Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Life Without Television

image from here

Imagine, in today’s world, not having a television. Well shock horror, we live it every day.
We lived in the suburbs of a small city and we watched TV like everyone else. The kids came home after school and turned on ‘ABC Kids’, which stayed on until it was time for dinner. I didn’t go out Tuesday nights because I didn’t want to miss ‘Packed to the Rafters’. I never missed an episode of ‘House’ on Wednesdays, I loved Fridays because that was when they played back to back home renovation shows. Our timetables and lives were governed by the network’s programming schedules.
 When we first moved out bush, we had TV reception, then one day after a violent wind storm, a decision was made by the storm gods and it was gone. Just Like that.
No amount of antenna jiggling and tweeking could fix it and each time we pressed the On button, nothing but a black screen stared back at us.
The first week was the hardest, it was like giving up smoking. We paced and grew cranky. Shouts of “there’s nothing to doooo...” rang constantly across the lounge room. For the 3 of the four children that had been partially raised by the television (not something I am proud of) their world had been suddenly turned upside down. 
The Husband eventually came to the realisation that there was a time before TV, and people had survived and were perfectly happy then, so why couldn’t we be?  I had images in black and white of little boys running after hoops with sticks playing over and over in my mind for a while there and was a tad harder to convince, after all he went to work all day and so the lack of TV’s effect on the children and my mood after not having my daily fix of Dr Phil, wasn’t really his problem.
 He said ‘for heaven’s sake we live on a farm now and there is 100 acres to play on.’ He was right of course. So we dug out the bicycles (you know the things with the pedels they say you can’t forget how to ride – a total lie by the way.) We made campfires and ate marshmallows, the kids built teepee style forts out of sticks and dug in the dirt. The family worked together to collect firewood, we built a chicken coop together and now collect fresh eggs every day as a reward. The 8 year old can reverse park a trailer on the back of the ATV which is a skill most TV watching city kids couldn’t do in a pink fit.
So now we thank the storm gods for playing their hand, the kids are better behaved, we spend more time together as a family, we get a lot more done around the farm and The Husband and I have more quality time together after the kids are in bed. So even if the opportunity arose to get television again, we would turn it down in a heartbeat.  After all, we still have the internet!
Does the TV control you? Have you mastered the art of moderation? Do you think you could live without TV for 1 week and would you be prepared to take the challenge, and blog about it?


Diminishing Lucy said...

For a variety of reasons I grew up with very intermittent TV. We ran adn played and read a lot instead.

I still don't watch much - I blog instead!

Thank you for linking up to Diminishing Lucy's Drab to Fab!

Tracy Todd said...

I watch very little network television although I am addicted to Netflix.. where I can watch almost anything whenever I want. I am currently watching Lost daily; one episode/day. It's my 40 minute downtime before grading papers, fixing dinner, and hanging out with my wonderful son. He also grew up playing outside, riding bikes, and going on huge imaginary adventures. TV isn't everything!

deux chiens et un garcon said...

We have no TV on since baby on the scene, now 17 months. We only have it on if a visitor requests it. So we watched Dr Who on Sat night as they are a bit addicted to him. I listen to radio national and blog and read.

Love it.

Very inspiring what you are doing. Have a nice day.


Maxabella said...

Inspiring stuff, Suzi. I have contemplated kicking that black box to the curb, but have never quite got there. Our tv 'breaks' on sunny days and we don't watch more than about 3 shows a week. That's all I've managed for now.

I couldn't give up my So You Think You Can Dance, I just couldn't!

I also couldn't reverse park a trailer if you paid me!! x

Marthese said...

I personally...can live without I grew up without one...but I know the rest of my family don't..and yes I agree that not having a TV will bring families together...having said today's world the internet is as bad....I am a bit addicted to it :)

Brendan M said...

It is such a confusing distraction having morning tv blaring in the background.

MultipleMum said...

I would love to try this out. To see how the kids would go, once they got past the withdrawals. I honestly think it would be a great thing to do and my hat goes off to you and yours. That storm provided a wonderful opportunity and you took the challenge and ran with it. Thumbs up! x

Kellie Collis said...

Interesting post. I think there would be a big difference in our lives without television. Enjoy the lovely week ahead, Kellie xx