Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Jim and I have not had a TV for regular TV viewing for about 25 years. I know this makes us about the weirdest people on the planet.

We are not the best conversationalists because of it and always feel pretty out of the loop when TV shows comes up as a hot topic. Our TV was stolen when our kids were little and as we collected information, submitted insurance claims etc...a few weeks went by. At first our little kids were so upset not to have TV, but something interesting happened. They started to play and be creative and social and more physically active and happier. One by one they came to us and asked us not to get another TV. For some reason I always remember that Chris was in third grade so that put Jen in 6th and Laura in kindergarten. So we didn't ever get another TV until the kids were out of the house. (A fact which did annoy them as they returned home to see one after being away at college, on missions, etc.) The annoyance they felt had to do with being deprived (??) as a kid and now that they were gone we were having all this know that one. The TV we got was used just for movies. Now we have BYU TV but, rarely even watch that.

Fast forward to this year when I have watched a ton of TV for the first time in many years as I have been sitting in the hospital. I am surprised by some of the things I have been seeing. One thing is that it is very compelling to watch even though there isn't much to watch that is valuable or uplifting. It is like that thing when you keep watching a terrible movie thinking that somehow it will redeem itself in the end. I am shocked by the number of references to sex, violence and anti-social behavior on daytime TV. Fortunately I have escaped the night time TV except for one night when this show came on about telling all your deepest secrets in front of your dearest closest friends and family for money. Holy Cow...that was evil. So since we are all bored over here tomorrow I am going to do a study. While the TV is on I am going to mark down anytime they reference sex, violence, or antisocial behavior like molestation, wife beating, drive by shootings, etc. I will also mark down the times that normal families, doing good things are mentioned, community service is rendered, or someone is being social without being weird. I have a feeling the findings will be pretty shocking.

Every once in a while I feel like maybe we need a TV just to be like everyone else. Just about the time that happens I see something that convinces me otherwise. Not having TV is probably one of the best family decisions we have ever made. It will be interesting to see the findings after tomorrow.


mandy* said...

We are moving to a different apartment this week. We're not getting cable at the new place. (Cohen will miss Elmo.)

girlsmama said...

I think this is such a great idea! We do a no TV week with school, but it would be better to expand it to the whole year I think! The hard part is convincing ourselves to do it!

Ralphie said...

I pay good money for cable TV and a cable box and don't even watch TV. I'm a movieholic, but don't need cable for that. Hmmmm, I might be saving some money soon. In terms of staying up on things, just turn the car radio to KNBC when you drive to work. In 12 minutes, you're all caught up on the news.