My Week of No TV

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We made a change in our cable TV provider, as we switched to a lower priced deal.  This caused an interruption of service, so we had no TV in the house for a week.

I figured, good practice for when there is no TV.  A few years ago, I watched a lot of shows.  But these days, I am not a huge TV watcher, with a full time job, family, kids, maintaining this blog, and preparedness activities that occupy most of my time.  But I do watch a few minutes of either morning or evening news, and a few choice programs for an hour or so.  This past week there was none of that.  And I felt the difference.

The first few days, I missed turning on the TV to check the weather in the morning.  I also missed it in the afternoon when I sat down to eat a snack, I usually turn it on and switch channels.  And of course, no evening news or Nightline right before falling asleep.  Kids have homework so there is not much TV during the week, but on the weekend it was definitely missed.

We read a lot more books without TV.  We had checked out some books from the library and finished them pretty quickly.

I listened to the radio a lot more.  Caught the weather and news on the radio during the morning and evening drive.  If I wanted to check on a story then I Googled  it to find out the details.  Usually I found out the rest of the story anyway.

After a few days of not having TV, I started missing it less.

For now, I’ll be glad to have TV back.  I don’t want to miss the next season of The Walking Dead.

But if we did give up cable and TV altogether, we would get used to it.

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  1. A little TV fast, nice. Your tv consumption sounds about like mine. Little bits and pieces throughout the day.

    As a kid, I watched absolutely zero tv, because my puritan parents were against it and we never had more than 4-5 channels that came over the bunny ears.

    When I got to college and was “free at last” I rotted my brain 7 different ways to sunday with all the cable we had.

    Because there’s other bills to pay, my wife and I have never had cable, but we did buy the “over the air hi-def” tuner from best buy for like $20. So we pick up about 15 channels. I usually watch pbs, the weird sports on universal sports, or else something in Spanish to try to see how many words I can pick out.

    Definitely not essential, but kind of a fun escape.

    1. Hey Dan, Me too, did not get to watch a lot of TV as a kid, and no cable either until I graduated from college and could afford it myself. I still like having TV around, not going to totally do without it, but now I can take it or leave it.

  2. I just opened my Direct TV bill and it was $98.00.. we didn’t watch any pay per views. When I look at our channel selection, 60% are those channels where all they do is try to sell you stuff. But my problem is that if I go down to the lowest priced package, I lose the channels I like, such as Discovery, Science, Military, Nat Geo, Hist Int, History Channel. You just get junk channel with the cheaper one. It is intensely aggravating.

    1. ATH I agree with you, I can do without the junk channels but the cable providers never seem to offer the good channels on the lower priced packages. I think thats how they get people to look at the higher priced deals.

  3. Also grew up without TV and didn’t get one until my late teens. I am very well read as a result, but do awful at trivia games involving 1960 -1970s TV questions. That has carried over and my family watches very little broadcast TV, but we do like our “On-Demand” and Netflix for series like The Walking Dead and shows like Top Shot. Still, we could live without TV if we needed to.

    1. Hey Carl, Netflix changed their packages too, now I went for the lower end deal without the streaming, we just weren’t watching enough of the streaming part. But I still have my once a week DVD. I can’t wait for 2nd season of the Walking Dead.

  4. @Arsenius,

    You ever try netflix? I know your internet is spotty a lot of the time, but $15 beats the hell out of $100. Netflix has a ton of documentary goodies and tv series. A lot of things you can watch instant, but even things that you can’t can always be quickly mailed to you….

    These days, so many movies and shows can be watched for free online, that I find Netflix makes up for almost everything that can’t…ymmv….

  5. I just finished grad school and one of my thoughts was that when I was done I would get cable for me and the kids. Well, now that the moment has come I’ve decided I’d rather not. We read alot, we have a lot of family time. We don’t sit around all day watching TV because there is always work to be done. And when I visit family that has cable I’ve realized that I don’t want all that crap being shoved at my kids. They go to public school, they use the computer a little, I think that’s enough outside influences. We buy dvd’s and watch them when we need to rot our brain, we have all the Little House episods, all the MASH episodes, and lots of others, but at least myself and my partner can control what they are watching.

    1. Countrygirl, that was a good decision you made, limiting kids exposure to TV. They don’t need all that commercialism and other less than ideal influences. With the availability of DVDs you can control what they watch and they don’t really miss much. Good for you!

  6. Being at work for the last week and a half, I did not have time to watch any tv in the hotel (passing out from exhaustion was more like it!). I wasn’t able to get onto the internet and check the news there either. I felt that I was missing something since I had no idea what was going on in the world outside our work area. Yet when I do watch tv I can only stand watching for a few minutes then I get tired of it. I just can’t win!

    1. LOL, I feel the same way. I like keeping up with the news but get annoyed at the newscasters for inane comments then I have to switch channels but get fed up with all of them. Next day I watch again.

  7. I haven’t had a TV since March 2004 and feel just fine. When I’m at other people’s houses I will sometimes watch, and usually enjoy it. But once you get used to NOT having television, you care a lot less about what’s on.
    If I were motivated enough I could get entire seasons of shows like “The Walking Dead” (which I did watch, a little, last year while spending a couple of months with a friend in Alaska) from the public library for free, or from the university library once I pay the small fee to renew my alumna card.
    I could also watch TV for free through various Internet options, e.g., Hulu or network/cable websites. It just doesn’t seem as important after a seven-year fast.
    I do like certain channels, such as Discovery. But I don’t miss them.

    1. Hi Donna, Wow, you’ve done without TV for a long time! I think that’s what would happen to me if we stayed without TV longer, we’ d miss it less and less. I do like the Walking Dead, and will watch the new season, but that is only one of few shows I’d actually watch these days.

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