Blank TV

I have become one of those people–those super granola folks who have gotten rid of the idiot box that peddles the messy blob that is pop culture. Yep, I don’t own a television.

It’s been a few months now and I must say, I don’t miss it.  I’m not some snobby hipster either who hates everything mainstream. I was just like the rest of America, watching guilty-pleasure “reality” tv, tuning in for my favorites (Scandal, Boardwalk Empire, etc), having the television on for no reason in particular, flipping through the few hundred channels at my disposal and settling on something just to have the dang television on.

The biggest thing I’ve learned since chucking the boob tube is that I really only “miss” a handful of shows, so paying the astronomical price for cable with premium channels was not even remotely worth it.

Aside from the financial benefits, the one major bit of awesomeness is that I truly get more work done. I’m a freelance writer, which means I often work from home and I’m very particular about my work environment (specific snacks, minimal clutter, blah, blah, blah). The television was just one big distraction more than anything else.

Sure I had the will power to not turn it on most of the time when I was on a tight deadline, but having it on during other parts of the day was not a good look either. I had a very unhealthy Maury addiction for a little while.  For shame.

My decision to go sans television came during a big transition in my life that put me in a headspace to re-evaluate my lifestyle choices and get to a point of nurturing the optimal me. The result is that I’m back to reading more, I don’t get sucked into discussions about negative, useless things happening on “reality” shows and I feel more present, connected. When people come over to my place, we have to like…talk. We listen to music, eat food, look each other in the eye and actually bond. Not that you can’t bond or have a good time while watching television, but there’s nothing like good ol’ fashioned, organic conversation.

And because I do have internet access, I can still watch the shows I really want to watch. Scandal comes on Friday mornings on ABC’s website and I can catch performances from late night shows anywhere online.  Most award shows are lackluster, so I can watch the highlights the next day and save myself a few hours. Basically, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by not having a television.

Would you ever consider going without a television?

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  • dirtychai

    Haven’t had cable in years. All of my favorite shows end up on the web in some way or another. I do miss cable news, but recently my local news started live streaming the newscasts which is great for me.

  • Hmmm…I don’t think you can say you don’t watch tv if you watch certain programs on the internet. It’s like saying you don’t read, but you listen to audio books.

    (Not that you said you don’t watch tv, you said you don’t have a tv. But you kinda do, it’s just called your computer.)

    BUT, to answer your question, I _could_ give up tv, but I would have to have a really good reason to–and I haven’t found it yet.

    • Pseudonym

      yEAH, I was going to comment that I lived a couple years without a TV as well…and then I discovered the frienemy that is the Internet which is better/even more addicting than television b/c you can find something you want to watch ALL THE TIME!!!

      I got sucked into “Misfits” for 3 seasons in January. At least television has the late night time when there are just infomercials if you don’t have cable. With the Internet, you have every show you could want to see at your fingertips.

      So, no, watching television on the computer DOES NOT equal living the tv-less life.

    • Right. What the author and the rest of us are discussing is cable-tv. The kind that is paid for, with no regard (or even mere awareness) of the programming that is not watched/consumed. Online, you don’t really watch TV, you watch episodes of free, streaming programs and networks. And you can definitely skip the commercials.

      Some of us refuse to pay for things we can’t and wont consume. And there is much to gain in economic power (and other, greater things) when we utilize this type of control.

  • I am about to get rid of the cable and watch what I like on internet, which is a lot cheaper. When my cable went out I watched DVD for a few days and sometimes didnt watch TV at all and did not really miss it.

  • Though I haven’t thrown my tele out the window, I have chucked cable in favor of netflix. I never knew how much time I wasted by having a television!

  • Somebody

    This article should rather be titled “Living the Cable-less Life”. :o)