For over a decade I have chosen not to subscribe to cable television, for no particular reason other than the cost being excessive. In all of these years, I have noticed my increased use of the phrase “Sorry, I don’t watch TV”, which always leads to a string of inquisitive questions. Some people can not fathom life without their favorite television shows. Choosing not to watch TV has allowed me to keep connected with my community, and local issues that could affect me and my family. I admit that it will not be easy, be open minded and let me explain how taking a break in your watching TV could enhance your life.
Not having cable television is a personal choice, although cost is a convenient scapegoat. We have six children between the ages of three and 16 years old in our household; cable television does not have a place in our family’s budget. It has been a convenient tool to open the door to speaking finance with our children, as we are often asked “Mom! Why dont we have cable like a normal family, GOSH!!!” It is fun explaining to them how expensive a household is, and it’s a very eye opening experience. I believe it’s a sort of ‘real world’ introduction for them; everything costs money, down to the water we bathe in (or in this case the cable TV, which is a tad less necessary). I am exposed to many new people in my business, and I am always surprised when grown adults have nothing to converse about other than television. And I think these same individuals feel I am equally strange. Don’t get me wrong, we have a DVD player, and an Xbox Kinect connected to a TV that’s probably bigger than necessary, we still enjoy hanging out in our living room as a family.
When I asked my youngest sister Cassie, living across the country in Georgia , if she had cable or satellite television she laughed and did not answer me. After my silence she drawled “Oh, you were serious? Of course we have TV, honey, how else would we watch the Bulldogs play?” I have to give it up to her there; I often find convenient reasons to visit the home of a friend during Laker games. Basketball season is my one and only regret to not having cable or satelite TV. But my friends and neighbors dont mind, infact they find it amusing that I find all the commercials so informative. But hey, commercials are fun, with a lot of interesting tidbits in them!
When we moved into our home in July we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our house was on our youngest nephew’s paper route! We happily gave little Bryson our business, and every morning the local paper is neatly folded and delivered to our front door. Bryson is definitely one of the great perks to living in this neighborhood. With no television, we are not exposed to any Late Breaking News; we do not have to worry about the crime rate in Seattle or some other big city, or even the latest Lindsay Lohan nonsense. We simply read about the goings on in our own community, and we are often made aware of local festivals and free community events, it is great to be ‘in the know’ and I am always the point of contact when a family member needs an activity for the weekend (Geocaching, anyone?). Also, events such as your local mayor being a crook are not always broadcast on the evening news. Being aware of political events will go far in your communities future, and I encourage everyone to vote, and become part of the solution. Even if that means making a good thing better, do it.
I will not go as far as to say TV rots your brain, because I don’t feel like putting the research behind the statement, but TV sure does wear an odd dent in your couch cushions, and an impressive hole in your wallet. I encourage everyone to live well, and if that means a healthy dose of television in your day, please do not deprive yourself. I ask you to counter every hour spent watching TV doing something else entertaining, like reading, or playing ourside. Whatever you’re doing, do it with a smile, it’s amazing how much this helps.