Going without TV is a popular topic in these arenas. If you’ve read much of my stuff, you’ve probably seen me quote that the average American watches 4.5 hours a day. I’m still blown away by this statistic. We’ve gotten into a bad habit of letting TV entertain us instead of entertaining ourselves in other ways like reading, listening to music, going for a walk, or – here’s an idea – talking to each other.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We have a TV and we pay too much for cable each month. I keep threatening to get rid of cable but I haven’t bitten the bullet yet. I also like football and the season starts soon. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve investigated other options but I haven’t made a move yet.
One thing Beth and I have been doing more of lately is turning the dumb TV off (or not turning it on to start with). We have more fun together. We read more. We talk more. We listen to music.
There have been two seasons in our marriage when we were TV-less. When we were first married, we decided to not have a TV for awhile. When football season started, however, I borrowed a friend’s 13″ black and white TV. We ended up getting a color TV for Christmas at the end of that year.
The second season came when our two precious children often fussed over what to watch. Beth had enough of it one night so we unplugged it and rolled the TV/VCR out of the den into a spare room. We covered it with an old bed sheet for a month. Out of sight. Out of mind.
That may have been the quietest month we’d ever had at our house.
The pastor who performed our wedding advised us to never have a TV in our bedroom. We’ve done that throughout most of our marriage. One year we won a TV at a Christmas party and it ended up in our bedroom for a couple of years until Bailey took it to college.
I still advise couples to keep the TV out of the bedroom.
Now that we are empty-nesters, we’ve become less interested in TV and we’re learning not to even bother turning it on unless we know there is something we want to watch. (We like The Closer. Unfortunately, next week is the series finale. We’ve discovered The Middle over the summer. We like Duck Dynasty and Swamp People. Sometimes we’ll watch Modern Family.)
I confess that some nights my eyes are too tired to read or write so I turn on the TV. It’s amazing how many channels we get – and there’s nothing good to watch most of the time!
I have too many good books to read. I have lots of magazines to catch up on. I have articles and books that I want to write. Wasting my time watching meaningless TV just adds to my being unproductive when there is so much in my life that I want to produce and absorb.
I have this fear that one day I’ll be on my deathbed thinking back over my life, doing the math, and wondering how many hours I spent watching TV. I don’t want to regret time wasted. I want to get all the good I can from my time here.
Assuming you sleep 8 hours per night, you are awake 16 hours per day. If I assume you work an 8 hour day, you have 8 hours left for other things. If you watch 4.5 hours of TV per day that’s over half of your free time each day.
God put me here for a purpose. I don’t think it was to spent half of my life in front of a TV.
If you like this, please share it with your friends. Thanks!
To receive two posts per week via email, subscribe at top right. You’ll also receive my email series 5 Ways to be a World Changer.