Almost six months have past since we moved our 40′ television out of the living room and into the school room. You can read all about that in part 1.The first two or three months were rough. While I was excited, my wife was smiling through the pain. All day homeschooling and traveling with young kids, limited adult interaction and no reprieve of a TV in sight. My children seemed to adjust rather quickly as we moved on to books (audio and physical), games, and imaginative play. I personally spent time listening to the radio, shortwave specifically. I felt liberated and told everyone I knew just what we had done. Today we actually do use a television. We have a 22″ enhanced definition television with a built-in DVD player that I had won over 7 years ago in a raffle. This allows us to watch television shows on DVD from the library. Occasionally we grab a video from Redbox too. Life isn’t so bad… it is actually quite good.
My wife has missed watching cooking shows the most. When we moved the TV, we also disconnected the antenna. Where we once plopped ourselves on the couch after the kids went to bed to veg out on endless episodes of [insert television show here], we now read library books, listen to sermons and work on our other commitments. Our lives have improved. Television viewing used to also be a reason eat junk food and drink beer. Without a television we have actually consumed far less junk food. The children are just fine watching episodes of their favorite shows on DVD over and over and over again.
Can I Be Honest for a Moment?
OK can I be honest for a moment? Life without a television is awesome, but as you can see we have not “really” removed it from our lives as we still watch DVDs. And on occasion I watch a video on Amazon Video from my mobile device. However in all of this we are watching whatever programming we choose intentionally. we are not paying for cable, Hulu, Netflix. We are paying for Amazon because enjoy the prime shipping service. Streaming video is a perk of that and only gets used by me when I am falling asleep at night. We do miss watching Youtube from the couch with the Roku. We would binge on all sorts of content. That really just lead to us staying up later to find just one more video that was hopefully produced well and had some good information. we wasted a lot of time there. Today I use Youtube more intentionally and seek out information that is truly useful to me.
Life without television isn’t difficult in the long run. It is only difficult up front. This has been an experiment in living counter-cultural and moving away from the social norms in effort to find more fulfilling activities that did not rot our brains from countless zombie droning hours. I think we have found it.