Anyone live without the boob tube? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We have been TV free for 5 years and I was just wondering if any of you also do not have or use a TV? It seems that homesteading types may choose to spend their time doing other things besides watching TV.

The reason we got rid of it is because we wanted to raise our boys without one, and we were fairly addicted at the time and decided to cut ourselves off completely. That is not to say we are completely without screen time...we do have this computer with a dvd player and do rent movies occasionally (for the kids too).

Just curious...

-- andrea smith (, November 06, 2000


Yep, I killed it. I believe it was two or three years ago. I was raised with very restricted tv time and never really watched too much of it. Then when I started seeing that the news wasn't really the news, through having been at incidents that were being reported on, it made me wonder. I do believe it's called programming for a reason.

There are some good things on, albeit few and far between, and watching a movie every now and again is really enjoyable....I watch them occaissionally at friend's houses.

One thing that I find to be interesting is that when you are around people, you realize how much of their conversation is about tv. Not informative, just stuff like wrestling, and sit coms.

-- Doreen (, November 06, 2000.

You may be TV free, but your not media free. You still have the computer and its already moving to take the throne as the new millenniums "boob tube". I agree that t.v. has gone way downhill, but rather than choosing to detroy mine, I chose instead to "tie its tubes". We choose the networks or video tapes that we watch (have a whole collection of Andy Griffith). DJ watches mostly "one time video recordings his mother and I prerecord and aprove.

-- Jay Blair (, November 06, 2000.

I have a TV & VCR and occasionally rent a movie to watch but as far as watching "regular TV" I don't as I cannot pick up any channels with an antenna. This doesn't bother me but I cannot pick up radio stations either. This I do wish I could get. Unfortunately everyone in the area has the same problem.

-- Marci (, November 06, 2000.

Last January I was trying to get moved out of Virginia. We had a bad snowstorm and I turned on the TV to get the weather report. It didn't work. I think it must have died for lack of use. I don't think it had been on more than a dozen hours in the previous year. I doubt I ever replace it.

My parents have cable with almost every channel you can get, except some of the movie channels. When I go there I instantly become a couch potato. I try to convince myself it's ok, since I watch mostly 'educational' stuff, but in reality watching some guy catch cobras isn't going to help my life any more than watching Gomer mess up would.

To a large extent the Inernet had replaced TV for me, but I spend most of my time either socializing or looking up information that really will help me. Hunting for stuff on the web tends to get my brain going, rather than shutting it off like most TV shows.


-- paul (, November 06, 2000.

Sometimes I wish!!

I'm noticing the longer Joshua sits in front of the "haunted fish tank" the more irritable and cranky he is afterwards. I've started limiting it to small doses and only as an educational tool.

We have a multisystem TV and VCR so we can watch movies and programs my Dad records for us from British TV. They have some wonderful history programs. Joshua's only 5 but he knows a lot about the ancient Britons, Romans and Vikings. And archeology in general. When he says he wants to watch "Meet The Ancestors" or "Time Team" I'm always quite pleased because he's learning so much. Now after seeing so many skeletons in burial mounds he's begining to want to learn the names of various bones...which gets us reading the anatomy book. (If he ever went to public school they would probably have us under investigation thinking our child had some morbid farcination with death)!!! Then again they probably wouldn't even notice!

Back to television...a couple of weeks ago I happened to switch to the networks -we never watch anything other than PBS - What a shock I got. The language and content and it wasn't even late at night! It hit me then that this is what's filling the heads of 99% of the people and children you come into contact with. The term "vast wasteland" not only describes television but also the minds of the people watching it. How anyone could sit for more than two minutes watching "Big Brother" is a mystery to me.

Even the Disney movies leave a LOT to be desired these days. The ones we have came as gifts from well meaning family members. I make sure they stay at the back of the rack. One of them I just threw in the trash. Am I just getting old or does anyone else feel this way?

No, we couldn't get rid of TV altogether but a couple of hours a day is more than enough.


-- Pauline (, November 06, 2000.

I hate TV with a passion, but the spouse insists on cable for hockey and NASCAR. I read a book while he's watching, or on Sunday afternoons I can get a lot of kitchen cleaning done as I'm more or less in the same room as he. Even PBS is now lousy with all the antiques crap. We don't rent videos but do own two favorites that I like to watch occasionally for support on simple living--"Affluenza" and "Escape from Affluenza". Check if your library has copies. They were produced by PBS. Another good one is "Advertising and the End of the World".

-- Sandy (, November 06, 2000.

I watch about 30 minutes of TV per month. That's one episode of the Simpsons. I deserve a few laughs now and then, and Homer keeps things in perpective. When you find yourself in a troubling situation or having to make a tough decision, just think about what Homer would do. Then go and do exactly the opposite. You'll be OK.

-- Jim (, November 06, 2000.

The only channel we get is PBS, and for the past year all I've watched is Antiques Road Show. Otherwise, we only watch videos, mostly of old movie classics, and good kids' stuff.

-- Christina W (, November 06, 2000.

Been without cable for more than two years - up here, ya can't get much of anything w/o cable. We do have the 'puter and a vcr, so the kids get to watch tapes. We have the largest collection of John Wayne movies in the northeast, I think! The boys love to watch them all - gotta admit, I have a few favorites, myself. We occasionally take flix outa the library, and on very rare occasions rent one. Once in a while the kids complain they can't watch what their buddies get to see, but that doesn't happen too often. We miss the weather channel (but, the web version is just as good), and some of the animal programs, but you can get most of those via the library.

We homeschool, and there are some days the vcr gets a good workout - some of the Ken Burns documentaries are excellent.


-- Judi (, November 06, 2000.

Same as Christina only add Victory Garden! Went 10 years wo TV at all- didn't miss much.Get rid of it is abt. the best thing you can do for you kid's mind. Ditto most video games.Computer good if used to find things & look things up.Can be as much of a problem if not watched.Just my opinion.I partly raised one media obsessed boy-these are things I would have done differently!!!

-- sharon wt (, November 06, 2000.

I wish! It's been a philosophical dream of mine to toss it out the window ("throw away the tv, eat a lot of peaches, move to the country..."). But, being 49, it doesn't look like that's happened yet! And, if I had a child, there definitely would be some serious down-time with the tube off, or.. like I said, out the window. Other than PBS, there doesn't seem to be anything on the tv that is useful for a child. Even Animal Planet on cable can be too graphic at times. And the cartoons! Yuck! You call that funny? All that combat and war stuff? I'd never let my kid sit in front of the tube and get mesmerized by that! So many kids nowadays don't know how to read or can't even make up a game or a story because they're glued to the tv, video, or computer. I think it's taken all their imagination away, not to mention socialization skills.

As for me, I do like it, but I'm not a slave to it. After a day of some rather intense research at the office, physical work in the barn once I get home till dark... once I'm in the house, all I want to do is sit down, read my mail, and watch some mindless sitcoms! (I do thank The Universe that I DON'T HAVE CABLE!) I believe my future is moving toward less tv, more interaction with hobbies, husband, and the 12 bags of mohair I have in the shed... calling me...

-- debra in nm (, November 06, 2000.

I wish I as TV free - $35 a month in the bank as far as I would be concerned, but it would probably end in a divorce too, so...

Personally, I'm watching less and less tv, and am down to about 2 ~ 3 hours a week, and only that much because the wife and I make some popcorn after the kids go to bed and hang out and talk, etc. We limit the kids too, try to balance educational with the entertainment, and approve or disaprove their selections.

But I do have to admit that once in a blue moon, I am really glad we have TV as there is a decent (educational) show on, and we can do the occasional pay per view instead of having to drive to the library or the video store to get a movie.

-- Eric in TN (, November 06, 2000.

Yes. I refuse to waste precious minutes, hours, and days(years? add it up)of my life watching TV. nearly all of it is trash, or something that could be learned about better from a book, person, or experience. Besides, it is a medium for brainwashing and pacifying the people.

-- Rebekah (, November 06, 2000.

Got three - don't watch any of 'em. Pop has the one in the family room hooked up to satillight and all I've ever seen him watch is the weather channel or Nascar. Sis and her friends turn it on on the weekends and watch whatever is on at 2 am. Hubby is a TV veg - I'll go sit in the living room sometimes just to be nearby; about 3 minutes is all I can stand before I head for the other room and the computer or a book. I'd like to toss 'em all out the window - maybe then I could get someone to play a game of cards or dominos or something. No wonder folks are depressed or angry all the time.

-- Polly (, November 06, 2000.

I'm forty-three, and have only had TV for a few years of that time, all total. Out of twenty-five years of marriage, we've only had TV less than three years total. Don't have one now, for which I'm very thankful. My husband does watch TV or movies when he goes to someone else's house, but I can't stand to be in the same room with one anymore because of the garbage that's on. We did use a small TV (given to us, we've never purchased one) just for the VCR for a while, until that quit. We would check movies and documentaries out of the library. But we weren't watching very often even then. I do agree that the computer could be just as bad, if it isn't monitored carefully. Am thankful that we didn't have one while the girls were young. The two older ones learned to read well, and enjoy reading -- I don't think that would have been likely to happen if they'd been watching TV like so many children do. I've noticed a distinct difference in the quality of the writing in modern novels as opposed to old classics (like Louisa May Alcott) -- very few modern writers can even come close to the old ones, and I think that is probably partly due to TV (and partly due to a lower quality of education).

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, November 06, 2000.

A recent power spike killed our TV, and frankly, I was thrilled -- I'd been wanting to take an ax to it for a long time. But my back went wonky and I was a prisoner of my bed, so my husband borrowed his old one back from his son (the World Series had nothing to do with this selfless act, oh no...) The nice thing about this one is that the reception is lousy, unwatchable in fact, but it works great for videos, so we can watch old movies, and even if we degenerate into wanting to watch TV, we can't!

-- snoozy (, November 06, 2000.

OK, I got to admit I enjoy watching the British comedys on PBS (all we ever watch mostly!), PBS airs 3 hours of "Brit coms" on Saturday mornings, and I try to remember to tape them if I can. I especially like "Good Neighboors", it's about homesteading folks living in the city in England. Bristish comedy is totally unlike American humor, you really have to be paying attention to get the point! Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 06, 2000.

I see a lot of people watch PBS. Please support your local affiliate when you can. Our donations help keep that network from deterioration.

-- Jay Blair (, November 06, 2000.

Oh how I wish we didn't have one! Dh is a freak for it, it's a constant struggle/battle for us. He say's it relaxes him after a long day, I say it's just a piece of trash. We do watch a lot of PBS and dh likes the Britt comedy's also, we don't have cable just a small antenna but still pick up 5-6 channels, the 3 majors, 2 FOX, 2 PBS. I told dh I'd give up the phone and now the compute if he'd get rid of the T.V, well it hasn't happened yet.

-- Carol in Tx (, November 06, 2000.

Hey, guess what? I DO support PBS! dh in nm

-- debra in nm (, November 06, 2000.

Yep, Jay, PBS gets some of our money every year. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 06, 2000.

Yeah, I love "Good Neighbors" too! My husband usually doesn't like British comedies, but when he saw that one he said, "Hey that's us!"

-- snoozy (, November 06, 2000.

We have a TV with a VCR, and lots of tapes, but can go days without it coming on; it doesn't get outside channels. We've been without "regular" TV for years. I think that the kids have grown up to be better readers and more creative people, and I don't ever remember hearing, "I'm bored..."

-- Leann Banta (, November 06, 2000.

I just got rid of it again and it is wonderful. My teenage boys are social again! Yea! We can have real conversations. They had become morose and sullen and generally didn't want to do anything. I loved the educational channels and PBS however, it really is nicer without it. We do watch the many movies that we own. About once a week is all. They admit they do not miss the shows.

-- Cheryl (, November 06, 2000.

We have a tv--but liveing in the boonies we only get one channel--we try to remember to turn on the tv to get the weather & news but usually forget--before it is over! We use our vcr for playing our home movies, etc. Don't spend much time in front of the tv. Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (, November 06, 2000.

We live where cable is necessary to get any reception at all. SO eight years ago (just before divorce, just after HUGE pay per view bill-movies at 2am type) I took the 'box' back to the company. For a few years the children rented a video or two on the week ends they spent with me. About four years ago the tv moved into the back bedroom to be hooked up to the VCR and a video game my son got for Christmas. I realized tonight that it hasn't been on for either purpose for a couple of months now. We read, play music, visit with friends, work outside, do homework (I just finished graduate school) and sit and talk at the kitchen table (my children's friends as well) I haven't missed it and the kids haven't complained for about 7 years. (Of course the girls are grown and off-one to real life and one to college-my son has a job and attends high school) The computer has only entered our life over the past few months and I use it more than my son. I visit this forum, research farm land and email my girls. We do fine without. For news and information I listen to and support National Public Radio. betty

-- betty modin (, November 06, 2000.

no tv period. i live too far out for reception, no cable available. phone is sketchy at times. i get what info i need online or the old fashioned way, from people and books. when i want a movie i drive 54 miles to a theater and see one. i like loud explosions and big flames on a screen bigger than my house with speakers that can implode my skull. and i like the cholesterol-bomb popcorn and caffienated sugar drinks too! it's a completely deliciously degenerate non-homestead-y experience.

-- juno redleaf (, November 07, 2000.

Yep. Found myself sitting in front of the boob tube when the test pattern came on once too often, when I'd only planned to "watch the six o'clock news". Got rid of the damned thing. This in 1973. My kids were not pleased, in fact they thought their mom and I were pretty mean. Later they told us we were way cool for ditching it, as they got a better education than their friends who were vidiots.


-- jumpoffjoe (, November 07, 2000.

I am going to be honest. I have had a big screen TV and surround sound with big woofers in my living room for 15 years. (same TV) Now it is just me and Steve, but when son was in the house, the TV was very limited. Never anything Ungodly, never. No scarey movies or nasty shows. Every nite now we watch Dr. Mike Medicine Woman. We have a little satallite. We love the garden and fix-it shows, and yes we do learn lots of things. We can't turn it on till dark after we are in the house. On Sundays we watch Charles Stanley, good old westerns, workshop, This Old House. We never eat out, or rent movies, and we like to snuggle on the sofa and relax before we go to bed. OK, now I have been honest. I am a high-tech hillbilly!

-- Cindy in Ky (, November 07, 2000.

I have Direct TV (preferred PrimeStar). Normally the TV doesn't come on before noon, which is when Law & Order comes on. Then it may or may not be on for a while. More as background noise than anything else. LA Law is funny. Try to catch all three Iron Chefs on the weekends.

When channel surfing I will occasionally watch part of a kiddie show. So much violence even directed at the youngest level.

I have heard a number of parents say their kids grades went up and they became more responsive when the TV was unplugged.

Haven't rented a VCR tape in probably ten years.

Have a friend who visits occasinally. While here she is facinated by the Weather Channel. Why I don't know. Who cares if it is snowing in Oregon when I am in Tennessee. I stick my arm out the door. If it comes back white its snowing here.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, November 07, 2000.

Ken, Steve and I are fasinated by the NASA space views. We try to quess which continent is comming around into the view. You can watch the earth spin around. And sometimes they zoom in real close. It's amazing.

-- Cindy in Ky (, November 07, 2000.

Grew up with a selection of four channels. Didn't watch much then and watch less now. Maybe two hours per week, but that is while I am reading. I read everything. When we moved from town to here in the woods, we could pick up 2 channels with the booster. That worked fine for two years, then the step kids came to live with us and their dad got a 18in dish. Now we have over 100 channels of nothing. Things have not been the same since. I get really angry sometimes. It seems that everything just stopped. I have threatened to beat it off the house with a stick of wood. As you can see, this is a sore issue with me.

-- Terri Perry (, November 07, 2000.

Our boys have always told everyone that while Dad was at work and they were napping Mom sold the tv. Actually my husband and I planned it but it always got a laugh with the other story. We had a computer monitor and a VCR only for about 15 years. Now we have a tv but only hook it up to the ant. cable for something like the election returns tonight. In fact, in the last two years this will make only the third time we hooked it up. I definately like it better this way.

-- Terry (, November 07, 2000.

We've been unplugged for over 5 years now. A few years ago, a friend gave us a video tape that we 'just had to see,' and we decided to give it a try one rainy evening. The poor thing hadn't been turned on in so long that when we did, it made a loud popping noise and let all of it's smoke out. We just looked at each other and laughed.

-- Connie (, November 08, 2000.

We unplugged in '93 due to both of us being infected with "the disease" - That's where you are mesmerized by the little moving picture and can't seem to tear your eyes away for anything while it's on in the same room. The kids just hated it, but got over it soon enough. We have the usual TV/VCR in the back room and drag it out for a tape a couple of times a year. We go to the theater maybe three or four times a year, as well. We choose movies that we think will just play better on a big screen - "Space Cowboys," "Jurassic Park," "Galaxy Quest."

A little off the subject - we have found that after so long, the music and cinematography ploys that most folks seem to be numb to work VERY well on us. We saw "Sixth Sense" and took turns saying, "Do you want to leave?" and "Just a second" all through the first hour of the movie. We stuck it out, and thought it was a cool premise, but neither of us could say we actually enjoyed it. It was just way too uncomfortably intense. Has anyone else experienced this?

-- Laura Jesnen (, November 08, 2000.

We haven't had a tv for the last 12 years!! I got one last year to help with homeschooling. We use it for the math videos and science videos that we get from the library. We also use it for news now. Sissy

-- sissy sylvester-barth (, November 11, 2000.

Dear Andrea,

We have three t.v. sets in our house. My husband is a t.v. nut. His parents wouldn't have one in their house, and that has made him over react I think. I have watched hardly any daytime t.v. for about the past 27 yrs., but when he comes in it is turned on immediately and stays on until 11:00 at night, sometimes in two rooms at a time. I used to watch it a lot at night, but things have gone steadily downhill and I began to see myself sit through questionable stuff and realized I had become acclimated to it gradually. Now, I try to really pick and choose, and limit. I think I could do without it.


-- Wanda King (, November 12, 2000.

Ain't nothing but commercials anyway

-- Walt K. (, November 12, 2000.

Called the cable company to find out why my service wasn't working, no -there were no problems in the area, but......seems they had shut me off 4 days ago for non-payment! Made me realize I was paying $30 a month (basic) for something I hardly ever used! The kids are rarely home (teens) and we were never much for tv anyway. I can get news and the weather from 'this box', and the old fashion antenna gets me 5 chanels, free.

-- Kathy (, November 12, 2000.

yes, we consigned the tube to the attic ... son says it's been a year and 8 months. Got it down to watch the (non) election. Threw it up there in frustration again, and havent been sorry. The kids actually are able to think of things to PLAY. Son, 15, is a terrific bookworm, and daughter, 8, is well on her way. Read a good sized book last evening curled up beside her daddy in the recliner. Much better than the Tube. Both of these kids score rather high on their assessment tests, and I attribute it largely to the absence of TV in our home.

-- daffodyllady (, July 28, 2001.

I haven't watched for many years and never did most of my life. I've known some people who schedule their lives around tv programs which seems sad to me. On rare occasions I happen upon a t-v, it's strange seeing commericals with multiple frames per second flashing by. I'm positive that the average tv watcher is conditioned to this and doesn't notice but it's very weird to see for a non-tv person. There's a reason they use sensory overload in commercials and it's not a good reason. The main purpose for tele-vision is to promote consumer products and to promote social agenda. Maybe to a watcher their 30 minute sit-com appears harmless and entertaining but there's a dark purpose behind it. Tele-vision has done more for the destruction of morals in this nation than anything else.

-- anonymous (, July 28, 2001.

Yep. I got sick of the waste of time way back in 1973. It was bad then, and, from what I see at friends' houses, WAY worse now.

My kids hated my attitude when they were in school, but now thank me. They learned how to think way better than their "vidiot" friends, they tell me.


-- jumpoff joe (, July 28, 2001.

TV is CRAP. As a kid I wasd subjected to it by my parents they did not no any better. I ended up hating schooling and started doing drugs. It took me two years to kick my drug habit. The TV NEWS stations are a bunch of lairs, they show what they want to show. I stop watching TV when I learned how much the networks were making off me. I was putting money in their pocket when I could have been doing the same with my life. I could have been going to college learing how to find a cures for aids, cancer, sickle cell, or some dieases. For anyone who has kids throw your TV in the TRASH do not use it as a babysister for your kids. Talk to your kids, educate them,listen to them, go on family outings, have fun with all the time but don't sit them in front of the BRAIN DRAIN MACHINE

-- Combintion 69 (, September 07, 2001.

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