Two months ago we decided to get rid of our cable. This was not an easy decision, and it was one that we had been talking about for well over 2 years. How ridiculous, to discuss cable for two years, but that is how long it took us to make the final decision.
Firstly, let me tell you, we did not have ‘fancy cable’ we had 63 reliable channels, there was no HD, no Digital Boxes, No TeVo, No Movie Channels, nothing that would lure our friends to our house on a Saturday night to watch the game. We don’t have a big screen, surround sound, or even comfy lazy boy recliners. We are basic folks, with basic tv. Now we are basic folk with no tv.
Let me preface that I am a self-confessed TV junkie. I love my soap opera, I love reality tv; I haven’t seen a ‘Real Housewife’ that I didn’t love. I practically counted the days each year until the newest season of Big Brother started. I loved to just veg out after a long day and watch an hour of TV before bed.
Ok, re-read that last sentence. I loved to just veg out after a long day and watch an hour of TV before bed. An hour. Yep, that’s about it. so I was paying roughly $3.33 to watch one hour of TV a day. Now, not only did I watch very little TV, but Shaughn, he watched even less. Couple that with the fact that we only really watched about 10 of the 63 channels, and you get a big old pile of STUPID. What were we doing? Why? DUH!
Eventually I convinced Shaughn of the stupidity also, it took some doing, but we figured it out. We realised just how much our daughter watched TV, and how frightening her reaction was when we turned it off. We realised how much we both missed reading, and what we were missing by turning on the boob tube each night.
So we got rid of the cable. We do watch movies occasionally, but for the most part we read. We have a shared Kindle, and we read, read and read. It is AMAZING. We had both lost our love for books over the last few years, sad but true.
Why, as a society are we so addicted to the idiot box? For me, I know it was far easier to find something totally mindless and to zone out, rather than to spend the time and to actually use my brain to read, or to play with my girl, or to talk with Shaughn. I would sit and watch the latest shows, mostly trash. There are less and less shows with any substance, and more and more crap. How many times does Maury have to test the paternity of a single child? Does Springer need to show another Hillbilly Wedding? Really?
Why are we choosing to pollute our minds with this? And not just us, but our children too? Does Backyardigans really teach our children anything? One might say it’s teaching children to use their imaginations, but really? Wouldn’t it be far better to turn it off, and have US the parents teach our children to use their imaginations? I would be embarrassed to say that Sesame Street taught my child how to count or her ABC’s. I’m not saying I’m a saint. Hell no. I freely admit to putting an episode of Dora on while I am trying to make an important phone call, or making dinner. The point is, it’s one episode (23 minutes of quiet) and it’s not daily.
I know this post won’t convince anyone else to give up their cable, that’s cool. Hopefully though this post will inspire you to think twice about that book that you want to read, and you’ll pick it up and actually read it, or instead of wishing you had more time to play with your child, you will turn off the TV, and get down and dirty in the sandbox, putting both of your imaginations to good use.