Monday, June 18, 2012

TV and Fireflies

We have killed our television, and some interesting things have happened as a result.

I grew up without TV. We had our first TV when I was in 6th grade, a black-and-white set that received whatever channels the bunny ears could pick up; we were allowed to watch 30 minutes of TV a week (except during football season, when the TV was on all day). Color TV hit our house in 8th grade, and I watched in wonder as Moses turned the Nile red instead of dark grey.

Television is bad for you. About 90% of the 40,000 studies done on TV in the last 40 years agree. Chronic TV watchers weigh more, walk less, spend more. Chronic TV watchers are more violent and have lower IQs. It's true. Not a fun couple of sentences, but true (find some facts here. And some terrifying and depressing support here).

The effect on our household after three weeks have been marked. To wit:

*We have more time. With the longer days of summer and no TV, we have given ourselves an additional four hours of time daily. Crazy. I am hoping that soon we will lose our compulsion to fill those hours up, but for now, we seem to be constantly looking for things to do. The b-word (bored) has not shown up yet. A good thing.

*We talk more. This is some days a bad thing (more opportunities for bickering) and a great thing (odd conversations pop up, and spontaneous laughter).

*We go to bed earlier. Even with the extra daylight, we don't feel the need to stay up until the wee smalls to watch something on the tube.

We actually caught fireflies in a jar last night. We sit outside and listen for frogs until the bugs drive us inside.

We get a little sick of each other and are running out of reading material (but making art like crazy and speaking French).

Sometimes it would be nice to sit on the couch and watch a cooking show together; I miss watching the national news every night and feel a little bit out of it. We do have Netflix but will probably get rid of it. We have watched TV on the internet, but it is more trouble than it is worth, and I don't like being separated on individual laptops to watch different things (although some would see this as a plus).

I don't miss the political ads.

I am glad we have no TV but believe we will eventually find an OTA box that can also wirelessly stream the web to the TV; this will still limit our watching but allow the news and various sporting events (which The Patriarch cannot live without).

For now, though, we will keep art-making and ignore the screen in the corner.

No comments:

Post a Comment