April 16, 2008

I first gave up TV when I went to college.  I knew I would have to study and do well to keep my scholarships, and I knew, for me, TV would be too distracting.  I didn’t manage to avoid TV all together.  There was a TV in the lounge area of each hall, and my parents still had a TV at their house.

When I got married, two years after graduation, I was lucky that my husband shared my views on TV and we didn’t have one for a while.  Finally, some friends gave us one, said take it or it’s going to the landfill.  Well, we took it, and we subscribed to a satellite service.

Before I knew it, I was hooked again.  I watched TV from the time I got home from work until I went to bed. I kept the service for a little while after my divorce, but not for long.

I had one more brief time of TV addiction after that, but when hurricane Katrina came through and took out my dish, I said goodbye again.  So far, I have managed to stay off the plug-in drug.

I know that most people could not imagine life without TV although I think now, more people would give it up before they would sacrifice their computer and Internet connection.  TV viewing sucks your time, sucks your attention, raises your panic and worry levels and desensitizes you to emotions.  People mimic what they see, and unfortunately, much of what is on TV is examples of behavior that no one should copy. 

Sure, as a culture, or a generation, we have stories of shows we liked, and episodes we remember fondly.  However, I realized TV gives you memories of things you watch.  I want memories of things I live.  How many memories do you have of things you did as a kid, or even as an adult? Memories that are completely seperate from TV viewing.  No having people over to watch a show, a game, a world event.  No talks at work about that amazing program you saw last night.   I love hearing stories from my grandparents life, and from my parents.  When I am old, I want to talk about things I did, not what shows I watched.

Since this is also a blog about living a green life, eliminating TV from my life saves electricity from all the hours it is not on. I have time to read, to cook, to garden, to email or call friends and family.  I go for walks in the woods behind my house, and I build things.

Not having TV for all these years has been wonderful for me.  I encourage everyone to reduce their viewing time.  I know not everyone can give it up, but if you can, it is worth it.

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