So the cable guy connected our tv service yesterday.
Until now our tv has sat in our living room with no service to it. We use it as a computer monitor for an old PC. The PC has an external harddrive attached to it which we use to store movies. At any time we can watch movies on this tv via the PC or the dvd player. Up until now, our tv has been turned on maybe once or twice a week.
The tv service which we now have is only temporary, however. We have basic cable for 2 week while the Olympics are on. Seriously, we are paying our internet provider $12 for 2 weeks of tv. After those 2 weeks, the tv service will go away again and we will be back in the dark ages. This is a choice which we made before we were married and honestly, it is one we are surprisingly happy with.
Some people may be surprised at the reasons why we do not have a tv. While some of the reasons have to do with trying to live a more pure lifestyle, many of them do not.
So here are my top 6 reasons why we choose not to have tv service normally
1) I love tv
I LOVE IT! If it were up to me, I’d spend hours every day watching non-fiction tv shows. I love home and garden shows, medical shows, documentaries, the history channel, etc. Not to mention all those fun shows on TLC (The Learning Channel). This is the number one reason why I do not have tv. I know that I would not be very good at moderating myself and would spend all my time in front of it. This isn't a problem for many people, like my husband, but it sure is for me
2) It is an unnecessary distraction
Even if I only watched 30 minutes of tv per day, that is 3.5 hours per week. My time is already strained enough with the demands of my home, my husband, and my work. I also have many other things I’d rather fill my time with that I complain I don’t have enough time for, like practicing my music, sewing, craft projects, staying in touch with friends and loved ones, exercising, etc. In the long run, there is much better things I should be doing with my time and tv distracts me from them.
3) It can come between spouses
When we got married, our marriage counselors at church recommended we try not to have tv for at least the first few months of marriage. This was not because they are fundamentalists who don't like technology. Instead, their reasoning was that those first few months are an important time to focus on each other and set your life pattern, and it is easy to allow things to come between you. It is amazing how many couples I know spend their evenings on the couch watching tv and not interacting with each other. Instead of watching tv, my husband and I focus our energy and attention on each other every evening, and our relationship has reaped the benefits. Instead of doing passive things together (like watching tv, going to the movies, etc.), we make an effort to do interactive things together (like play games, talk, do crafts or projects together, go for walks, etc.). It takes a lot of effort to be interactive with your spouse, and it takes very little if no effort to be passive. After a few months of focusing on each other, we decided not to allow tv service into our home (except for the Olympics!).
4) It promotes a sedentary lifestyle
I am naturally a pretty lazy person. I hate to say that, but it is true! I love to sit and read a book for hours and hiking sounds like my idea of torture. But I know from living abroad in more active countries how wonderful it is to live an active lifestyle. I don’t need another excuse to sit on the couch. Without tv service, I am more likely to get up and go for a walk, do my pilates videos, or clean my house.
5) It temps you away from frugal resolve
I’m not saying if you have tv service you will automatically be less frugal, but it is definitely a temptation. First of all, tv service in itself costs a good chunk of change. Then watching commercials and tv shows which promote the latest and greatest of everything can temp you away from contentment with a more simple lifestyle. This world is riddled with debt, and I believe the idea that we need to have the latest and greatest of everything is at the center of that.
6) It brings immorality into your living room.
Someone once asked me “Would you invite everyone you see on your tv into your home? Because they are already there”. I had never thought of it like that. The tv is an influence just as you are an influence on those around you. You, your spouse, and your children will be impacted by it. Are all the tv shows you watch encouraging you to live for Christ? Are they encouraging Godly character in your children? Are they promoting Christ-like morals in your family? This isn't just applicable to kids. I realized after hearing the above statement that one of my favorite tv shows was full of characters which had a "why not?" attitude about pretty much everything. Believe me, I don't need the influence of people on the tv to be sinful, but they sure don't help me in my fight against sin. And by flipping on the tv and watching the show, I am inviting those people into my living room.
So these next 2 weeks my husband and I will enjoy the Olympics, then we will be disconnecting the tv again. Because as much as we both enjoy it, there are just too many reasons not to have it.