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The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pulling the Plug

"American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV." -- The Kaiser Family Foundation

"You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."
-- Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer


Pulling the Plug
On September 2nd we cancelled our cable service and are now a no-television household.  The set is still there if we want to watch a DVD or video, but the actual connection to the outside world via TV is gone. 

I'll admit, the first couple of days were weird and we did miss it.  Although my husband and I aren't compulsive tv watchers, we've had a long-standing ritual of sitting down around 7 p.m. and letting the busy day melt away by watching a show or two...or three or four depending on our level of fatigue.  Ever notice how it sucks you in when you're especially tired (read: vulnerable)?   James and I began to observe how we were numbing ourselves with tv and the ease with which we slipped into mindlessly watching one show after another, even when we weren't particularly interested.  

What about "good" TV like the Discovery Channel or PBS?
 TurnOffYourTV.com has this to say: 
"All TV is passive, sedentary and non-experiential. Most viewers tend to watch show after show--not individual programs. Instead of watching a documentary about birds, go out (with binoculars if you have them) and see how many real birds you can identify in your neighborhood."   The purpose of National TV-Turnoff Week is to leave behind judgments about the quality of television and focus instead on creating, discovering, building, participating and doing."

So, what is different for us now?
Well, the immediate difference is that we read more.  A lot more.  We have more conversations in the evening, go to bed earlier and rest better.   My husband would frequently fall asleep in front of the tv after a long day.  Now he goes to bed, which is where one should be when they're worn out, isn't it?    We are beginning to work on creative projects.   I spent one evening just sorting my jewelry then made an earring holder out of an old frame with a window screen glued to the back and hung my earrings on the screen.  This might sound deadly boring, but was so satisfying and I can now locate earrings easily.  If I'd watched another re-run of Bones or CSI, my earrings would still be all over the place.   After years of wanting to try mindmapping, I got on mindmeister.com one evening and created five different mindmaps: my website, my youtube channel, my finances, my weightloss goals and personal life goals. 

Oh, and one very unexpected benefit.  I eat less!

Computer TV
In the interest of full disclosure, I have watched the current episodes of Modern Family and The Office on hulu.com.  And you know what? It wasn't nearly as satisfying as I thought it would be.   I imagine even that, too, will end eventually.

What we've lost in mind-numbing "entertainment", we've gained in freedom over our brains and our time plus a whole lot more quiet.


What about you?
Could you live without your connection to the television?  




SOME SCARY FACTS ABOUT TV

  • Number of 30-second commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
  • Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5
  • Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
  • Percentage of children ages 6-17 who have TV's in their bedrooms: 50
  • Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
  • Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500
  • Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66

9 comments:

faerwillow said...

~good for you! for quite some time before my husband and i got together...i had NO tv...i was always busy doing other things and kept myself content in doing just so...i will never forget the first day he walked into my apartment and the look on his face as he asked me "what you don't have a tv...what do you do!...hehehe" well unfortunately my days of no tv went by the wayside and he took over tv and remote ; P...i am not one to watch very much of tv but for my husband at this time...that is how he choses to unwind as well...very inspiring are you and these facts are scary yet ever so true...i wish you wonderful peaceful productive days ahead...i am sure you will reconnect in a beautiful way with one another and yourselves...much l♥ve nad light to you and yours~

Jeanne Klaver said...

I pulled the plug a little over a year ago. I do watch an occasional movie on the computer, but I do so enjoy the quiet times...

smith kaich jones said...

No. I mean, I could, it wouldn't kill me or anything, and really, during basketball season I could very easily, but I love professional baseball and I love professional football and there's no way I can see all the games I want in person. That said, I listen to both on the radio fairly often and that's fine, but still, I want to be able to see a game when I want, even if only on television, and even if the sound is off, which I do a lot. TV shows I don't watch so much. Mad Men is the only one I actually try to catch. :)

xoxo
Debi

Karen D said...

WOW, I don't know if I could do it.
I do tend to numb out to the tv a bit though and I would like to turn it off more, or just watch during certain hours.
again Wow.. good for you

Karen D said...

WOW, I don't know if I could do it.
I do tend to numb out to the tv a bit though and I would like to turn it off more, or just watch during certain hours.
again Wow.. good for you

Changing Woman said...

When I was growing up I lived in a 'no TV on school nights' household. It is something that I have carried with me through list. I have never been a big TV watcher, but I have my programs that I enjoy. This past month I have been cutting back on TV and doing some more reading instead. great article!

Deb said...

I've been thinking of you and wondering...good to know it's going well. Will we see Fragrant Fridays and Bean journeys again soon? I actually like watching some shows on hulu instead of tv....lot less commercials. When Gab was small her kindergarten/preschool had a no tv policy. It was very good for all of us. We did so much more...I remember one of the first nights laying in a hammock and watching bats around a street lamp and telling stories...good memory.

spudballoo said...

So interesting and YAY YOU. Love you even more xxxx I could definintely do this. I hardly ever watch TV. I only watch it when there is something specific I want to see. Which is almost never as I never watch TV to be hooked in by trailers, and I never look at TV listings etc.

At the moment we record Mad Men and watch it at the weekend for a treat. That is the ONLY time I watch TV. Ever! I just never put it on. MrSpud loves history/archaeology programmes but again he records them and watches when he feels like it.

I used the TV waaaaaay too much in the past for my boys. Now they are limited to 30 minutes between tea and bathtime, and not every day. We watch a DVD together some afternoons at the weekend.

The statistics you posted appalled me. Really so upsetting. We're just back from our first playdate at a schoolfriend's. The mother said her rule was that she allows 45 mins on the Wii during a playdate. WHAT? A total nightmare, my boys don't have a Wii or playstations or any of that. And there are only 2 controllers, so that doesn't work. Plus, um, we've come to play, socialise, eat together...I don't want everyone jammed in front of a TV screen 'pretending' to play tennis. Get outside and run around! They are FIVE years old. Shocking.

Love you kiss kiss xxx

deb did it said...

proud to say we have not owned a TV in 8 years, and I don't miss it one bit