I don’t watch television. Don’t even own one actually. The reasons are both simple and complicated, yet neither myself nor my daughter miss the device.
We don’t feel left out. We don’t feel deprived. We do just fine without it.
The only time I really think about it is when someone approaches me and asks if I have watched something in particular. Invariably I feel rather uncomfortable and respond that I don’t watch television, in hopes that the next time they will remember and not ask again.
Always this cues a horrified glance; occasionally this has led to offers of free televisions. I have even been offered free cable and satellite “until we can afford it.”
We can afford cable – we choose not to. We had a television – we gave it away, along with the DVD player that sat unused for countless months on end. In fact, the only time that poor television had any notice was when someone came over and popped in a movie. We kept the appliances for years just because it was the thing to do, when you had a house, you owned a television, right?
Wrong. When I realised that the only reason I was keeping that stupid box was because “everyone else had one” I put it on Freecycle, and smiled as it walked out the door! We haven’t missed it, not once.
What do we do without a television? Lots, actually. We read books and websites, play with the pets, play games online – we even watch some shows and movies online, but we can be much more discriminating. Instead of turning on the boob tube and enduring whatever programming the powers-that-be are showing, we can pick and choose whatever interests us. Sometimes that is a current show, sometimes it is an older series – whatever happens to catch our eye.
We go to the library frequently, borrowing books, movies, audio books and music instead of purchasing cable or satellite radio. My daughter says reading books are like having a television in your mind, and looks forward to the visits. The money we save on televisions, cable, videos, music and books is used to do other enjoyable things, like go camping and swimming.
We have more time without a television. We have more space without a television. We definitely have more money, and I like to think that we are exposed to a lot less commercials without that television, that boob tube squatting in our living room.
We don’t even have a game machine. Not a Playstation, Nintendo, or even a Wii grace the inside of our home – thinking of the hundreds, nay thousands we have saved by not purchasing those things makes my bank account quiver in happiness! Not only that, but when we visit one of our friends who have those devices it gives our friends something to show off and us something new to explore!
When we tell you that we don’t watch television it is not to make you feel sorry for us. We tell you that we don’t watch television to explain why we have no clue who sang what on American Idol, and to avoid telling you that we don’t really care what Simon said that day. While we think it is fine and well that you enjoy television to the extent of spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to sit down in front of a box that feeds you advertising hour after hour, we don’t care to share in the experience.
The next time someone looks at you and announces that they don’t watch television please don’t feel sorry for them and offer them your spare TV; if they wanted one I’m sure they would ask!