TV free!

For the first time in many years, I don’t have television in the house. I still have two TVs, but we discontinued cable, so all I can see is what I can access from the internet. There’s actually a lot of content that you can stream, and Pandora radio is via internet, so I’m hardly cut off from civilization as I know it. But it is a change.

Many evenings if I’m home alone, I turn on TV for the noise factor, and if something catches my attention, I watch a while. I’m not addicted to any one show. But it will be different now.

We also gave up our land line phone. Actually that doesn’t bother me. I like only having one phone to answer and to be accountable for. Messages? On my cell. Nothing waiting for me at home. We only added a land line here when we got a cable package that required a land line phone as part of a cable/internet/phone deal (don’t ask me to explain the logic behind that…cable companies – ugh!)

Technology has come a long way. I saw an article today stating that Americans now consider computers to be more important than TV, and of several technologies that the author recommended giving up, cable and a land line phone were at the top of the list. So we’re cutting edge! (Always knew that!) Not that we did it for that reason. But it was a little validation that we are not the only ones making these (seemingly) extreme choices. Well, we’ve never been into reality TV, or been big on series. So maybe the adjustment won’t be too difficult. I think the biggest thing to get used to is the lack of availability…no plethora of channels to access with the touch of a button.

We’re also intentionally moving away from broadcast media. We’re choosing to read more, to obtain news and information from online sources, and to generally be more selective about what comes into our lives.

It feels good to sit tonight, TV free, saving a significant amount of money each month, and to have time to work on a photo project or my blog without distraction. What took us so long? I don’t know…maybe we thought we couldn’t have a home without the small screen taking it’s place in our lives. Well, we’ve pulled the plug now. It may be a bit painful, especially at first. And I’ll admit, there are a few events that might see me seeking out a TV source…the Olympics…election nights…but mostly, I’m betting that like other transitions, in a few days, the worst of the adjustment will be behind us.

I’ll let you know how it’s going. It’s a brave new world. But I’m hoping to learn how unimportant TV is. And I’ve got some great books I’ve been meaning to read. So Day 1, no TV. But my Kindle and I are going to be great friends!

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6 thoughts on “TV free!

  1. Interesting that you just posted this when I just got Steve a device for our tv that will stream some options from the internet such as Netflix. We tried it out last night for the first time. We pay $7.99/month for Netflix and it has shows as well as movies. We’ve never watched much tv at all, but like to watch movies when we do watch something. So, I plan to reduce our satellite tv to the basic package right now so we can still get current events and news. We also see tv transitioning to mostly internet based and in the future, when we purchase a new set, it will be internet ready. (The tv set in our living room is a 1988 model!) For parents out there, it may help to know that our children mostly grew up without tv because we moved to a remote area in the mountains that did not have cable and we chose not to get satellite. We got 3 local channels over the air (that weren’t very clear) and so tv was never a part of our children’s lives that much. We did rent movies for them sometimes. Today, as adults, both our children say “thank you” and that they feel blessed that they aren’t hooked on television, video games, etc. (we never owned a video game system). They can actually be “still” and entertain themselves by reading, writing, or spending time with people actually talking! And they love to spend time outdoors most of all.

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  2. We cut the cable cord years ago saving about $60 a month, but we still watch “TV”. Hulu and Netflix fill the gap nicely (and an occasional TV show purchase from iTunes). But we’ve found that what we watch now is much more deliberate — there’s no channel surfing; we watch precisely the shows we want to watch, when we want to watch them. Commercials are rare (really only seen on Hulu and network web sites like CBS.com, etc.) which is another great benefit.

    In addition to the freedom of being able to watch on any laptop or devices like an iPad/iPhone, we typically watch stuff on our living room TV which is basically a big computer screen, hooked up to a Mac mini with a wireless keyboard and mouse. But if you don’t like the idea of having a computer in the living room, you could use a device like the Roku or an AppleTV (supports Netflix and iTunes, but not Hulu just yet).

    I don’t think we will ever need to go back to a traditional TV source. The $60/month savings could easily pay for whole seasons of the TV we want, purchased through iTunes — even if they weren’t freely available through Hulu or Netflix (and would be commercial free at that).

    We do have visitors to the house sometimes that ask how to watch the news (which we mostly get through reading web sites instead of watching… news stations have a very low signal-to-noise ratio, even if you aren’t counting commercials) or sports (none of our family actively follows any sport). But our needs are pretty well met.

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    • Thanks for your encouragement and your suggestions! Although we have been less and less tied to traditional TV, I would still like to have some things available. We just ordered Roku from Amazon, so we’ll see how that works for us. Mostly I enjoy Food Network shows and we watch an occasional movie. News I already obtain largely from internet sources.

      Glad to know this has been a good choice for you guys. I remember you showing us Hulu when we visited, and we will certainly be looking for the new and improved options for a little intentional TV watching that is also a cheaper alternative to the traditional options.

      Thanks for reading and for the comments!

      Sheila

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  3. Congratulations!! I’ve wanted to do this for years!
    Please say more about what you have done for Internet services. Right now we are roped into that “bundle” package of Cable/Landline/Internet services. And now, our Landline is also our business fax!
    :o) JL

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  4. Well I own and watch tv, only on designated days. I’ve totally cut down on tv usage from 1-2 hours on designated days. I’d say I watch tv 2 days out of the week and I’m on the computer finding new things to watch. Also when I’m not wrapped up with my computer I write short stories or I’m reading or cooking. Tv has become a portal of nonsense and straight up garbage. I enjoy creating so that’s what I stick with and share it with people who care to look. Anyway that’s a cool article you’ve written, I’m right there with you. That money you paid cable with can buy you something a little extra down the line or you could just save it. It’s awesome to have a little extra money in your pocket.

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    • Thanks for your comments. I know that TV can suck away a lot of time. Amazing how much of an evening can be eaten up in 30 minute increments! We have never been addicted to specific shows, but many times TV has been a background noise in our home…something was turned on, left on, and you realize you’re having a conversation with noise in the background that no one is even watching! I’m sure it will be a good thing to wean away from the ease of turning on the noise machine! And I agree, it’s good to be creative!

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