Why Do I Live Without a TV?



Posted by Ed 2 mths ago
A few months ago, I was sitting at my fiancée’s apartment, curled up on the couch with her watching How I Met Your Mother. Inherently, there was nothing wrong with what we were doing. It’s a very funny show and we really enjoyed watching it together.

The problem was we had spent the last three hours watching How I Met Your Mother. In that entire time, I don’t believe we spoke ten words to each other.

There we sat, on the couch, holding each other, feeling as if we’re bonding, yet not really connecting at all. I realized I knew more about what Barney Stinson was thinking than what my loving fiancée was thinking.

This thought hit me like a punch in the stomach:

How much time do we spend watching TV, and is this healthy for us?

Being a somewhat obsessive person, coupled with un-medicated ADHD (I was diagnosed as a child and my parents refused to put me on drugs, for which I am very grateful), I decided to research the effects of television on couples.

The results were not very good.

Generally speaking, couples who watch lots TV tend to argue more often, have less sex, lead unhealthy lifestyles, and are less satisfied with life in general.

I began searching for positive effects of television on adults. This was a surprisingly difficult impromptu research project. There is very little on the internet explaining how TV helps adults.

There are a few articles around how educational programing can be good for children, but apparently after the kid learns to read, it’s better to get a book.

The last straw came from a Brian Tracy quote I stumbled upon on Youtube: “Poor people have big TVs and small libraries; rich people have small TVs and big libraries.”

I decided I would much rather fall into the latter category.

Speaking with my loving and oh-so-patient fiancée, I asked her if we could do an experiment: 60 days with no television.



Ed 2 mths ago
Living without TV is a liberating experience

Over a year ago, Angus Batey decided to stop watching television. Instead of feeling left out, he now feels more in tune with popular culture and with the world in general

A little over a year ago, I moved house and started living on my own for the first time in decades. One of the first decisions I made was that I wasn't going to have a TV set, and I've not regretted it for a moment.

Home isn't just a place to live - I work there too. And the place I moved to, while not exactly what you could call remote, is a bit out of the way: no "town centre", no local pub, and five miles to the nearest supermarket.

So if I don't make an effort to get out and about, there's a very real danger of me spending entire weeks indoors alone - a freelance journalist Howard Hughes, only without the umpteen billions, the property portfolio, or an airline.

So not having a TV gave me one less reason to stay in and succumb to isolation. It has also saved me a fair amount of money. As well as the licence fee, and the cost of the actual equipment itself, there's no hefty monthly subscription to a cable or satellite provider (most of the programmes that I would want to watch are on channels you can't get on Freeview).



Ed 2 mths ago
Out There: People Who Live Without TV

For many Americans the thought of life without TV is akin to forgoing food, shelter or, God forbid, the Internet. But about 1 to 2 percent of Americans do abstain from the boob tube, and they might seem like strange bedfellows.

A recent study of those who live without found that about two-thirds fall into either the "crunchy granola set" or the "religious right, ultraconservative" camp, said researcher Marina Krcmar, a professor of communication at North Carolina's Wake Forest University.

Krcmar interviewed 120 people from 62 different households who do not watch television, as well as 92 people from 35 households with TV, and described her findings in a new book, "Living Without the Screen" (Routledge, 2008).


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