|Found on a wall in Glasgow, Scotland. |
Photo taken by Brian Aslak Gylte from Norway
I tend to be somewhat more moderate and Mr. Chanclas and I decided that very limited, purposeful TV is okay for our family as long as it isn't becoming a problem for anyone. I detest the idea of leaving the TV on as "background noise" or channel-surfing "just to see what's on". I have never found anything good on TV while channel surfing. And TVs left on as background noise are terrible conversation-killers. The benefit to only watching TV shows on your computer through Netflix or Hulu or whatever is that you will tend to be more purposeful about your viewing. Purposeful is good!
What I'm struggling to say here is that TV rules and habits are different for everyone but I think it benefits us all to ask ourselves, "Is this working for me? Is it working for my family? Is TV getting in the way of other parts of my life?" And if you decide that it is, indeed, getting in the way, let's look at ways you can kill your TV (or at least use it differently). I advocate a slow wean more than sudden death.
1) Make the TV inconvenient
Several years ago, when Big Sister was four and Brother was a little baby, we decided to move our TV out of a central place in our home. Like most people, we had a TV in the living room and all of the living room furniture was arranged around it. At the time we had an attached two-car garage that we never used for our cars so we put the TV in the garage. We had an old futon out there already that had been waiting to go to Goodwill so that became the TV couch. The garage was unheated and uncooled so it really made you think twice about whether a show was worth watching in the 95 degree heat or the 40 degree cold.
|The kids looked like this while watching a movie in the winter time.|
2) Cancel the cable/dish/whatever
Another way to make the TV less appealing and to save a huge amount of money is to cancel cable TV subscriptions. If you are hooked on a particular show this can sound pretty unpleasant but really, in this day and age you can get most shows online or on DVD from the library. Once you have unplugged from the cable you only have network TV left and who wants to watch that? Now you are using your computer to watch shows/movies and you're probably doing it in a more purposeful way.
After you have made your TV inconvenient and cancelled the cable you have made your TV obsolete. You can get rid of it. Sell it on Craigslist. Donate it to charity. Give it to your grandmother. Trade it for something interesting. And think about what you can do with your new free time!
Anybody else have stories about how they killed their TV? Do you miss it? Did you gain something from it? What changed?