To TV or Not to TV

I don’t believe in forcing personal convictions onto others, but I do believe in sharing experience to perhaps challenge or enlighten fellow believers. Therefore, I will impart to you why I no longer watch TV.

I guess you could say, and my husband would wholeheartedly agree with you, that I used to be addicted to TV, especially in the last couple of years when every show was “reality” and everyone’s life was a show. I would live for primetime; I would almost say I craved it. It could be any number of shows: The Bachelor/Bachelorette, American Idol, The Apprentice, the list goes on and on. There were shows I can’t even name because I never got into them, but occasionally watched them because they hooked me somehow. I would spend countless hours in front of the TV, mesmerized, captivated, glued, all in the name of entertainment.

Looking back now I don’t really know what kept me staring at my TV screen for so long. I suppose it made me feel like I was a part of something. Right now, everyone is talking about Rockstar: INXS. In some way shows like this unite us with a feeling of commonality and give us something to discuss in conversation. When the topic arises, sometimes I feel a little left out, but mostly I think about how I don’t miss TV that much. I don’t miss it because I’ve found that my life is for more than talking about the latest, greatest reality show. Be careful, because as I said, this is just a personal conviction, and I’m not dissing Rockstar: INXS by any means.

You might be wondering what made me give up my connection to the world. Well, it was a combination of many things. We moved and didn’t have the money to set up cable at first. Let me tell you, it was like dropping a drug. I didn’t realize I was so addicted, and I couldn’t fathom how I was going to fill up my time. My husband was not eager to set up our cable; he has never been that fond of most reality shows. I used to have to force him to sit down with me to watch them. I needed quality time with him, and I thought I was getting it with both of us staring blankly ahead. I realize now that was nowhere near quality time. He always used to tell me that, but I was blinded.

I have not seen a TV show in my house for more than three months now. It is liberating, and the discomfort and fear that I faced in the beginning are nothing compared to the joys I’ve found in my life. This decision in our lives has forced us to get out of the house, to do more creative things together. We take our dog to the park or play with him in the back yard. We go to our parents’ houses for quality time and, of course, free food. I read more books, The Case for a Creator and Mere Christianity are enlightening me right now—they are fantastic! I am challenging my mind in so many different ways now. I started attending a Bible study written by Beth Moore, who is simply amazing and changing my whole outlook on my relationship with God.

My husband and I go for drives now for no reason, and we talk. We just talk. I think a big reason so many marriages are failing these days is because people just don’t communicate. It is more difficult to make the effort to discuss things with your spouse or friends or family, but I guarantee that you will become closer and find so much love in those relationships. Instead of talking about the latest American Idol disaster, my husband and I now discuss politics, faith, current events, God, history and other things that have so much more worth. It is good to know my husband in these ways.

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Like any “addict” I have relapses and sometimes miss TV. I have been known to go to one of our parents’ houses just to get my fix, but afterward I feel like I’ve wasted something. TV is not all bad, however. My dad has gotten me interested lately in the History channel, and I want to watch more of that because it is important to me to learn about the past. Just last week, while visiting my father, I learned how toothpaste was invented. Priceless.

I don’t know if we will have cable again when we are financially able. It’s possible, but I will definitely consider it more carefully next time.

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