So about 2 years ago, our Directv box bit the dust. Just plain up and died, as they say. We made a decision at that time to not request a replacement, get to the end of our contract and see how we felt about it. Obviously, we didn’t miss it too much. We still have the tv, a DVD player, and we do subscribe to Netflix. We also watch YouTube or Hulu occasionally. So, we’re not completely without a television. Does that make us a bit more “normal”?
If you ever want to be considered a total weirdo, cut off your tv service and tell people about it. You might as well tell them that you had your dead dog freeze dried so it could ‘live forever’, or that your collectible dolls speak to you. Trust me.
The truth of the matter is that by ditching tv programs, it gives you gobs of time. It’s very easy to flip on the boob tube and zone out for an hour or two or more. You would be shocked at how long the day becomes when you aren’t watching Dancing with D-List Celebrities or Kim Kardashian’s 80th Wedding and Subsequent Divorce. Now how you fill up that time is just as important. I get easily sucked into staring at my laptop, which I feel is even worse than tv. After all, the internet is also interactive…you seek and so you shall find. And I can look up stuff all day. So, I’ve been limiting that mostly for when I wake up and right before I go to bed.
Another bonus for parents who scrap the tv is the lack of kid commercials. No commercials mean no begging for junky toys that will end up at Goodwill or in a yard sale anyway. I’ll never forget the year that my then-3 year old could sing the Peek-A-Boo Barbie jingle. It was cute, but also a little scary and a LOT annoying when she would beg for every single toy that came across the screen.
So about a month ago, I asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas, and I told them to pick three things. Now, normally you know that most kids can fill up pages and pages of toys that they want (we’ve all seen the lists printed in the newspaper, right?), but my kids just sat there. They thought and thought. After about 15 minutes, they came up with: pajamas, a gold locket, and a fleece horse blanket. Nothing name brand, and NO TOYS. That’s worth losing the boob tube right there!
Last of all is the cost of having service. We were paying, taxes included, about fifty eight dollars a month for the bare bones minimum service. That was with 2 receivers. The fees for service seem to go up astronomically every year. At one time we could get the same thing for a little under forty dollars, tax included. So, I am saving almost $700 a year right there, which is going straight into paying off debts.
My husband calls tv the ‘living room billboard’, which, if you stop to think about it, that’s exactly what it is. You are paying to have endless commercials pumped straight into your home. And who really likes commercials? Isn’t that why they came up with the whole TiVo/DVR thing to skip past them? It becomes very apparent when you have been tv-less for a while and go to a person’s house who has one on. I swear I nearly threw up while my friends had ‘The Doctors’ on the other day. I just wanted to stick my finger down my throat. I’d much rather be out in my garden pulling weeds or sitting in the chicken pen, throwing scratch to the hens. I suppose that my biggest issue with the entire thing is that it makes you stay indoors, and we are almost never indoors unless it’s very hot or very cold. I just do not believe that anyone or anything was meant to stay inside for an extended period of time.
So now that you’re squinching up your face, wondering if I talk to glass-eyed dolls all day, I’ll leave you with this:
In eighth grade, we had this fad going where we collected keychains with tacky and/or witty sayings. My favorite was always “I’m not weird, I’m gifted.” I still have it and I’m gonna go with that!