"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Please Don't Hate Me

After reading this post on Brian's blog Waystation One, I wrote this post. 

Don't write me off when you read this post. This subject is important to me. Sharing my thoughts here are just that: My way of thinking. No preaching or advising in any way.

It has been almost eight years since I switched off the television. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. At the time that I made the decision to stop watching television, I had a large plasma TV on the wall with surround sound and all the bells and whistles. I got rid of all the equipment and never regretted it. Raising my kids revolved around television much of the time. Each time we moved, the decision on where the TV would be placed was the first decision before picking our bedrooms. The importance of everything to do with the television climbed as the years passed until there was little time for family visiting and talking and playing games.

All the hours spent in front of a television screen being bombarded with other peoples opinions instead of actual news are now my hours to do with as I want. I am well informed of world news with all the online news sites available.

No longer am I influenced by in-my-face ads. I don't feel the need to purchase things I don't really want. I don't feel compelled to keep up with the neighbors or participate in things that are a waste of time and money. I don't rush to the phone to order the pizza tempting me on the TV screen. I am free to make wise decisions based on my particular circumstances.

It is amazing how people I talk with do not "get it" that I really do not watch any television. I do not have access to it, no cable or satellite. In fact, there is not a television in my house since I stopped watching DVDs from Netflix and only use their streaming service and watch on my large computer screen. I watch movies and sometimes past TV series on Netflix. Commercial free. Works for me!

As much as people get to know me, the conversations still revolve around television. "Did you see such and such last night?" is a perfect example. It amazes me how much enthusiasm that question can set in motion. For people like me, the non TV people, it is like watching hypnotized zombies. No offense, remember, this is just me voicing my opinion. What is still surprising to me is that it does not register in other peoples minds that I would not have a clue about the shows they watch, even when I remind them that I don't have television, a few minutes later the conversation is again about a particular TV show. It goes to show the shortness of the concentration span of the average television viewer. From my vantage point, it looks like so many people do not have a real life. What did people do prior to television? Sit around glassy eyed with nothing intelligent to say?

I can't tell you how many hundreds of times I have been told that someone wouldn't know what to do if they didn't watch television. And they are serious. I am not out to change the world. As I see it, it is too late for that anyway. We all make our own choices. I choose to have a fulfilling, interesting life. For me, that means not watching the mind numbing stuff on television. People understand the concept of "you are what you eat"; why then, can they not see that "you are what you watch". What you allow into your being is more than just food.

32 comments:

Ms. A said...

My Dad always referred to the TV as the peephole to paradise. He rarely watched series shows, he chose things like National Geographic, or the History Channel.

We do watch quite a bit in our house. I prefer shows that make me think. I watch tons of medical, crime and legal shows and keep up with series shows. I don't fault anyone that chooses not to, it's just that I don't leave the house very often and the TV keeps me company. I usually DVR the series I keep up with and fast forward through the annoying commercials.

R. J. said...

You have to do whatever works for you. Ms. A said it very well and I have to agree. I enjoy a number of TV shows and I record many to fast forward past commercials. I watch some on the "On Demand" feature. I learn so much from shows like Burden of Proof, CSI, House, just to name a few. There are so many informative science shows or history shows. It is up to the viewer to be selective and separate the valuable information from the trash of which there is much, and I ignore all of it.

I love my computer time, my TV time, my reading time and my socializing time with friends. TV is just another tool--it is neither good nor bad, what we do with it is up to us. Hubby and I have been enjoying the entire Stargate series on DVD which we borrowed from our son and his wife. It is a great fun time together.

I am tuned into the world of the elderly generation of my parents and their needs also. They are so shut in by their circumstances when in their nineties and living with physical limitations and illnesses, they need TV to find something to think about other than their own problems. I'm glad it is there for them. If you don't need it or enjoy it, that's your choice. It's always great to have lots of choices in life.

It was a good topic to stir up another global conversation.

DJan said...

I agree with you that too many people stop living their own lives and let their TV programs take up any motivation they might have to change things in their lives. I watch TV. But it is not the central part of my life, and I applaud you and the other friends I have to cut it completely out of their lives. Of course, with today's technology, it's only the TV that is gone, not the entertainment value, as you mention you still see movies, etc. on your computer. I read somewhere that many young people don't watch TV any more; anything they want to see is available on line.

You're just ahead of your time, CiCi. :-)

CiCi said...

I know what you mean about having something keep you company. I guess I use music more for that and now the cat too.

CiCi said...

Glad you look at it like a good way to stir discussion. My mom will be 91 in July and she is in assisted living facility so the TV is her companion. She loves to watch sports, all sports especially golf.

CiCi said...

The reason I stopped watching TV in the first place was the slanted news that presented as news. I don't want to be pressured in any way whether it be about religion or food or politics or anything. I began to feel that pressure when I was watching what I thought was unbiased news stations. And now, years later, my friends who continued watching those news stations, are prejudiced and hateful and I see how the country is more divided. I applaud the young people who want to think for themselves and not be fed by the bunk on TV. You can tell I feel very strongly about this subject.

Yousei Hime said...

I'm happy to say I'm 100% with you on this. I rarely watch TV these days. I'd like to say that I fill my mind with better food, and I do to some degree, but I have my interests that others might consider chocolate and chips quality. Still, it's not the stuff on TV today, and for that I'm satisfied.

CiCi said...

The food of the mind can be many things. Participating in something joyful fills my love tank as well as my mind. I am so glad for you that you find things that work for you, as I do. It does not matter what anyone else thinks, whether someone looking on sees chocolate and chips or not. Good for you.

Brian Miller said...

there were many a year we did not have tv...it was only about 18 months ago we got one again...and i am about ready to get rid of it again...we watch more movies than anything when we want something...and honestly it is mostly background noise as we play games...we watch what we let the boys watch to make sure it is good, but dont let them watch all the time...

Ina in Alaska said...

I do a bit of everything: TV, read, get out and about. Much of today's TV is garbage but I do enjoy Amazing Race and Survivor. However I accept whatever floats your/anyone's boat. Its a free country. But I do agree with you, books and printed media are much more in-depth, commercial free and allow the mind to soar.

CiCi said...

It would be difficult I suppose to have children who have friends with TVs. You have no control over what they watch when they are at their friend's house, but for me, it would not be about that as much as the amount of family time lost watching the boob tube.

CiCi said...

What a great expression, Ina. Allowing the mind to SOAR. Wow, that is exactly what I wanted to say in this post. Thanks for these words.

Abby said...

Not only do I NOT hate you, I think I've found a kindred spirit!

I get it. We do have a TV, though. For watching movies. We've never had cable or a dish. It really bothers me that "Dancing with the Stars", "American Idol", etc. make news headlines. What?!

I'm not ready to chuck the TV, though, because I really do like and appreciate good movies. My husband and I usually watch one a week together. The rest of the time, it's a dark rectangle in the corner. I think that's the main reason our kids never got sucked in either.

bill lisleman said...

very good point and it is the reason we dropped cable when the kids were growing up. We still had plenty of stations so it was not a complete no TV in the house. Actually have cable now. I think DVDs are great and now the streaming services are the latest trend. So you are trend setter. There is always going to be garbage offered. We don't need to take it. Stop and think, read, explore - much better options.

Cinner said...

CiCi, I am sure I could do without it, not so sure about Hubby, all he watches is Sports. Tank you for the post about my book I sent you. that was very nice, I am glad you are enjoying it. take care.

Jeni said...

Okay -I guess I am a TV addict here! If I am in the house, regardless of the time of day (or nite), odds are I will have a TV set going -either the one in the living room or, if I've gone to bed, the one in my bedroom is on. It is quite normal for me to "tell time" by what program is on TV. Sometimes, it is pretty much the only communication (of sorts) I might have in a day that is of an adult variety. I love certain programs -mainly "Big Bang Theory" and the 48-Hr Mystery program as well as reruns of Law and Order. Yes, I watch other things besides them and do rely on the TV for the news broadcasts for the semi-local area. (Our Newspaper is NOT a good provider of news, for sure!) As to bias in the News Media, the only network I've ever thought to be biased in their reporting is Fox, which often totally distorts things! MSNBC is mainly liberal yes, but even so, knowing that in advance, one has to recognize those factors in the first place. Put our own bias into the spin as it were, ya know.
And no, I sure don't or wouldn't hate you or anyone who turns their back on TV -more power to 'em! But for me, I'd miss the entertainment very, very much!

Pauline said...

I'm so glad I read this post. I'm just one step behind you and soon to take the leap to no TV at all. The only time my TV is turned on is when my grand-daughter is here and wants to watch Master Chef. We watch it and then play "real live" Master Chef in the kitchen. I prefer to have music as background noise, read the news on line and in newspapers. And sitting quietly with a book I find a much better preparation for bed time. Next time someone expresses horror at my non-TV watching I can now safely say I'm not the only one!

CiCi said...

Kindred spirit, yay. It sure helps to not feel like an odd ball.

I used to watch movies on DVDs on the TV but have decided that I don't mind watching them on my computer monitor. Plenty large enough screen to sit on the couch in front of the screen in this tiny house and enjoy a movie on Netflix.

Thanks for your comment contribution.

CiCi said...

Hi Bill, thanks for adding to the discussion. Yes, streaming is easy and lots of choices.

CiCi said...

Hi Jeni, I like to hear all sides of the subject as you know. So thank you for the great comment.
Most of my friends have the TV going for the same reasons you do, and it works for them. And thanks for not hating me! Hugs.

CiCi said...

Hi Pauline, it was such a relief when I did not have any way to even turn the TV on to channels, it was only used for DVD viewing. And now it is not even here for that. My music is on occasionally and most of the time it is peaceful and quiet here. You definitely are not the only one!

terri said...

We have 3 televisions in our house. I don't watch much. They are on constantly, but they are background noise for me. I'm not in the know on any of the latest shows.

Recently the television in the living room bit the dust. For several days, there was a t.v. free atmosphere on the main level of the house. I loved it. I could work in the kitchen and listen to music without hearing the blare of the television over my music. I was actually disappointed when my husband insisted on replacing it. I think I could live quite easily without it. I admire you for actually doing it.

Rock Chef said...

We have the TV on a lot - usually on a news channel. There are a lot of news channels out there and we watch most of them at one time or another. Anything from Fox to Al Jazera. Gives a good broad choice of views on things!

There are certain things we watch, but often it is just there while we do other things like read, study, paint toy soldiers etc.

Stickup Artist said...

OH, don't get me started... I haven't had TV practically my whole adult life. I just recently bought my first very own TV and still have no stations, just Netflix. But it's watched so rarely, I even considered canceling it. Before TV, people had to have talents useful in social gatherings, otherwise they were shunned. TV is boring because it's so passive and just drones on and on about way too much nonsense. I don't know how people can stand that kind of noise in their homes...

CiCi said...

I know without a doubt that letting go of the TV was a start of my inner freedom and growth. My mind has been filled with amazing things and no distractions or underlying brain washing. That is how I felt and when I brought that to my consciousness, my survival mode kicked in and I in turned kicked the TV out of my life. Like I say in this post, it works for me, and it is one of the ten best things in my life.

CiCi said...

Most people I know live just as you describe. When I was watching TV I felt my mind becoming sort of numb, dull, and I was addicted to watching certain shows. What usually happens when I talk with people about my TV-free life, they become defensive and I am not in any way putting them there. I know what is good for me and sometimes like to talk about it. Al Jazera is on my computer sometimes as well as reading BBC news online and a few others.

CiCi said...

People become used to things like the lobster in the boiling water.
I was like that once. I didn't like it. There are so few people I can talk with about my TV-free life. So glad to know you think the same.

Brian Miller said...

and thanks for the mention...smiles...

it is difficult that way...and they come home with some interesting notions...

happy saturday!

Hilary said...

Good for you. I do watch TV.. I'd miss a few of my sitcoms if I opted to stop watching and I know Frank would go nuts without his sports. I know a few folks who have their TV on 24/7 and that just makes me nuts. I have to admit though, that I'm more inclined to be at my computer like some are at their TV. Different screen.. same habit. ;)

Akannie said...

Had to comment here. You are not alone. lol

We didn't have tv for years...imagine--we talked to each other, read books, and played board games and cards. Then I had a boss who got me a television set for Xmas one year. I looked at her and said UH--we don't watch TV. She said --I know! now you can! LOL People(mostly) do not get it.

Then we had it awhile, got rid of it, and didn't have it again for 7 years. Now we have it again for about a year. It's a complete waste of space, IMHO.

I have a friend who calls the idiot box a "Face Magnet" because people cannot walk in a room with one without becoming magnetized to it. lol

Mrs4444 said...

My dad always called it "the boob tube." :)

Comfortably numb over here...haha

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I think it is wonderful that you don't watch TV. I'm not sure I could have the strength to stop watching TV but I have taken my watching of television to less each year and I would watch less if it weren't for my DVR so I can FF through all the crap.