Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuning out

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.


  1. I live with a man who must watch TV. It drives me BANANAS. I can totally do without TV. I want to live with you. Pweassseee, can I? ;)

  2. Great post Yuki! TV is actually very harmful to our brains and bodies. I totally get and am also guilty of watching shows at times that pretty much zonk out my brain and sometimes I just need that phase out time-though my time could be better spent elsewhere or phasing out on something much more healthy like meditation etc.

    The political ads are beyond annoying and commercials in general are annoying. I occasionally let my son watch some Baby Einstein and Elmo every once in a while but I try to limit it. Studies show that tv even just on with no sound deprives the brain or growth and temporarily shuts down parts of the brain. At young tender ages where our toddlers are at this is vital that we limit it and try to encourage brain growth instead. Bravo to you for not only saving money but your brain as well!!