Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Has TV earned its boo-tube persona?

Recently, I reduced our television programs by half. Yes, it has a lot to do with the fact I spent 4 days at a writer's retreat and never once missed the thing. And while I was gone, my husband never turned it on. We realized old habits aren't hard to break, and now, instead of the TV playing in the background all day long, we don't turn it on until the evening news.

I grew up on TV and even today I love my Discovery, Oasis, Golf, and Book TV, yet cutting back was easy. I can even see us reducing our viewing time down to an hour a night and maybe three hours on the weekend.

So, what have I been doing with my time? You got it: writing.

Are your evenings dictated to by what's on television? You can't go swimming because Grey's Anatomy is on? I've been there. I used to work my T'chi classes around Mi-5, and no way could I leave the house on Thursdays. But I've been liberated -- Yay!

Bought this for DH last March. The Oasis channel is too kewl.
Be brave. It's your turn to 'fess up. Do you owe a TV? And if so, how many hours a day do you spend watching it? And no, off course nobody's going to wag their finger.


  1. Oh, great! I'm nodding my head in agreement as I read, and then I get to the end and you want ME to admit to MY viewing habit??? Mmm, well, okay -- an hour for the news in the morning, an hour of 'Divine Design' home decorating after lunch, and at least a couple hours of assorted programs in the evening. The latter are usually 'in the background' ones for me as DH watches while I write, and some evenings the TV is on constantly from suppertime newscast to bedtime newscast without either of us paying much attention. I guess it wouldn't be difficult for us to turn it off, if only one of us would take the initiative.

    I'm far more addicted to the Internet than the TV. :)

  2. You're so honest, Carol. Few would be. I forgot I listen to Global news in the morning. Did you see Marc's son this morning? What a cutie. That's the thing, I had the TV on all day for sound. And if Tiger Woods is playing on Saturday, there's me sitting in front of the TV watching every stroke. And our house is too small for so much noise. Since switching the noise for music, I'm getting more chores done. Plus I've revised 4 chapters and rewritten 2 more in only a week. I'm actually proud of myself.

    Now! If I only ween off Diet coke. But--that's a post for another day.

  3. When TV switched to the new format (is that what it's called?), I never got around to buying a converter box, nor did I want to buy cable or satellite just to watch it.

    So I've been without television for quite some time now, and I have to say I don't miss it.

    I suppose I do miss the luxury of watching a program while I'm in bed, but now I just read instead.

    And, like you, I write in that other time.

  4. And what writing you're doing, too, Carol. You must feel so satisfied. Good for you. It's a big deal finishing a draft.

  5. I guess I'm one of those wierdos. I gave up on TV a long time ago. I can't say what really started it for me, it just kinda happened. I really like it for things like watching pro cycling in the summer, especially Tour de France, but the rest of the year I can ignore it. Oh yeah, there are those times when I'm out of books, out of Netflix, etc. but most of the time I'm okay with no TV. And when I have it, I watch really dumn stuff like Operacion Repo. Yikes!!

    I give in periodically and I had a deal going there for a while in which I would subscribe for the summer and then cut it off but Direct TV (the only way I get TV where I live) got wise to that idea. Now I have to commit to a two year "contract" and if I turn off service, I still have to pay $20 a month. That pretty much annoyed me, so I gave up the whole concept.

    If I want news, I sue the Net. I can get a lot more intelligent commentary from blogs and weigh their prejudices more honestly than from TV.

  6. Pretty stupid on their account. They could have got you for a few bucks if they weren't so greedy. I long for the day I can stop watching, but I'm not quite ready to give up my British programs, like Mi-5 and Sherlock. I'm a wuss, I know.

    Thanks, Vicki.

  7. *sigh* - I despise TV. Watch a few hours a week - mostly news, some History Channel, a little more during baseball playoffs. (I turn the stupid thing on in the garage when I'm out there smoking.) Here's the moronic part - we have seven TVs (for just 2 of us), pay $162 per month (including internet) & we're usually only home 4 or 5 days a month.

    Now I'm really pissed that I read this post. THANKS - now I'll brood about it the rest of the night.

  8. I know what you mean, Dave. For several years, after the news in the morning, I switch the channel to HGTV and keep it there until evening news at 5:30. For some reason, I was sure I needed noise to function. Duh. After the retreat, I realized that wasn't true. And that was when my husband confessed that he preferred quiet or music. Double-duh.

  9. Joylene, I used to be controlled by the idiot box too, not anymore. But I must say some shows are worth watching. Now it's mainly discovery channel and English football for me - all in glorious HD! Rarely see news - too stressful

    I like 'kewl'!

  10. Grandpa, sounds like you've got the right attitude. I love the new HD look too. Watching Oasis, doesn't get much better than that. Thanks.

  11. We do have a tv and have been thinking about canceling cable. We watch it some in the evenings, and a bit on the weekends. I don't usually turn it on during the day. With easy access to weather and news online, it's almost not necessary at all.
    Good question - and yes, it is something we can totally live without!

  12. Karen -- hi! I'm surprised by how many people feel the same way. Is it my age, or is TV programming getting worse. Yet, when I get together with some of my GFs, they talk nonstop about all the reality shows. None of which I view. I watched 5 minutes of So You Think You can Dance for the first time the other night. It was okay, but not what I'd call addictive. Probably a good thing.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

  13. I'm similar to Vicki in that I watch only Netflix on TV. Even waaay back when we first met, my Vermont days, I never turned it on until the evening meal. I kept watching a few sitcoms (my favorite thing) for years but eventually I felt stupid spending 1/3 of my time watching commercials. I can't stand them, yet I spent 20 minutes out of each hour waiting for them to end. I can spend my time better than that.

    I haven't watched more than *maybe* 30 minutes of commercial tv per month for several years now. I Netflix in my beloved sitcoms and Dexter and movies I watch with Jack. I've tried to watch tv with him, but I'm gone by the second commercial break.

    I'm happy but woefully out of touch with celebrities, trends, etc. What a pity. Ha.

  14. Not a pity at all, Keith. One of our sons buys his favourite series once they come out on tape. Otherwise, he's a movie buff and hates TV. Commercials are why I had to stop watching Oprah. It was so aggravating viewing 5 minutes of hype then having to wait 5 to find out what the hype was about. Made me want to scream. I love PBS commercial free TV, especially the UK mystery series. Like Wallander and Sherlock. They're 90 of very few commercials. Now when I'm tired and can't concentrate on TV, I go to bed.

    You're right, Keith, I'd rather be out of touch with celebrities, too. And the news isn't much better. I better stop or I could go on and on about how BC news is only about what happens around the Vancouver area. The heck with the northern parts.

  15. Hi Joylene,
    Oh television, don't get me started...too late. I mean, really, over here, you need a 'TV Licence'. Hell, I haven't even passed the test and I'm getting a bit tired of having an 'L' plate stuck on my screen.
    I watch very little televison. I'd rather be here, reading your blog. However, I do record 'Coronation Street'. I am 'under orders' by my mother to watch it. She needs to know the latest goings on in the show. She told me that they are a year and a half behind, in Canada, in regards to Coronation Street. CBC, get your act together!
    See ya later eh.
    Kind wishes, Gary :-)

  16. Hey Joylene,

    We have a TV. We don't have cable and we don't have the tuner thing that makes it work with the digital non-cable signals. We generally watch TV shows on DVD, or movies. But, really, we aren't huge TV watchers.

    We have a lot of computers in our house, though. I have 1, my partner has 3, each kid has a computer, plus the spare netbook for when one of us are travelling. Oh, and there is the server where we store all of our digital movies and TV shows, so that we don't need to search through boxes for a movie.

    Though, I wish we could ban youtube in our house. One of the kids has gotten rather addicted to it....Time for more chores ;)

  17. Hi Gary. Gads, my dad used to watch "Coronation Street". LOL. Must be a whole slew of new characters. This may sound strange, but after 911 I just assumed TV would grow up. My sons were really into Survivor at the time. They stopped watching most of the junk at the time but only to have new junk presented to them.

    Yes, there are many programs to appreciate. If only we didn't have to wade through so much garbage to get to it.

    Thanks, Gary. Have a safe weekend.

  18. Hi Krista. You've joined a great group. I'm almost feeling bad that nobody who loves TV has felt the need to comment. Maybe we're driving them away?

    We have a computer on every floor too. If only they'd make the chairs more comfy. I can only sit here for 12 hours before my back starts killing me. LOL.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.


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