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June 30, 2010

Anything Good On The Telly?

My blogger friend, Owen, has a super wonderful mostly photo blog called Magic Lantern Show. He has given me permission to use this photo, but believe me you want to see some of the awesome photos he has taken in and around the fascinating city where he lives.
Thanks, Owen, for letting me use one of your photos. Be sure to tell Owen I sent you!

The first thing I thought when I saw this black and white photo of the older style television in such disrepair was that it looked similar to the television I had in my early twenties. I have caught a lot of bugs in my day, but thank goodness the television bug is not one of them. When I was young and still in school I was busy. Maybe not the happiest kid on the block, but I had an interest in things and an inquisitive nature that kept my brain going full steam even when I was asleep. I kept a pencil and notebook near my bed so when I woke with a brilliant idea, I wrote it down and went back to sleep. When I wasn't writing screenplays or poems, I was listening to music and reading. I worked with the flowers and plants. I built things. They might not have been smooth and perfect but I made things. With wood. With material. I painted anything I could find. With leftover paint or I would use tea bags and dye something.

By the time I met Hubby I had pretty much turned off my large screen plasma TV and was so tired of not getting any good honest news reporting or weekly shows. There didn't seem to be much I was interested in watching, so it was easy to not turn it on at all.
The funny thing was that when Hubby and I met that was one subject we had in common immediately. So six months after we met we moved in together and I sold my TV and surround sound and never looked back.

I am not interested in hashing over and over the negative things about television. What I am most interested in is the positive benefits of not ever watching television. The first thing that comes to mind is the sound in our home. It is peaceful. It is quiet. A benefit of not having even a background "noise" all the time. We hear birds chirping. We hear the rain pounding on the roof. Natural sounds. We hear each other when we speak. We REALLY hear each other. Do you get what I am saying? We don't have our faces sort of on each other and our eyes drawn to the television, obviously not completely present and listening. We are present and caring and respectful. We each feel important to each other.

We have time to be together when we want to. Lots of time. Just think of how many hours we have to play games and talk and read and play darts and go for walks that would have been spent sitting in front of a box with noise and pictures. Ugh. I can't tell you the number of times we have said how much happiness it has brought us as a couple to not have the distraction of television. We don't fight over who gets the remote. Or what show to watch. We can have our spats and get over them quickly and get on with our lives. So the amount of time we have put to good use is such a blessing and we are thankful every day for making the right decision for us.

So when I saw Owen's photo I felt compelled to share some of the benefits of not watching television. I know we are in the minority and some people even think it is so weird to choose to not have television. I am happy and healthy and communicating with my husband so if that is weird, then Hooray, I enjoy being weird.

53 comments:

Donda said...

If you can calm and quiet you must not have any rugrats running around either LOL Now, off to check out Owen!

LadyFi said...

We hardly watch any TV programs although the screen is used for watching DVDs and playing TV games! I spent most of my childhood without a TV - it was marvellous!

Ms. Anthropy said...

Can't even imagine not having my "Peephole to Paradise". I spend MANY hours by myself and would be lost without the distraction. Kudos to you for finding another way to live. Nothing wrong with that, in the least.

Opaque said...

I readily agree with this post. The irony is that I am heading towards working in Film and TV as I am finishing my studies in the area. But, I am way different from the ones in my class. I have not watched and still do not watch as much as TV as most students in my class do (or are supposed to). I have never been a big fan of TV. But, I still love some of its aspects. It is hard to explain it over here.

I used to prefer watching the news. But, thanks to sensationalism, I have stopped doing so.

A very good post!

LL Cool Joe said...

I have no interest in TV either, and never did have as a kid. Like you I was too busy making things and being creative. TV kills creativity.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I envy you two. The biggest difference between my husband and I is his love and my not love for television.

Brian Miller said...

i hear you techno...the only tv in our hous is a 13 inch tv/dvd combo for when we really wan to watch something...no satelite or cable...would say its ben very healthy for our marriage...

blueviolet said...

I absolutely love the "sound" of no tv. With my ex, he would immediately turn it on the second he'd come home and it drove me nuts. I am so enjoying the silence.

deb said...

good for you, for you both.
I rarely watch tv, and hate when people turn the main floor one on just out of habit, the noise bothers me.
I so appreciate being able to use the internet for news etc.
The family generally watches the tv downstairs for sports or movies .

as a kid , tv watching was one of the few things we were allowed to do , so I grew up watching a lot of it.

secret agent woman said...

I have a television and have a few shows I really like (The Office, The Daily Show), but mostly I like it for watching movies. If the kids aren't home, though, it is not often on - I have always hated background noise.

Casey Freeland said...

You're not weird, just unusual. Whatever you have done to make a happy home for yourself is great. It sounds like you have real balance. We have that too, just differently. Our television watching is coupled with voracious reading by every member of our family, loads of physical activities, puzzles, building, sports, etc. As you have, it's only necessary to find balance that works with the family and surround yourself with lots of love. The appliances don't really matter in the long run.

Betty said...

I admit it, we would have a major life crisis it there was no tv to watch. But we do have some rules. We don´t have it running day and night. We don´t watch during meals and we have NO tv in the bedroom. It´s for evening entertainment only. But I respect that you can live without. I know it would be good for us too, I´m just to weak to get rid of it... :)

Jeanie said...

There is nothing wrong with or weird about a choice that enhances your life and gives you satisfaction.

DJan said...

I guess we are somewhere in the middle. We have it, I watch it much more than the husband, but in respect to the other person in the house, we use headphones so that the other has silence and can hear the birds outside. I am much more addicted to the internet...

Momma Fargo said...

Television can be wonderful or a crutch. I prefer nature to the boob tube if at all possible. Sometimes a TV timeout is great fun!

Ina in Alaska said...

Great post. We do watch TV and I love to see the old movies and I will admit to being a Bravo TV junkie. But I wish my husband would TURN IT OFF sometimes, or if we could at least have some quiet hours for reading. Alas, it is not to be, and not only is it not to be, the volume is pretty loud because now the Hubs has suffered sudden and profound hearing loss in one ear. This past weekend when he and son Craig left to drive the vehicle to Seattle I hardly put the TV on (well yes I rented 2 DVDs that I wanted to see) but other than that, it was very peaceful. Me and the dogs. Enjoyed the quiet. Except for those 2 films and music. Ahhhh... xoxo (from hubby's ancient laptop)

Kathy M. said...

I do get what you're saying. That's how it is at the land for us. No TV, radio, Internet, no traffic. Personally, I'm not a fan of background noise, though when we are home, my husband likes it. It's one of the few things we disagree about. But we both enjoy the peace and quiet of the land.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

give me the sound of music or give me death,...

janeywan said...

I tried to cancel the cable part of our comcast and can you believe they charge extra just for internet. Guess I'll watch a little tv to get my monies worth!

Kristina P. said...

I have a sad love affair with TV. I swear I have it on all the time. I need to take a step back and listen to the silence.

Stickup Artist said...

Hi TechnoBabe,

Thank you for your recent visit and comment!

I hear you about the Telly. My boyfriend and I have spent the last year with no TV but do cheat a bit and have Netflix for the occasional Friday or Saturday night movie, and don't miss it at all.

Not to mention you save a ton of money and gain a ton of time. I also find I'm relieved of many pressures to live and think a certain way. I am much more relaxed without it.

I think there is a growing trend away from television. I think poor news coverage and commercials are driving viewers away.

TALON said...

We didn't watch much television at all growing up - mostly Sunday nights Ed Sullivan and maybe "Bonanza" as a family. It was a family event. Growing up, busy with an outdoor life (horses, etc.) there was no time for tv and no regrets either. I don't think it makes you weird to not have television. I think the silence really does enhance quality of life. Mind you, I love having music on in the background. It makes a great accompaniment to the birdsong :)

Big Dave T said...

Intriguing comments. I'm not much of a fan of TV myself, and for many of the same reasons you indicate, but my wife likes having the 'background' noise there while she's working in the kitchen, even if she's not watching the telly herself. To each his own.

lisleman said...

You forgot to mention one other benefit - not wasting energy.

I can find some good stuff on TV but it usually is on PBS. IMHO the content took a nose dive with the reality crap.

I think watching some good TV shows is a good balance.

Everyday Goddess said...

for free time, I read, blogs, books, and i listen to music.

tv isn't big in my life anymore!

Cinner said...

I believe the benefits of not having one would far outweigh the negative ones. If I could I would throw it out, but my hubby watches too much sports for my liking....I think he would die on the spot if he came home and it was gone...We really don't watch alot of t.v though. take care. loved the post today. hugs.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Before I met Flip, I owned a TV but it was in a back room, covered with a quilt and used as a lamp table, never turned on. He had more interest in the grand old American institution than I did, so we do own a TV. Now that he has AD and can no longer do so many of the creative things he always did before like writing music and making art, it is helpful. I rarely watch it, though, and it is never on all the time as background noise. I don't understand people who do that, and always feel like an intruder in their homes because it's clear they would rather be watching TV. I also enjoy the sounds of nature far more than mostly stupid shows which steal hours from my life. so I don't think you're weird - I think you have really good priorities.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

I wonder if I belong here. I watch TV. I love TV..whether it is a drama, a comedy, or sports...or movies...I am a TV viewer...and my wife and I get to spend plenty of time together both in front of and without the TV...

Julie said...

Right on, Technobabe! You are right. There are many advantages to not having a television turned on. I used to have a favorite show, but now the only thing I like are the old classic movies once or twice a week. I'm discovering the ones I never saw, like Casablanca. I also love renting Indie movies made in other countries. But network television? Blech!

My friends think I am sooooo weird. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Thanks for the link. I love the picture you posted, and the header picture at the Magic Lantern Show is awesome!!

Ed Pilolla said...

this is really fascinating, what is left when the tv is gone. i remember moving and not having tv for a while, and at first it was tough, but then i liked not having it around.

as you hubby noted, tv watching is an addiction. it's going to be tough to get over at first. many people, including myself, lean on tv for the silent moments of our lives. there's pain in the silence of life, and tv fills it, in a way that's not authentic for sure.

jillsy said...

OMG..if only!! Right at this moment, my hubby has left the large screen TV on in the room next to me with some idiotic show playing and he's gone upstairs to watch in a different room. He can't even turn the darn thing off!! AND...I've had to learn to go to sleep with the darn thing on! BUT...I insisted if it has to be on it MUST be something I don't mind listening to!

Roxy said...

Ah, I love the quiet. If I lived alone, I don't think I would even turn the tv on. I rarely watch it but those around me do. I dislike most of the reality shows and the vulgar display of human ignorance on some of the talk shows. I can definitely understand why you enjoy NOT having tv.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I don't do a lot of TV watching, I prefer music. I do watch the Discovery and History Channel, sometimes a dvd, but that's really about it.

Robert the Skeptic said...

There really is little on TV "worth" watching. We Netflix a lot of movies and my wife and I compete on "Jeopardy". But we really spend FAR more time on the computer than the TV. The Networks have ruined it all anyway, what's the point?!

Dave King said...

A great blog, this, beautifully thought-out and both intersting and amusing to read.

Mr. Stupid said...

We hardly watch TV at my home. I did watch a lot when I was a kid. The whole "magical box" seems boring now.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. I love it : )
I think each family should do whatever works for them.
I am sad to say that Gary loves TV. Perhaps even more than me : )
When we got married he wanted one in our room. I had never imagined a tv in a bedroom! Now though, I am used to it and I LOVE the Real Housewives series. The thing I don't like about tv is that it keeps me from reading. I am pretty strict about what Kaishon watches.

Very thought provoking post.

Enchanted Oak said...

Did we grow up together and I've forgotten? Your reminiscences about activity while growing up sound so familiar.
A good and thoughtful essay on the joys of life without TV.

Tracie said...

I envy you. At my house there are usually 2 tvs blaring all day long. (When the kids are home anyway.) I can't think with all the noise going on.

Owen said...

Dear TechnoB.,
I don't know how to thank you ! But I love what you've done with the photo here... an excellent use for it...

I'm wondering, there seem to be quite a number of people who agree with you, so much so that perhaps an association needs to be formed, which we could name :

Shoot Your Television

I don't know which there are more of in the USA, guns or televisions. The acronym, of course, would then be :

SHYT

What do you think ? I can see the bumper stickers now...

GO AHEAD : SHYT !

Sorry, just kidding of course... but totally agree with you, the less TV, the better..

Take care, and many thanks again !

otin said...

TV was not that important when I was a kid. I think that I used to go entire summers without even turning it on. Now I watch some reality programs, but that is about it.

I think that the invention of remote control made tv more addictive.

Hilary said...

Good for you. I do envy your ability to simply not have a TV and not miss it. I'm on my own most of the time so I find it to be good company. I know Frank would never live without his multitude of sports so a lack of television isn't likely in my future. It is nice to think about though.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog and leaving such an insightful, touching comment, Roland

Kazzy said...

These old sets are soooo nostalgic for me. Watching tv in the basement with my brothers. ;)

Syd said...

I seldom watch any television. We have a couple of TV's and C. likes to watch news. That is about all I watch. The computer has become the new time "waster" for me. I think that I could do without that somedays also.

Eileen said...

I have a few favorite shows, but if I had to live without TV I guess I could, I would miss the news most of all. My husband would be LOST without his programs, especially sports!
My addiction is the computer!
All the best,
Eileen

Shay's Word Garden said...

Hi TechnoBabe,

I hear ya about tv. My parents' tv broke when I was about seven, and they didn't fix it til i was ten. I didn't really miss it, although when it was available again, I watched it constantly for a while.

Later, in my 20s, I didn't have a tv again. Someone finally gave me a little black and white, which promptly conked out. Months later, there was a particular program i really wanted to see, so I hauled it out of the closet and tried it. It worked all through my show and then died for good about fifteen minutes after the show ended. I always thought my tv angels were with me that day lol.

Now, though, I like my tv and would be a little lost without it. You're right, there isn't a lot on, but I like my baseball games, and the silence, which I used to love, would drive me a little batty anymore, and so I like a little noise in the background, though it can't be too obnoxious. I can't STAND canned laughter or game shows or the like.

xo

Suldog said...

MY WIFE is much more the TV addict than I. If she isn't home, I usually read a book, or do some writing, or otherwise engage my brain. About the only things I ever watch, when she isn't around, are sporting events and The Three Stooges.

(Make your own joke about those choices.)

I did love TV when I was younger, though. Sitcoms - almost all of them - were my faves. Now? Eh. Not much that truly interests me.

Unknown Mami said...

Weirdo!!! Just kidding. I like to watch TV for particular shows. I do not enjoy having the TV on at all times. My husband could have the TV on constantly. We don't have cable and only get a few channels. I never want to get cable because I don't need to watch him go through every channel just to discover there is nothing he wants to watch.

KleinsteMotte said...

In villages of developing nations there are dishes on huts so residents can get a glimpse of the visual world we've fabricated.Is it inspirational for then ?Is TV is a sort of status symbol? Dream builder ?? For us the novelty has worn off but for them is shows a world apart from there's and has them wishing. Does it build addictions?

CherylK said...

Good for you! I like the quiet, too. We don't watch much television. I'd rather read a book.

tulpen said...

Oh I wish! I didn't have a TV when I met hubs. A year later we moved in together and he refused to live without one. A year after that, we moved to Vermont and didn't have one again for a while...I LOVED not having one. If I needed background noise, I turned on NPR, but mostly silence is my favorite.

only a movie said...

Great post. I'd rather have it off than on, mostly.