See the look in her eyes? That is the look of being lost in TV. I have seen the look in my own child’s eyes, and I have felt that lost many times. Not only have I felt lost in TV, but I have looked forward to the feeling. I have never lived anywhere without a TV (or 2 or more). Growing up, when I heard about families that didn’t have TV, I felt sorry for them. I thought those families must be crazy or deprived. I was wrong.
Last week, I finally did it. I canceled cable, and decided to finally live a TV free life. Honestly, it never even occurred to me to live without 500+ channels until about a year ago. Maybe the thought had crossed my mind before then, but I quickly dismissed the thought as slightly insane. Why would I want to give up the one thing that is always there for me at the end of a tough day? How could I abandon something that entertained me, and made me laugh and cry? And then, of course, the TV offered so many learning opportunities for my daughter, that I couldn’t possibly give it up! (not)
What I’ve learned after being TV free for one week?
Canceling your cable is FUN! When I called Comcast, after holding for 20 minutes, the first question they asked when I told them I was canceling service was, “Why do you want to cancel your cable?” I responded, “I’m tired of TV. I want to live my own life instead of watching TV characters live theirs.” Without missing a beat, the Comcast rep responded, “Well, I can give you a better deal.” Hmmmm…a better deal than living my own life? We went back and forth until I finally said, There is nothing you can do to change my mind.
Other people live a TV free life, and they are fine. Bill from The New Pursuit has been TV free for almost 3 years with 3 young children.
There are better ways to unwind. When I had TV, I used to look forward to certain nights because my “favorite shows” were on. That being said, with hundreds of channels, I could always find something to watch, even on the off nights. I thought I needed a few minutes hours of television each night to get over my work day. As it turns out, hiking, trail running or making pizza dough from scratch, all unwind me even better.
My 14 year old daughter will survive. Change is tough for a teenager, and then they can make it tough for everyone else. One of the reasons that I didn’t cancel cable sooner, is that I knew it would make my daughter mad. She’s had TV her whole life, and I wasn’t really sure it was fair to take it away. Now, only one week later, I know it was the best decision for me and for her. Even though she gripes about the change, and jokes about moving out, she already seems happier and is more present. She spends more time outside, with friends or with me!
I eat less without television. I know you probably never do this, but I loved to eat in front of the TV. If it was a tough day, dinner in front of the tube was a treat. Otherwise, a bowl of chips or a sweet treat would always hit the spot. Now, without TV, I move more and eat less, naturally.
I really like spending time with my family. Of course, I knew this before, but now that there aren’t two TVs running each evening, our family spends more time together. It wasn’t so long ago that I was more curious about Dr. Derek Shepherd’s day, than my own husband’s, but now, my man gets my full attention!
People think I’m weird. Most people don’t understand why someone would choose to live without TV. They think it must a money problem or that I’m just not right. I can live with that.
Visit thenewpursuit.com for great TV free resources, inspiration to stay TV free, and ways to experience a new way of living.