While Maj C and I love watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report together, we both agree that our quality of life is better without TV.
We do own a TV, but no cable (aside from our Internet and terrestrial channels). I joke that out TV is really installation art: “Black Plastic on Wall: Timesuck.” Every so often we watch a movie on Apple TV or Netflix streaming but that’s about it. The last time I turned it on to actually watch TV was during the Olympics when a sports fanatic visited our home. I couldn’t figure out to how to get NBC, and so our poor guest had to watch TV on our laptop.
When I first moved into the house I had the whole intro cable package. Much to my surprise, I wasted hours in front of the TV (Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels). When prices went up, I reduced my package to nothing but internet. I felt like my mind went from a diet of chips and candy to veggies and lean fish. Moreover, I saved quite a bit of money. Netflix streaming is cheap, and I can wait a few weeks to watch shows on Hulu (I am far too cheap to pay for two services). For the $60-70 monthly difference, I don’t feel guilty about renting the odd movie on Apple TV. And I get to indulge my book habit.
We’re not luddites. We love our Apple products: iphone, ipad, laptop. We are news junkies, so NPR is on 24/7 at our house (yes, we actually give money to WCAI and have the mugs to prove it). We read most of our news on-line. We even have a paper version of the Economist (yes, we are old fashioned). Occasionally I miss having something mindless on while I fold laundry (I have a guilty love of home improvement shows). But it passes.
Another huge upside of a diet of NPR, Hulu, and Netflix? NO POLITICAL ADS. In this season, that’s definitely worth the so-called “deprivation.” Will this no TV thing work when Bunny gets older? Maybe not—but we hope we can hold off for as long as we can.