No TV (not because we’re grounded though)

blog_rabbitears So you may remember my overwhelmed and exhausted post from last week? As an attempt to try and rectify that, we’re going to take a fast from TV (among other things, like learning how to say ‘no’ to things and canceling a few things on our schedules). This will force us to spend some much needed time together and time resting in ways that actually rest us! I was recently reading that American TV viewership is at an all time high: in the fourth quarter last year, personal TV use was at 151 hours per month, totaling 4.5 hours per day per person. That made me think about how we’re spending our time once more. I mentioned in a previous post that we had canceled our TV service and this has decreased the amount of TV we watch but we’re still using Hulu and other online TV broadcasters to zone out.

I guess ultimately we’ve decided that TV is not the most valuable way for us to spend our free time together. We have so little free time, and even less free time together that zoning out next to each other doesn’t do anything for our relationship or our stress levels. Not to mention that we both spend all day at work staring at a computer monitor. Coming home to stare at a TV seems like more of the same.

I’ve found it interesting that many of my friends have been giving up facebook, blogging, twitter, tv, etc for lent this year (for example). I think that this is such a great idea because sometimes technology actually disconnects us from things that really matter and rob us of so much time. There are so many more fulfilling ways to spend our small amount of free time than plugged in! In all honesty, I was too busy to recognize that lent had started and so I didn’t evaluate something to give up this year, but lent or no lent, I want to continue to make a conscious effort to cut down on the amount of TV that I watch.

So, there’s my rant on TV. It’s not a new rant by any means, but I felt like verbalizing it again. 🙂 How do you guys feel about TV?


  1. Posted March 9, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting. I’m actually trying really hard to cut down on my tv watching right now. I just find that it’s taking up so much of my time and time that I could be spent either getting things done that need to get done or doing other things that I really enjoy that will also relax me!

  2. Posted March 9, 2009 at 8:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    don’t even own one. but I did try to find a 50% off tv at circuit city this weekend with no luck. Guess tv and I are not meant to be together.

    cowboy games did provide a time for me to relax. but I usually ended up editing photos while watching the game. now I don’t even have a once a week thing.

    if you do watch tv, you should watch the news, particularly ch4 and or ch5 in DFW, on mwf. 🙂

  3. Posted March 9, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    When we first got married, we bought a house and just refused to spend the money on cable. Due to location, we didn’t even get any of the local channels. This was before the days of online TV. And even with our move, we didn’t have cable the first year.

    If we needed to veg some nights, we just grabbed a movie. At least there was a start and an end time, right?

    And you know what? We didn’t miss it. We have cable now, and sometimes I think about canceling it. We watch too much of the silly thing, and it’s so easy to just space out for two hours.

    Kudos to you. Maybe you’ll give us the incentive we need to do the same thing. 🙂

  4. Posted March 9, 2009 at 9:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve actually gotten to the point where I can’t just watch TV and do nothing else. For a while now I’ve doubled up my time and done sweepstakes or cut coupons while I watch TV, and I run out of shows to watch before I’m done with my work. It’s nice because I can half-listen to a show that I would watch anyway but still get work done at the same time. I think if I didn’t work at the same time I would seriously consider not watching TV anymore. I’m trying to be productive with my time and TV is the total opposite!

  5. Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was typing up a booklet for a maggiage counseling class before you get married and there’s a form in there that says you will not have a tv in the house for the first year of marriage! I thought that was really interesting. Also I’ve noticed that the more media I participate in, emails, websites, tv on the web, the more my work ethic suffers. Instead of having 2 different choices about how to spend your time you suddenly have 15 vying for equal attention. We don’t have tv but we do have hulu and it’s just as tricky to navigate quality time with.

  6. sharon
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    I feel that TV can become a habit and a substitute. Growing up sheltered, I couldn’t go outside during the day, couldn’t go to the beach, couldn’t go to the park etc…so I was stuck indoors watching TV. I became an avid reader because it allowed me to escape and be apart of another time and experiece.
    So TV became my companion. Even now, I “listen” to TV because it is just me in the house.

    As a young mom stationed on various military bases and far from home, I admit sadly, I used the TV as a babysitter when I should have been more hands on. I hate admitting this. But, it is the truth. I use to beat myself up about it until I came to TX and met some moms at church who claimed that they didn’t but I later caught them indirectly using TV as a babysitter too. So, I think as an overwhelmed and exhausted mom, it can become a habit and substitute real fast.

    As mom in my late 30’s, I think it is time to get rid of cable. For tons of reasons but mainly because I find that they just are into their own lives that TV is just used during their “wait until a friend calls me to hang out” time. I am always pissed that I have to lock more than half my channels because they do have shows that are sexually distasteful like: The Girls Next Door! Why?!!! Why pay for all those channels when all they watch is the Disney Channel? (I still don’t know how I feel about the Secret Life).

    So, I think I am about to cancel cable right before Spring Break this Friday and take road trips with the kids.

    My vision has always been for my kids to be avid readers and to know what is happening in the world aside from their world. I think I wasted a lot of time but so far they are still great kids and full of compassion for those in need.

    I hope this little insight helps all you soon to be moms and young moms alike.

  7. jownby
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    We hardly watch t.v. at all. I do watch t.v. when I exercise though. Even just watching 30 minutes of t.v. while I exercise seems like such a waste of “brain” to me. My new rule is that I will only watch in that 30 minutes, something that will stimulate my brain. And, What Not to Wear, doesn’t qualify, sadly. So, I’ve been watching the news, documentaries, history channel, etc. It feels good.

  8. pearl
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    i watch bones and NCIS on hulu. But i dont have cable. and i dont watch anything else. my family has never had cable. sometimes i watch movies.

  9. Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    This move has definitely helped us out. The only downside is that there is an episode of The Office that has gone unwatched, and that is really sad. There are even more The Offices coming soon. Maybe when I’m up at 3am with baby Jude in a few months, I can go back and watch some TV on my computer.

  10. cooperella
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    tv = ick.

    the only time I really watch it is when my roommate wants to see one of her favorite shows, and then it becomes the basis of some good girl bonding time. other than that I’m rarely tempted to turn it on. I have some deeply rooted beliefs that a body at rest is a body of mush and a mind at rest is a mind of mush!

  11. Elizabeth
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, what a response! Didn’t realize everyone was so passionate about TV!

    It is amazing how technology simplifies our lives in some ways and then sucks time from it in other ways. I do see that the more media I participate in, the more my work ethic suffers too.

    I’m all for not having a TV in the bedroom. The bedroom is for . . . other things. . . and a TV should not get in the way!

    I worry about TV and children in general. Recent studies have shown that even educational TV doesn’t really help babies/toddlers/children at all. So there’s another strike for TV the babysitter. I am hoping to trade TV for outside, creativity, reading, cooking, imaginative play. . . I’m sure it will be an interesting adventure to try and raise a little boy without TV.

    I think Mindy said it well, a mind at rest is a mind of mush! No more mushy minds!

  12. Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gee I hate to post something even slightly pro-TV.

    First, we’ve started to watch TV only on the weekends for the exact same reasons that everyone is stating. If anyone has a DVR – genius we just got it and it has helped us stop watching during the day. Also, I just paid attention that renting a movie is $6 at our local place now – wowzers! Before, I would get sucked into watching shows and staying up way to late …and it was all mindless and a big waste of time but I still did it and couldn’t help myself.

    Honestly, there are times when we really do want to just zone out and be “entertained”. My husband has a demanding job and at one brief period I stopped him from watching TMZ, but when he explained why – that he needed something stupid and mindless to take his mind off work – then it was OK. He loves The Office for the same reason.

    I am a SOM, and though I don’t really have that much on my mind, I do also find a bit of TV and fake life is fun and distracting. It also helps me stay connected in this fast crazy world, of which I am alredy so digitally and behind in coolness factor. So, I use it as a pulse on what’s going on in the world that my kids are in. Sure there are books and other media, but nothing gives it to you faster than TV.

    On kids, I didn’t let my daughter watch very much TV when she was little and even now, she doesn’t get much like a couple of hours of week. She does watch it though and for her, I find that the more she watches it, it sucks her in and when I ask her to turn it off, I get resistance. At 30 mins. no problem, close to an hour..less easy. One thing though, if moms are using TV as a babysitter, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It should be OK – shouldn’t it?. Especially as these are the same moms who know that TV should be limited. One thing that I really dislike is how we indirectly compare with each other (at least I do)…and put unnessary pressure. But, maybe that’s what makes us want to be better ( ok I’m thinking too much now) I think on the whole, women, moms ( ok some men (haha), are doing their best…and I remember as a younger mom the negativity in “using the TV” made me feel guilty. So, no guilt for TV or for anything that helps to keep us sane. I agree with everyone: less, is better, but some is not the end of the world….

  13. Elizabeth
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Jenn – I agree with you too. Less is better but some isn’t awful! We have nights where we do come home and watch a TV show to zone out. Our TV ‘fast’ is just because we’ve been so busy that even if we zone out for only one show, that’s all the free time we have in the night and we don’t talk to each other at all! 🙂

    When I first moved to Austin and I wasn’t working yet, I found myself watching a lot of TV. I really think the way you use TV varies based on how busy your schedule is. Ours is just too busy to justify spending any of it in front of the TV for now!

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