Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Television

I recently had a mini-conversation with a guy via Twitter. He had just gotten rid of his TV and was asking what to expect.

We went about nine years without a television, from 1984 to 1994. Our children were four and two years old, and we wanted to raise them with values that were not congruent with pop culture.

In short, we succeeded. Greatly.

Some interesting things about going without a TV:

When you don't have a TV, you cannot image having one. First, you cannot image how people have the time to watch TV. You're so busy, doing things such as reading to the children, playing games, hiking in the woods, visiting an arboretum, making toys in the basement woodshop, playing badmitten, building fires outside, etc etc. Who has time to watch TV???

Another unexpected result of not having a TV is that you lose touch with popular culture. For example, someone will mentions "the Monopoly game at McDonald's", and -- because you're not watching TV ads -- you'll have no idea what they're talking about. It's really weird and kind of cool.

We got a TV in 1994 when two things intersected: the emergence of good videos for home-schooling, and the Winter Olympics.

Nothing wrong with TV; In fact, I could watch PBS, FoodTV, ESPN or NHL any time. But ditching the tube for nine-plus years was good for our family.

All The Best,

-- Don

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