Worth It Wednesday….Television

by Merissa on December 15, 2010

in Uncategorized

 Two little girls walked in a field of tall prairie grass. The older one dragged a wood cart with her sister in it. She pulled the cart into a ravine that overlooked a stock dam. There was a pile of rocks in a circle on the ground. The girls pulled a few plastic pink plates out of the cart and started to set up house....
Who are the little girls? That's me and my sister when we were little playing out in the fields behind our house dragging around our grandpa's wood cart using it as our wagon. Most nice days we played outside. I remember there being a nice day in the winter and I would stare at the window waiting to finish my schoolwork so I could be outside.
I'm not saying that we were never inside, there were plenty of things to play with in there too but I'd much rather had been outside. I can tell you one thing though...when we were inside we where not planted in front of the tv. And I'm not saying that we didn't ever watch tv but it wasn't something we did every day and we preferred to be outside, making up our own games and expanding our imaginations. We invented so many places to play and things to play with....a town built with sticks with stick dolls....plates made out of pieces of wood....a table and chairs made with tree stumps....tree houses built with tumbleweeds....so many things to do and so little time!
When I went away to school I learned something about the rest of the world, they watched tv and they watched it all the time. My roommates had the tv on all the time and if there wasn't anything on that they wanted to watch they would pop in a movie. When I came home from school I missed the tv noise so I bought my first tv. When I was working in my room I constantly had it on, no matter what was on.
About a year later when I got married, me and my husband decided the tv had to go. We both wanted to continue with the lifestyle that we grew up with. So I got rid of it and you know what? I still haven't gotten another one. Not having a tv around I realized I finally had no distractions, my creativity flowed and I got more done around the house.
For some reason, while I was at school I got convinced that I needed the "noise" to get work done, when in reality I needed the noise to go away to find my creative side again.
No we don't have children yet but we have made a firm decision that we are not purchasing a tv. There is so much to do around here and I want my children to have the same fun growing up as I did, and that was playing outside and being creative.
I don't think there is anything wrong with watching an occasional movie (but I usually only get around to this in the winter when it gets dark early and it's cold outside) but I don't want my kids to grow up in front of the tv. I want their creativity to flow! 
In today's society, it's almost unheard of to not have a tv. But even though it's not the norm it doesn't mean we have to follow what most of society does. And of course this is just my opinion:) Not only do I think not having a tv will be good for our kids it also saves us so much money! Where we live the only kind of tv we could have would be some fancy cable package that I'm guessing costs more than my garbage and water bills combined. We also save on electricity costs and we save by not feeling like we need to buy dvd players, movies, and more gadgets for the tv whenever something new comes out.
Do you have a tv? Do you have one and wish you didn't?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Grace December 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I have been saying that I want to get rid of it, but hubby and I enjoy relaxing at night and watching a show. I just don't know. I think if he agreed it would work. And truth be told, if I really pushed he'd say okay. But I want him excited about it like I am, so for now I am praying about it.

The flip side: with Homeschooling, we've found that educational DVDs are a great way to round out a lesson. So maybe we'll just keep our little 13" one for that.


2 Merissa December 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Lisa: Me and the hubby do like to enjoy an occasional movie and we just watch it on our computer. If we want to watch a tv show we can usually find it on a website like Hulu.com. And the big networks like NBC usually have the latest episodes of their popular tv shows on their websites within a few days of airing.

And I know what you mean about wanting it to be a mutual decision. I know not everyone can make the same choices that we have, they have to decide what's right for their families:)


3 Debbie December 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm

We were the big screen TV family. We had the Superbowl party last year, were up on the latest news and watched way too much TV in the evenings. Then work slowed down and we were forced to cut corners financially. We needed the internet for my husbands work so that couldn't be cut. But the $1,000.00 a year we spent for cable TV in three rooms with the DVR box was a big expense we didn't NEED! So off it went last March! Did anyone have withdrawals?? Just ME! HaHa! The one who watched the least amount missed it the most! I sat in front of it ever morning with my coffee and watched every station of news. When one went to commercial I switched to another so not to waste time! Now I sat with my coffee and stared at a big blank screen! Did it kill me…No I survived! We have had some great offers from the cable company to come back. But the whole family agrees…it's gone for good. We do not get even the local stations because of where we live. So we watch movies on dark cold nights, and keep up on the occasional shows we have time for online. We spend so much more time crafting and being productive that I would not want to return to the addicted way of life we thought was normal. Sometimes finding yourself struggling financially opens a whole new door of happiness you weren't expecting!


4 April December 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Good for you! I grew up without a TV, have never had one in a house I lived in, and have never missed it. I don't know how people have time to watch it so much! I work full time and my evenings are always packed with things to do, and a mile-long list of projects I want to get to.


5 Merissa December 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Jo: I also get strange looks when i tell people we don't have a tv and the occasional "Well what do you do then?"

April: I agree! I wouldn't be able to find the time, especially during the day to get everything done that I need to do! I already go to bed at about 11 and that's only because the hubby is tired, but I could keep on working!


6 Misty December 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

after a trip to Africa in 2007 I came home and one of the first things I did was get rid of the television. At the time it was just me and my daughter. I got married the next year. Prior to our engagement my now husband got rid of his TV also and we have never gone back. It has been nearly 4 years!! We have 4 children and we have never had to deal with complaints from them that they wished we had a TV. Our family is so close, I would definitely say much closer than the "average" family and I think that not having a TV in the house certainly helps make that possible.


7 Jo's Health Corner December 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm

we haven't had TV for a few years and we don't miss it. My children play so much better without TV in the house. we do get strange looks when we say we don't have TV. I have noticed it has become more common to run into people without TV compared to a few years ago.



8 Anonymous December 16, 2010 at 2:40 am

I have to pitch in something from the opposite point of view on this topic–I had a super overbearing, overprotective mother and the only thing I had were indoor activities usually–I learned SOOO much from my tv.
Just as an example, I watched Law & Orders and looked up words I didn't know in the dictionary, learned law cases, etc. I watched CNN and learned about the real world. I do wish I had gotten to do more of the outdoor playing activities with friends that others did, but I would never advocate ridding the TV entirely.
Today, hubby & I do have a tv, but we don't have cable, just bunny ears and it's perfect–a bit of news, a bit of television to keep me thinking but kept to a minimum.
-Amanda Y. (ayyogurt)(at)(yahoo)


9 B May 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I am 14 years old and I live in Arizona. I grew up on a little farm, and I thought I had it all. Then, the electronics started flowing in and I became addicted. Not literally, but I did enjoy surfing the internet a lot. Then, it was all taken away from me. For about a day, I was pretty upset but then the next day I remember a time where I didnt have any of the distractions. It was wonderful!! I had time to pitch into the house work, and much more. Its not hard to get by without television or internet after all. I always tell my parents I am going to grow up and live on the prairie like they did in the 1800s. Ive always wanted to run into town on my horse, and I’m starting to doubt thats possible in todays society. Im worried once I have that lifestyle, I may not want it anymore. Thoughts?


10 Merissa May 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

It took me a while to get used to not having a tv. I did grow up with one. But after a while, the urge to want it went away. We still have a desktop computer that we movies on sometimes, but no tv. I think to get started it would help to get rid of the tv in the summer. There is much more to do outside then and you won’t even miss the tv. I hope that helps!


11 Leta October 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I quit watching TV in high school. I’d watch at others’ homes, and go to the movies, but that was it. In college, we had a TV but we lived off campus, so no cable, and we lived in the basement, so no OTA channels. We rented videos, that’s all the TV was for.

After that, I did not have a TV for seven years. I did not miss it.

However… once we had children, their (wonderful, adoring) auntie gave them her Netflix password. This was livable when we had a desktop. We had a energy audit done summer of 2010 and were shocked and appalled at how much the computer was costing (both in terms of money and coal burned). So we got a laptop and gave away the desktop. WELL, lemme tell you, laptop keyboards and sticky little fingers do.not.mix. So, resignedly, on Black Friday 2010, we got a TV. We knew we’d never get cable/satellite, so we went ahead and got a Roku box, too.

The kids can use the Roku remote easily, it’s great for them, which is a double edged sword. Setting TV limits has been something I have struggled with more than any other facet of parenting. The new rule is paying for Netflix and Hulu+ for October through May, and then letting the services lapse and locking the Roku in the cabinet for the summer.

While I could let the TV go in heartbeat, I have noticed that since I was in high school and observed that movies were better than TV, things have flipped flopped over the past 15 years. Now, most movies are dreadful, and many TV shows are quite good.

This was long winded, I just wanted to let you know that children and watching TV on a computer are not usually the world’s greatest compliments to one another.


12 just me December 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm

When I was a kid, I was always in the woods behind our house. Lots of hills and hollars to explore. There was also a large cedar tree that I cleared out a little spot under it, and I spent many hours there, also spent the night there too. If it was raining or snowing, you never got wet, the big tree shed the rain and snow perfectly. I wish I could live under a big cedar tree for the rest of my life. Maybe I will someday.


13 Jessica S May 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

We have only one tv in our home which shocks most people. We have cable, it is budgeted into our entertainment budget for the month. We enjoy some shows that we couldn’t get elsewhere without a long wait such as the excellent series HBO and Showtime provide.


14 Rae December 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Are you kidding? I have a TV and would never give it up!


15 Merissa December 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

It’s definitely not for everyone. 🙂


16 Molly January 28, 2013 at 12:04 am

Kudos! I want to get rid of our TV. DH is on board too. We just haven’t gotten the courage to do it. I don’t mind the concept, but for both of us it is a huge time waster. After putting the kids to bed we sit down to relax, which is fine. But when 30 minutes turns into 3 hours without our really noticing, IT IS TIME for a change. It is just hard to give up our favorite shows.


17 Banana August 31, 2013 at 1:21 am

I’m an aussie bloke nearly 50. I grew up without a telly and still don’t have one.

I had one when I was married and my wife was absolutely addicted to it. All day everyday to the complete neglect of anything else. It was the core reason why we ended in divorce and I became a single dad. Still am and still don’t have a TV.

I can’t understand why anybody would possibly want one let alone watch it all day. It absolutely does my head in.


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