About a month ago, we sold our Ikea Entertainment Unit, our 32″ flat-screen TV, and our Nintendo Wii.
It was an idea we’d thrown around for the last year or two, never really doing anything about it. Finally, when we decided to move across town to a different house, we realized that we were ready to be a TV-free family, once and for all.
Why The Heck Did We Do It?
Don’t get me wrong – we still watch the occasional movie on our laptop (right now we are loving the Harry Potter movies on iTunes: next up is Goblet of Fire), and we’d even stream a TV show if we had anything we particularly wanted to see. Right now there’s nothing currently offered on television that we see as being worth spending our precious few hours of free time in the evenings. There are a couple of shows that I could get into if I tried, I’m sure, but I’m just not convinced that it’s a healthy way to spend my time – for my spiritual life, my marriage, my creative projects that get neglected, and so many other reasons.
Should You Ditch Your TV?
Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m saying everyone should follow suit (although I think a good case could likely be made…). I know that some people have more free time than me, not everyone is married, and not everyone has so many other hobbies and creative endeavours in the queue. TV watching may not be a negative space in your life at all (it was in mine). If I’m being honest though, I do wonder what kind of good things you could do with your life with those many hours spent in front of the tube. This is a challenge primarily to myself, and of course it also applies to any area of life – am I being intentional with my time? Only you can determine the right balance for your life, so think critically, and don’t be afraid of making changes where necessary, even if that means ditching the TV. You could start with just a month-long commitment, like we did this past summer. That’s what convinced us that it was a good idea for our family.
The Physical Space
All our married life, each time we moved, we’d arrange the furniture around the television, as though it were occupying the place of honour in our lives. Conversation took place with the big black screen as the silent member of the party (or worse, when it was on!). Surely we didn’t intend this to happen, but I feel that when you orient your space around a television, it is a very telling physical symbol for the way you intend to spend your time, and the things you value. For us, having our armchair, love seat, and couch all facing each other in a circle (or a triangle, really), is symbolic of our priorities in this space: relationships, people, and intentionality. The people face each other, not a TV. I’d like to think that the lack of television presence in our home (making us among only 1-2% of the national population) says something about us as a family. I’m sure that not everyone feels that way about their own living space, but I wholeheartedly love the vibe we’ve got going on here.
I was really, really afraid I’d regret getting rid of the TV. And I guess there’s still time – it’s only been a month. But as of now, I confess to you that I don’t miss it one single bit, and I feel absolutely certain that it was the best and bravest decision we’ve made for our marriage in a very long time. I am quite relieved about this, and the sense of contentment and peace that I have about it is fabulous.
Have you ever considered ditching your TV? Do you wish you watched less of it? If you don’t have a TV, share how that decision came about.
This is the last post (finally!) of my series 31 Days of Real Housewife Confessions. What I’ve discovered is that this whole confession thing is very good for the soul. People usually respond well to baring your soul and your weaknesses. And also, it’s not all that much different from what I usually do around here anyway. The only difference has been the lack of natural-minded content (and I have a really exciting idea in the pipeline for this blog regarding all of that stuff). I have discovered that my niche is “eclectic homemaking for the passionate soul”, which shall be my new tagline (appearing in the layout shortly). I am excited to continue to encourage and challenge you as readers to live passionately in whatever position you find yourself. Hope you stick around!