I have been pondering today over Demian Seiler’s blog post about his life without cable. Like him, I also cut cable a few years ago. We spend some downtime relaxing watching Netflix and renting Blu-Ray movies from the Redbox. This is still working out pretty well for us. We also eliminated over-the-air signal from our television as well. Going to the lengths to remove TV from our home was done so we can spend more quality time with each other.
Television in our house had a way of robbing our attention away from spending time with each other and other creative interests. For many years as our kids were growing up, time with TV went by quickly. Insuring that we spend time with the kids while they were young was a priority to me because they only grow up once. A family that spends their time gazing into this mind control device is not spending any real time with each other at all.
I do not consider sitting at a movie or watching TV as spending quality time. Going out to dinner or having dialog between two human beings, trading conversation is time well spent. Spending quality time with my wife and kids is more important to me than anything else.
The time that we would normally spend on watching TV we replaced with more positive activities. When we are together we always make it a point to eat at the dinner table and not in the living room. We have family game nights and sometimes we just have a good time laughing at each other. We had a lot of these habits when we had TV, but it was harder to maintain them during those times.
Life without TV also keeps you more productive. Even though I am pretty proficient at multitasking, I would still have my attention pulled away from what I was doing to stare into some sensational story on the news.
Although Netflix is much easier to control, it also has a tendency to take control as well. The plus side with Netflix is that there are no commercials. One of my goals of cutting cable and over-the-air TV was the onslaught of consumerism. Our family as a whole does not suffer from feeling inadequate from not keeping up with the Joneses.
As we are selling our house, we actually feel a burden from a lot of the items that we have accumulated over the years and happily dropping off loads of it at Goodwill. That is only because I do not want to see it end up in a landfill, someone else will hopefully get some good use out of it.
I am content with my decision to cut cable and TV from the house. My family spends more time with each other. Also my kids read more books as a result which is much more beneficial for the brain than having their eyes fixed on the tube.
Image Credit: Alex Snaps