The Year Without TV

Tim Dull II October 12, 2012 Personal Ramblings

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re familiar with the idea of a “television”, or TV for short.  It’s that big box thing that’s sitting… no wait, it’s that flat rectangular thing that’s sitting or hanging in your room.  You know, the glowy thing that shows you pictures, movies, lets you play Black Ops, and on occasion when nobody is around, lets you view downloaded porn in HD on a large screen?  Yeah, that thing.   Unless you’re using it to read this article, go shut it off.  Trust me, it has a power button, so go hit it for a minute.

It’s officially been a year since I had cable.  One year, no tv, and I’m still alive.  You see, last October, my wife and I were preparing to move to a new house.  The house was being redone, so expectations were that we’d be in there before Thanksgiving, if not sooner.  In order to save a few bucks for moving expenses and a few new things for the house, we cut costs.  Cable TV was one of them.  Bear in mind here that I didn’t just have basic stuff.  I’m talking about all the channels, HD, DVR service – the works.  And one day, there was none – nothing – nada.

Weeks went by, and my biggest worry was not me missing my 3 favorite shows – The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, and Doctor Who – but for my daughter who was pretty much addicted to Nick Jr.  (Hey, it’s somewhat educational, ok?  I mean…  Dora, right?  Yeah.)  We all made it through on DVDs of her favorite shows, watching The Princess and the Frog up to 4 times a day, and sometimes by just shutting the thing off and doing something else. 

Disney:  breaking ground with their first black “princess”, yet saying SCREW YOU to redneck stereotypes.

We finally moved in December, and while the home theater was among the first things to get set up in the house, cable was still not on the immediate needs list.  By now I had missed all of my shows, but knew that I could probably just find them on all on the intertubez anyway.  We didn’t have internet either, but hooray for smartphones!

That first month was full of unpacking, rearranging, and getting everything and everyone oriented to the new place.  Bills came in order, and it was time to make a decision with a new cable provider.  We’d gone over 2 months already without “TV”, so should we even bring it back?  In the end, we opted for highspeed internet and WiFi in the house.  The laptop hooked up to the HDTV, so we could essentially just watch things from it.  And for a few more weeks, we did!  We subscribed to Netflix, which worked well enough through the Wii, and my kiddo was happy to have her shows back.  But for mommy and I, it didn’t seem to matter nearly as much as it used to.  We became….  used to it.

After living a life where you came home from school or work and watched TV, it was over.  And life was great!  Honestly, I can’t believe the difference that it’s made!  The benefits far outweigh ever having it in the first place.  Maybe you can see it right now because you’re already anticipating what’s coming on tonight, but here’s a few awesome things that we’ve noticed about not being stuck in front of that “box” all evening:   

There’s Time Now!
We sit at the table to eat, not on the floor in front of the tv.  (Ok, so that still happens on occasion…)   We talk more.  We get more done in the evening.  My wife gets to read, I get to do paracord or clean guns or plan for zombies or whatever it is my brain tells me it wants to do instead of watching TV. 

Sit down and watch the news sometime and jot down the headlines.  Murder, death, bombing, war, economy, politics, baby killing, panda beatings, suicides, thefts, drug busts…. all of these things are splattered all over the news like bugs on a new windshield flying through Pennsylvania farmland.  It’s just depressing!!   I don’t want to think about that stuff.  Has it hurt me one bit to NOT follow what’s going on in the local murdernews?  Nope.  I’m happy to say that I’m happier without it. 

No Commercials!
Sure, when we had a DVR we could just skip the commercials, but without any broadcast TV at all, there are simply NONE to be had!  If I want to watch a show on Netflix or the internet, an hour show is 20 minutes shorter without the breaks.  That’s time I could get up and go do something, and I do it!!   

Don’t get me wrong here.  There are a few downsides to not having TV.  If you are a sports fan, following the game is going to take a little creative or some really good websites.  But did you ever consider that being a mooch and hanging out at your bro’s place is a good thing?  Be social, folks!  They provide the TV, you supply the chips n dip, veggie tray, cheese wheel, whatever you kids eat these days.  


I’ll admit that I’m not really up to date on the latest news, weather, and oh wait, yes I am because I have a smartphone and Facebook!  If it’s newsworthy, someone rants about it.  My weather app is more accurate than the local weather dips have EVER been.  I missed the presidential debate, but was I going to watch it anyway?  No!  I was probably just going to complain that it was the only thing on and end up turning off the tv to do something else anyway.  Score for me, yet again!

Seriously, if you haven’t tried the “No TV Life”, give it a go.  It may take time, and you may have withdrawal symptoms, but it really is a good thing to do.  Having gone a year without it now, I can honestly say that it’s addicting.  When it’s on at someone’s house that I’m visiting, I get sucked into the stupidest things just because the TV is on!

Go without it, live without it, and you’ll see what I mean.  There’s a whole new world out there, just waiting for you to …no wait, it’s always been there.  You’ve just been too busy sitting on your ass to see it.  Now go outside and play!

On second thought, maybe just go clean your room instead.

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About The Author

Tim has been with Athletic Xtreme for over 5 years, serving to dominate the online world with his unique combination of wit, wisdom, and die-hard enthusiasm to help others become who they want to be. He prides himself as being the “Average Joe” gymrat who works hard, plays harder, and lives by the motto that “strength comes from within”.

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