Unplugging From TV

Little House on the Prairie, Saturday morning cartoons, Friday night videos, Schoolhouse rock....

Do you remember watching television as a child?

When I was a child in the 1980's we had only one television in our home. We often could be found watching classic Disney movies in the evenings and classic shows like Little House on the Prairie after school. I don't remember watching very many nightly sitcoms, and the only cartoons we watched besides our VHS Disney movies, were Saturday morning cartoons that lasted until noon. After Saturday morning cartoons, it was time to head outside and play with your siblings or the neighborhood kids.

It seems that television watching has drastically changed in the last thirty years. What used to be an occasional thing, has turned into televisions being on constantly in every home. Most households these days have a TV in every room of their home. Saturday morning cartoons have turned into Nickelodeon and Disney channels that give our children access to cartoons all day long, even in the middle of the night.

Along with our increased television watching, we have seen American obesity expand (literally) to an all time high. Child obesity is rising rapidly here in the United States with more and more children being diagnosed with preventable diseases. Children are often found sitting in front of a television versus running around outside with the neighbor kids.

In June of 2014 we decided that we were done paying for satellite television for two reasons: one - we started to see it as a waste of our time and money, and two - we wanted to be able to think for ourselves.

Having a television on all the time is like someone coming into your home and telling you how you should act, what should wear, what you should think, and what's cool and not cool. And don't get me started on the kid's cartoons these days. Seriously? Is there anything more annoying to watch or listen to? Talk about dumbing down our children. Oh, and what about how men are treated on the nightly sitcoms? They are portrayed as idiots who have to have woman there to tell them how to function. They have nightly shows on now that I would be embarrassed to watch with my grandparents in the same room as me. Not to mention, I don't want my son exposed to any of that at his age.

We have not had a connection to satellite television or an antenna for ten months now. When we first shut it off, I will admit that I did miss it. I was never one to get into the nightly shows but I did enjoy watching some reality shows...if you can even call them that. God spoke to me along time ago about watching some of the more controversial shows. I'm not judging those who do, it's just something I felt like I didn't need to be viewing in my own home. I don't even miss the television now. We have an antenna, and we have talked about hooking it up, but we just haven't done it and we are pretty content without it.

Here are seven benefits we have experienced from shutting off our satellite connection:

1. We go to bed early and get enough sleep.

We used to head to bed around nine-thirty or ten o'clock and now we are in bed at eight. That probably seems early to some of you all, but we get up at five and I haven't had to take a nap in months.

2. Our son has found new ways to occupy his time.

My son has always been a reader but after shutting the satellite off he starting devouring books. A trip to the library is the highlight of his week. He also started playing with his toys more and going outside to play. It's hard for an only child to really get into playing, since he only has himself, but he still has a great imagination and now he is using it even more.

3. The silence.

Can I get an 'amen' for silence. I used to hate silence, and sometimes I still do, but I am trying to embrace it because silence it's what makes you able to think and process things. My husband is big on silence. He doesn't even listen to the radio in the car. I am not quite that fond of it. I love to turn my music up in the car and rock out but I am learning to appreciate silence more.

4. We talk to each other.

We have had some of the deepest and best conversations in the evenings as we sit there with no television on. Communication has increased and we have each others full attention with no distractions (unless we are on our smartphones, but that's another topic for another post.)

5. We are more physically active.

We are going for walks more, and because of the added sleep, we have more energy to do more things during the day. I find myself cooking more from scratch and reading more books. I have had time to totally revamp and update my blog. Not to mention, more physical time in the *ahem* bedroom with an early bedtime, if you know what I mean. ;)

6. Our stress level is way down.

We just aren't as stressed as we used to be. Without the added noise and the nightly news telling us all a bunch of horror stories, we just are more relaxed.

7. We are getting school done.

I find that my son doesn't get up and turn the television on just to zone out and ignore me. I am not using the television as a babysitter anymore and we are actually getting our school and house work done.

8. It saves us money.

We were paying approximately $860 for satellite TV per year. I don't know about you, but I can think of about a hundred things I would rather do with that money than watch TV. Even the best movie or show in the world couldn't get me to pay that kind of money for it.

Overall, I would say not having television has only had positive affects on our family. We still do rent and watch movies on a weekly basis. It's always family friendly movies and the latest Disney movie that we rent. I would highly recommend trying this as an experiment for your family to see if you discover the same benefits that we have.

Do you have a cable or satellite connection? Let me know your reasons for having it or not having it.


1 comment:

  1. We recently disconnected satellite TV & started limiting all devices even more strictly than before. We've also begun shutting down all electronics an hour before bedtime when they are on. I couldn't be happier. It's an adjustment, mostly for my 3 boys, but I am excited & looking forward to so much more worthwhile activities as a family. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time & now that it's done, I only wish we'd done it sooner. Thank you for sharing your experience & this encouragement!