Kill Your TV (or at least tame the thing)

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Television has proved that people will look at
anything rather than each other. 
 –A. Landers

What is being lost is the magic of the word.  I am not an image person.  Imagery belongs to another civilization:  the caveman.  Caveman couldn’t express himself so he put images on walls. 
–Elie Wiesel, 1995

I had a pleasant surprise tonight!  My mom and dad came through town and invited me out for dinner.  They only live about two hours from me but I travel so often that I don’t see them as much as I’d like.  We had some yummy mexican food and Pinkberry (of course) then ran a couple of errands which included (uh oh) purchasing a brand new flat screen for my birthday to replace my old television that broke a while back.  Um…yea.

I’ve been without a television in my apartment for the past few months and I absolutely ::loved:: not having one.  Even when I had a working TV (which was a super old one donated by a dear friend) I would never pay for cable or some fancy upgrades.  I’d decided not to replace the TV for fear that I would resort to watching movies in my spare time instead of reading, creating, talking to friends, blogging, cooking, journaling, etc.  However, I did miss the convenience of watching a movie on a late night or extra lazy afternoon.  My parents asked me a million times if I wanted a replacement TV for my birthday because they knew how much I enjoyed not having the tempation.  So…I decided that I would take them up on their generosity and receive the brand new pretty shiny flat screen which is now staring at me.  Oh gosh. 

You know what else is staring at me?  Eight beautiful books just waiting to be read by yours truly.  I’ve already started five of them and cannot wait to finish.  You may recognize some of the authors: CS Lewis, Shane Claiborne, John Perkins, Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Gilbert, David Sedaris, Eric Schlosser, and Shauna Niequist.  *happy sigh*

All that to say…yes, I now have a brand new TV thanks to the loving kindness of my mom and dad but I am putting the little guy on major lockdown.  When we were small, my parents never let us watch more than 30 minutes of television a day.  Thank goodness for that!!! My imagination was outrageous and I spent every spare minute outside in the woods behind our house or riding my horse.  Hehe.  Yea….it was a perfect world.  I will always be thankful to them for that.  Putting a leash on your TV is a good thing.

And now, because of this, I’ve made some guidelines for me and my new friend. 

1) No watching TV alone.  I don’t want it to be a time waster when I could be doing other things. 

2) When friends are visiting, I will not let it take the place of real life conversation.  I want TV to be my last resort, not the first.

3) No cable or TV stations…ever.

(We Heart It)

So there you have it.  Call me crazy if you like but it’s what I gotta do for me.  This means that instead of finishing The Office DVD, I am choosing to read Eat, Pray, Love instead.  Yep, I’m happy with that. 

Love you, mom and dad!! Thank you for teaching us what is good in the world and that sometimes the best way to find it is turning off the TV.

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27 Responses to “Kill Your TV (or at least tame the thing)”

  1. Kyle Reed Says:

    That is good. I wish I could do that. But DVR kills me. It is the ultimate time zapper and I do need to read more. I guess TV is my trap zone that sucks me in every time.
    Maybe I need to make soem rules.

    • sunshineandstarlight Says:

      Do it!!! Seriously, you’ll be amazed with how quickly you stop caring about the shows you used to obsess over. I have Blockbuster Online so I rent things and watch instead of cable. I’m bored with television now. 🙂 Too many other things to do.

  2. Jamie Maldonado Says:

    I’m definitely happy I can live without TV. But as mind-melting as it can be, it’s quite nice that you have a good one! That should at least make the most of the time you do spend in front of it. I think your first two rules are excellent, though the very few shows I watch at all are on cable. ha ha. So I’d have to flip that one around for myself. 🙂

    Anyway, good luck with keeping up your good habits! I’m about to hit the books again myself.

  3. jamie-grace Says:

    i love your rules. 🙂 i find myself watching tv here and there but it’s the seven channels our tv picks up and even then it doesn’t beat reading. at all. i watched probably 30 minutes a day as a kid too. causes you to be so creative!

  4. Andrea!!! Says:

    Ha ha – my parents too instituted the 30 minute rule (and then it was only for public television) – I think the limit does wonders for creativity. Ella has started recognizing when I have the TV on, so my TV time has been cut wwaayyyy back. Unfortunately, the only books I am currently reading are “Goodnight Moon” and the like!

    • sunshineandstarlight Says:

      You had that rule too? So great. I love that. I hated it at the time but sure am thankful for it now. Although, I can’t recall episodes of Saved By The Bell or 90210 like my other friends who watched whenever they wanted. 🙂 Oh well!! Hehe! Goodnight Moon!! So precious. 🙂

  5. Rand Says:

    You are so awesome. 30 minutes a day, wow, that’s intense. You know what, I had today off AND I watched TV for like 3 minutes, couldn’t keep it on. Yay me!

  6. Molly Says:

    Digital Mom says… use that TV as a GIGANTIC computer monitor. Plug that laptop in and ENJOY Texas-sized blogging.

    OR better yet — watching THIS on a BIG SCREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    mah.

  7. Tigpan Says:

    So funny….I want a little one for the same reason…movies on a lazy afternoon. Mostly I like it as background noise (even when I am reading a book) But I am well into year 2 of not having one…I watch what I want to watch on my little computer. I have a box set of Anne of Green Gables just screaming to be let out…if you ever want company, to you know crochet and have tea and watch Anne. 🙂

  8. Tiffany Says:

    I did the same thing, I don’t even turn the tv on anymore!! And I love it!! I have read so much more and learned new things and I do physical activites more~ It is AWESOME!!
    I loved Eat, Pray, Love!!! Let us know what you think!
    thanks for this awesome post!!! 🙂

    • sunshineandstarlight Says:

      I most def need to get a little more into physical activity. Ew…I’m awful at that. I love seeing peoples comments about how they’ve done away with their television addictions!!! So good!!! Thanks for stopping by…and commenting. They make me happy.

  9. Amanda Estes Says:

    I just borrowed “Ea,t Pray, Love” from Breanna and can’t wait to read it!

  10. the littlest polly Says:

    I’ve never been to pinkberry! And I love my television shows and movies too much to get rid of my tv! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! It really made my day! Let’s be friends? 🙂

    love your new friend,
    the littlest polly

  11. CHRISTIN Says:

    right one my dear! i have a tv but i rarely use it. there are much more enjoyable things to be doing. and over the past 4 years i’ve been cable free. currently, all i do when i am to watch (if i even press the “on” button) is watch movies. i love it. my mum doesn’t understand how i live this way but its just bc you dont know what you really have until you live without.

  12. bookjunkie Says:

    Love this post!! I’ve learnt that I can live without TV. It is quite liberating. But I have kinda replaced it with the internet….hmmm. It’s still good though…I have been getting a lot more time with my beloved books….they are no longer going to be neglected 🙂

    At the most I watch half an hour of TV at a time…after that I find my mind wanders. The best part of no TV..no ads. The ads they show here are pretty lame so I am not missing much.

  13. Glass*Plant Says:

    Great post! We got rid of our cable a few months ago. It was always on as background noise, and i didn’t like that. What is wrong with just quiet?? Or great music? I am listening to more music now and reading. It is wonderful.

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