    But I feel you on the crazy looks/questions you get when living TV-free. I can't tell you how many people tried to give me a TV, like I was indigent... Um... I can afford one. I don't want one! Thanks. ;)

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  2. I don't have a TV, either! It actually was just a few months ago that my husband and I "technically" got rid of our TV, but in the four years we've been married we never had cable, just whatever our (free) bunny ears antenna would pick up. So we never watched tv, just used the screen for DVDs. Actually, I've *never* in my life had cable/etc, my family just never watched TV when I was growing up for which I am SO grateful. I do get the awkward conversations with people who in one breath say "I wish I had time to run and make yogurt/bread/etc from scratch like you" AND "what do you do all day without a tv?" Silly people.

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  3. I watch like two or three shows.... I'd list them but you may not have heard of them ;)

    I can't say that I would give up my TV though because I do like to watch movies and I watch sports so that would make it difficult to be without TV, but an entire day can go by without me flipping on the TV.

    I have done well to keep my daughters from watching too much TV. They love to watch some shows on Netflix (they're into some 80s shows that I watched and their mom watched like Shera, He-Man, Inspector Gadget) and some other shows like Hello Kitty and Strawberry Shortcake that are kinda lame. But the best thing about that is no commercials. That's my biggest complaint about TV is all the damn marketing. I just as soon watch Netflix and not deal with that.

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  4. Uh, I didnt get to my point. I think it's awesome that you don't have a TV. Seriously. Who cares about all that pop culture crap anyway?

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  5. We have not had cable tv in over 10 years. We watch movies from the library and the kids can watch PBS kids online. We have had netflix subscriptions a couple of times and I love Hulu and Projectfreetv.com for shows too however I choose what I want and its usually some kind of SciFi.
    Return of the Jedi from the library is on for tonight :)

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  6. I think this is awesome. I am very proud to have never seen an episode of Jersey Shore...
    I have definitely cut back on TV...I don't make it home most nights from training until 8 or 9 so there isn't much time anyway...

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  7. I have a TV and I don't know what GTL is.

    I won't give up my TV because there are a few select shows that I really enjoy, and I like to watch movies, but I never waste time channel surfing. Like you, I would much rather read.

    Great post!

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  8. We have TVs but no cable right now and I don't miss it at all!

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  9. I like the no TV idea a lot. I don't watch much but do watch quite a bit of sport on occasion. I find the TV handy to keep kids busy at times as well and also watch DVD's often. I don't go to movies...ever. I do the DVD thing. Overall, I think life without it is better.

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  10. We ditched cable and just watch a few shows here and there through Netflix and Hulu. So much easier to not get sucked into the void that is television when you actively choose what to watch. We spend a lot more time talking, cooking, reading, etc. rather than losing valuable down time to the boob tube.

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  11. I like the idea of being TV free, I really like the idea for financial and productivity reasons however I am addicted to a few shows and cant see life without them (Fringe, Modern Family, I shouldn't be Alive & The Walking Dead) How sad and pathetic right? After reading this post (and the comments) I have decided that the time has come to dump cable, for the 3 hours a week I enjoy I watch hours more of stupid programing that is probably rotting my brain and wasting my $ so a BIG thank you for posting this

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  12. This is our second summer of no cable and it's just so lovely. Instead of waking up and turning on the tv, my kids wake up and read a book or play with legos or just talk. It's been fantastic for me, too. Do you know why I like to watch tv? It's mindless. It let's my brain go to sleep. What do I like to do to help this process along? Have a drink with my tv show. So now, I've not only lost the bad habit of bad tv, but now my alcohol consumption has also gone down :-)
    I do not miss tv AT ALL. I've read more books this summer than ever before!! I love reading so much, I can't believe I ever chose tv over books.

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  13. I think the no TV people are definitely in the minority but I sort of like it that way. We haven't had TV for 3 yrs and really haven't noticed not having it. However, we have noticed when friends or family have theirs on. The noise of it and the terrible junk that is on makes me glad I'm not with the masses. Sort of reminds me of Wall-E.

    Have you ever taken a night run through town. The blue glow from EVERY house starts to freak me out a bit. Can't watch TV after that.

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  14. I have a tv, but no cable. I definitely think it's improved my life. Nobody needs to spend $150 a month on 500 channels that they'll never watch... or watch for hours a day instead of interacting with real people or being active.

    And those skinny pictures are terrible!

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  15. Very impressive. We definitely spend wayy to much on cable. Over $100 a month for sure!

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  16. So i own a tv, but I don't have cable. I just use Netflix, so its way cheaper and you do less zoning out channel surfing, I've been cable free for over a year now and totally don't miss it.

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  17. We're TV free too! It started back during the Writer's Strike in February 2008 - we noticed we hadn't turned the TV on for a few weeks. So it became a game - how long can we go without watching turned into how long can we go without getting cable when we moved the next summer, which turned into let's just sell the TV and see how we handle it.

    We do watch a couple of shows on Hulu, but other than the awkward conversations with co-workers, I looooooove not having it!

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  18. I'm so glad we found each other! You are gorgeous and inspiring- and reminded me how awesome it was last week to not have TV. It definitely would give me more time to blog, that's for sure! :)
    I really like your images of "average women...?". I teach a body image unit to my grade nine Phys Ed girls and it is so important to find the balance between healthy body image and the media. Most of them don't even know they are victims to it!

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  19. We don't have a TV, and we don't pay for cable, but we do use Hulu.com all the time. So, even though I say we don't have TV, it's not 100% accurate. I still have some TV shows that I follow, but at least I don't have to watch commercials or "reality" shows.

    And, like you, I'm often lost when people start throwing out pop culture references.

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  20. I wish I was like you!! My boyfriend pays for the cable bill because I absolutely hate it. But whenever he has it on, it sucks me in. I just need to say no. I kind of want to throw it out the window sometimes. Jersey Shore...seriously...I know what you mean.

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  21. Love that you don't have a TV! I grew up without cable TV and I just about never actually watch the TV in my apt.
    If there's something that I'm dying to watch, I can catch it on my laptop.

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  22. I could totally live without a TV, but my husband couldn't. He's way too into watching sports games. Blah. And well, I must admit, I sometimes like to pop a movie on the tube for my kid so I can do something useful like vacuum, or nap.

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