Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kill Your Television

I’ve always secretly admired those bumper stickers.

It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans have not made the switch to digital TV – and therefore have no TV. Meet three of them.

Cowboy and I had cable and then satellite TV for a long time. About four years ago, we got rid of pay-for-TV after we realized that most of the programs started to seem the same (we never had the premium channels like HBO). We went from hundreds of channels to 5-and-1/2. I say one-half because ABC was always kind of fuzzy.

During my first year as a mom, I came to loathe TV. I don’t watch it during the day. And it always seemed that if there was some random program on I wanted to watch, Missy obliged her momma by waking up as much as possible during it. Or, I would wait all day to watch "The Office" and then fall to sleep 10 minutes into the show. (Um, we don’t have TiVo.) Often, I would get pissed if Cowboy kicked backed and watched TV while I was soothing Missy. How dare him watch "Two-and-a-Half Men" after working 13 hours at the office!

I know. Completely irrational.

Aforementioned shows and Oregon Public Broadcasting notwithstanding, it just seemed to us that free TV got worse as we got closer to the switch.

So we purposefully opted out. And life is good. We honestly aren’t missing much.

These days I get super-annoyed with commentators and people-with-opinions who assume that folks who have not made the switch to digital cannot figure out how to do it. As if – GOD FORBID how un-American – your life is not complete without TV.

We still watch TV occasionally by renting shows we actually want to watch from Netflix. We get our news from NPR or The Economist. We don’t let Missy watch TV so she’s not missing anything.

Instead, we do projects around the house. Or bake. Or read. Or other fun things you can do when your kid is asleep.

I’m beginning to like life in the slow lane.

I wonder how many more of us are out there.


Wordgirl said...

As much as I love the escapism that television (and specifically good series on cable) affords me -- I often wish I could go back to my TV-less existence -- G loves sports -- and loves to have the opportunity to just turn off -- if it weren't for the NHL we could probably go without -- I always feel like a tiny bit of my soul has been stripped away after too much t.v.



niobe said...

We pay for cable (the so-called basic package), but, I often think we should cancel it, because we never actually, y'know, turn the tv on. But, of course, I spend tons of time on the internets, so I guess it all balances out.

Fiddle1 said...

Count me in. I boycott cable b/c of the cost. We have lived with rabbit ears in this house for 7 years until the switch. We splurged for a better antennae and still the only channel i pop on is the PBS Create channel. BUT, we do rent tv series from netflix and I watch the occasional fuzzy BBC drama instantly online. Sigh. I know there are LOTS of folks out there like us..and many that did watch b/f the signal switch. I wonder what advertisers are loosing b/c of lower viewership? Anyone that lives in the boonies is screwed.