I used to live without TV, back in Switzerland. It was a matter of choice. I liked it that way and, frankly, didn’t have time for TV. I was too busy “doing stuff.”
But since I’ve been living in North America and have been befriended or married to North Americans, I found myself drawn into the kind of life where you think you can’t pass over television without watching it. I almost forgot that the world continues turning without my observing its every twist and spin, nor is it necessary to literally fill my head with soap.
At the end of June, I cancelled my latest cable contract.
The transition was less noticeable than I would have thought.
Granted, I miss my 5-10 minutes news casts here and there. But since any given news hour contains about 40 minutes of commercials, I don’t really lose a lot. I can read everything on the internet, without commercial interruption.
As for the other programs….
Besides PBS, there wasn’t a whole lot in our “basic cable” plan that I felt was appropriate for my eight-year-old son. Often, when we were channel surfing in order to find something fun to watch, we would end up watching the Food Channel. Not because our passion is cooking–I hate it, and my boy couldn’t care less–but because it would be the only channel where they don’t show soaps or violence, where they don’t cuss, where they don’t talk in barely-veiled sexual “jokes” and allusions, where there is no marked gay agenda, and where the contents is not so scary that my child would have nightmares (as it happened more and more with the shows on Animal Planet).
So… what do we do when we don’t watch TV?
We talk, we read, we go to the swimming pool, we make artsy creations (drawings, paintings, sculptures, etc.), we go places, we walk or ride our bikes, we play with the dog, we play board games and badminton, we invite friends over, we make music, we learn new things like gardening, French, using herbs, solar cooking, etc….
The list is long. And one thing is certain: we are never, ever bored.
When we still had TV, we could sit there, bored to death, and just keep watching whatever was on.
But now, in our life without TV, we don’t get bored. We only get creative.
These rocks are the humble result of just one afternoon living without “the box.”
PS…. I just checked a link to this blog, and what did I see? An advertisement for “Cable One” (of all things…)
It seems that I cannot change this fact, lest I’d have to pay for my blog site. Therefore… alas! these things will continue appearing on my blogs. I apologize to my readers…