Living without television

Discussion in 'Community' started by Blue Velvet, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    One frosty winter's day in London, my little 14" colour portable goes 'ffftttt' and joins the big cathode ray tube in the sky... :(

    First thought: get a super-duper new LCD model in the sales followed quickly by second thought: bit broke.

    Radical third thought follows quick on its heels: what about going without a TV for a while? Maybe 6 months or longer (!?), see how productive my life might become without the distraction of reality–makeover–comedy–documentary shows etc... without The Simpsons, even.

    A potential New Year's resolution beckons...

    I could read all those books I bought through the year! I could invest some time learning InDesign (old Quark dog, me). Write some letters, learn how to cook properly, I could even go out a little more... and if I get a bit desperate for televisual entertainment, I could always rent some DVDs and watch them on the Mac...

    Anyone else around here made a conscious decision to live without a TV?
    If so, how did it change your life?
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I couldn't live without TV. I don't watch loads of crap all the time, but the good stuff that I like I really hate to miss :eek:
  3. dotcomlarry macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Akron, PA
    I live just fine without TV. Sure, there's a TV in the living room, but I maybe watch it once a week for one hour. Oddly enough, I'm a TV production major in college, but as far as home viewing... most of the shows out there are crap anyway.
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Well learning InDesign would probably kill a couple of days... :eek: :p

    I think you could survive just dandy for 6 months without a telly, especially in London. There's always lot's of design type stuff going on, lectures exhibitions etc that it's quite easy to avoid the tv... I do quite well, but then I don't really seperate work design from play design. :)
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Pretty much the only time I consciously choose to avoid TV is while actually asleep. ;)

    I've gone without it for a few months, once, while a camp counselor when I was in college, and it didn't kill me.

    However, I think that TV presents some excellent opportunities to be entertained and to learn. Yes, of course, there's a lot of crap out there. But to avoid TV because some of it's crap is like avoiding reading because there are some terrible books.

    I'd definitely recommend avoiding the shows with no redeeming value, but there's a lot of good programming to see if you look for it.

    Perhaps you can get something like the Elgato EyeTV so you can watch TV on your Mac - I mean, you'll be sitting anyway, why not enjoy a good show?
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I haven't watched TV in over five years (other than that I can't avoid, like in bars or restaurants, waiting in friends living room etc). I love it. Feels a little strange sometimes, however, to not know all this crap info people discuss in casual conversation.

    That said, I do own a TV and I do watch movies on it. I do rent a fair bit of those...

    Give it a try, see how you do.

    BTW, read FOUR ARGUMENTS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TELEVISION by Jerry Mander, to get some interesting info. It was written in the 70's, but is still relevant today, if not more so...

    Either way, it is good to start new hobbies...
  7. bazilfawlty macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2004
    South Wales - UK
    Blue Velvet I say go for it. The exact same thing happened to us on December 23rd 2 years ago I remember it well, twas late on Sunday the television picture just reduced into one long thin horizontal line and no matter how many times it was switched on and off or any amount of thumping and kicking could not restore it. As it was so close to Christmas my wife and I decided to wait and get a replacement in the January sales. The next few days was hell, talk about cold turkey, and being that it was a Christmas period and I was off work on holiday made it all the worse. After Christmas my wife and I being a bit sadistic a suppose, decided to wait a few more weeks to see how long we could go without the TV.

    Switch to present day and we have just surpassed our 2 year anniversary without the TV and life couldn't be any better. We also have three small children (all born before the TV broke not as a result of no TV :) ) and this has been where the difference is the greatest. They now play better with each other and my eldest son's reading has come along in leaps and bounds to the point where he just devours a new book in a matter of days. The children in general are less hyperactive and now enjoy playing outdoors more often and enjoy walks as apposed to before where we were literally dragging them out because of the constant barrage of 24hr TV, there was always a reason to stay glued to the TV. The children do not miss out completely we make a point of taking them to see the latest films upon release the last one being the incredibles so that do not entirely miss out. We have also found that the children are more easily pleased now without the constant advertising in their faces every 20 minutes informing them should be wearing/using/playing with such a product.

    In terms of yourself you can still stay on top of things, read the newspaper everyday, you have the internet of course and the BBC show the lunch time news and 10 o'clock news on their website which you can stream once they have aired. You also find other current affairs and documentaries such as Panorama and Question time also available to watch. We have found that since we no longer have the TV you take a lot more interest in things that go on around you.

    As I said above if you decide this is what you want you will find it very hard at first, eventually with time the programs that you thought you could do without you don't start to care about anymore once you get through this period its plain sailing all the time. Once you have done without the TV for a few months you become very critical of the current crop of programmes and you then realise how much crap really is on TV. Apologise for going on a bit but trust me it is worth the try and would recommend everyone to have a go.

  8. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    I haven't owned a teevee for 7 years and I don't miss it. I'll watch a movie once a week or so on my powerbook with it hooked to my stereo. I'd really like to pick up the 23" cinema display but that is a lot of $$$. I usually spend my nights talking with my fraulein, listening to music, reading, etc. And I like my sports old-school via the radio.

    When I do find myself in front of one - hotel room, bar, house of friend or family - everything seems so intrusive. This is slick, this isn't slick, drive this, eat this, binge on that, bang like this, etc., etc.

    It all reached a fever pitch 18 months ago in a hotel in Jackson, WY. I had spent the previous 11 nights in a tent, had just taken my first shower in same 11 nights, I cracked open a Sierra, turned on the tube and there was Corey Feldman, Vince Neil and friggin' Webster all living in some SoCal house together. :eek:

    I definitely recommend going forward with your "experiment" and seeing where it leads.
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    yeah im a college student, i have a tv, it gets no use now that i sold my PS2

    all i NEED a tv for is DVDs, seriously my collection keeps growing, but i have no cable, no standard channels, nothing

    its great, trust me, you do get more work done, you have time to do what you want when you want, your life wont revolve around making sure you catch that one show each week, which is pointless, but people are driven to watch this stuff, its pathetic,

    i dont see any/hear of any good entertainment on the TV stations these days, so im glad i dropped it out of my life, Movies on the other hand, you have a choice of what you want, what you are in the mood for, and they are much much more entertaining and enjoyable, sure they have all the product placement crap too, but hey there are no comercials!

    id say go ahead and wait on buying another one, go for a few months at first, if you find that you NEED a TV then you can always get one at a later date, but dont assume that you have to have one, i get by just fine right now with my 12" powerbook for the occasional movie since my DVD player broke

    good luck and let us know what you decide to do
  10. 3rdpath macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2002
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    me and the mrs went without tv for over a year and it was wonderful. we did watch a few movies we rented but had no cable or local reception. when i did see tv( someplace outside our home) i couldn't stop all is so contrived.

    sadly, we now have a bazzillion channels and a dvr. i hate it but the mrs seems to enjoy it...oh well. however, i have managed to limit our home to only 1 tv.

    another book to read about the influnce of tv is " affluenza"....scarey stuff indeed.
  11. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Does the UK apply the TV tax to things like the EyeTV? On the other side, do they credit you for TVs only used to play console games or DVDs?
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    While I agree that most TV has no "nutritional" value, I find a lot of interesting and educational programming on many of the science-oriented channels, and, as the owner of a home which was neglected for decades before we moved into it, on many of the do-it-yourself channels.

    Of course, I do watch stupid sitcoms occasionally, but rarely more than an hour a week. In the past, I'd spend hours a day watching crap. Not any more. But I don't agree that TV is worthless - for example, it's a lot more interesting, I think, watching a documentary on the winning of the X Prize on TV than it ever could be reading about it on the internet or in the paper - some stories are best told with moving images.
  13. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    no tv since i moved out of my old place (this summer) ... im lovin' it! ® :D

    watch DVDs on the mac quite a bit and use ithe internet constantly, but it's nice to not have to see moving/talking commercials everyday. :)

    my daughter likes not having a tv on the weekends with me. she says it's a good house for kids so they can use their brains more (she's eight). she reads a lot (usually finishes a book from the library before we get home) and uses the net wuite a bit. it opens them up to explore a bit more. not so easy to plop in front of the box and click 'ON'. :rolleyes:

    i can't ever see buying another tv ... but maybe a 30" apple display and digital surround sound! :D

  14. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    16 years or so ago, I made a conscious effort to avoid tv at all costs based on the obsessive viewing habits of two college roommates. For two years I didn't watch any tv at all and avoided places where it was playing. The next seven years i was a lot less militant about it and actually owned a tv for a few years but only to watch movies. Since then, I haven't owned a tv and don't miss it at all. The only times I'm really exposed to it is in motels, family, friends' homes etc.

    I'll admit, the mind-numbing qualities are sometimes nice! but I find myself clicking constantly and never really watching anything. Gimme a good book anyday of the week. I'd rather lose myself that way than any other.

    The internet provides all the news and entertainment that I would ever want.
  15. busasa macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    ur fine.....

    For sure, TV programs are often crap, and most of the "useful" information one can find on tv are often better in detail on the internet. The only reason i turn my tv on is sport, as i can't really watch a live game on my computer. It sure sucks to pay a premium for 50 channels when I only watch like 3 of 'em. Sometimes I watch late-night shows, but it's not like i'll suffocate if i dun watch 'em, so not watching TV isn't really a big deal.
  16. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    Go for it and while you at it, create a blog to keep us posted on the changes of your live.
  17. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004


    If they get a warrant, they even have the legal right to remove any equipment they suspect of being used to watch TV.

    Re: TVs as monitors.
    They do not credit you, but if they gain entrance to your house and you demonstrate that the TV is a) Not connected to an aerial and b) detuned from TV station frequencies, you may have decent grounds for a defence.

    There's already at least one UK TV Licensing thread on these boards... but here's a link to one of many TV licence protest sites. They usually have FAQs that may answer your questions more fully...
  18. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Ooooh... A blog on the frenzied tedium of my life -- don't think so.

    But excellent suggestion nevertheless – just not my cup of tea.
  19. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    My roommates and I did this about 6/7 years ago during our 2nd yr in college. We went around a year without any television (occassionally watching Billy Madison/Happy Gilmore on VHS). I read more books in that year and discovered more new music than I have all of the rest of my life combined.
  20. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Lately I'm about as close as I have ever been to being able to do that. Embarrassed to say but I'm addicted to one Soap Opera in particular, "All My Children." I don't really watch much evening TV much anymore. Have an iBook as a backup in the MBR. So I use it after 10pm, can't see the TV but listen. I would also miss the evening news. It would be my wife that would refuse to go without a TV. I would certainly like to try.
  21. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    Oh no!

    That's a gateway show ... soon you'll be watching talkshows, reality shows ... and then, late night infomercials!!! :eek:

    watch out; televions are everywhere. ;)

  22. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2004
    I've been without cable TV since 1998. Some of my coworkers watch that reality TV crap while i'm there. Personally, i can't stand how immoral and sinful the current cable TV lineup is these days. The way television simulates american culture sickens me. I go without it purposefully, because i fear having such an influence would change my thoughts and eventually my actions. Sure, i am weak... say whatever you want, but that's how i feel about it. It's hard to go without yu-gi-oh though. I watched some on DVD... and it's just awesome! Cartoons are awesome because they teach standing up for something and doing what is right. (ok, i haven't seen alot of cartoons, so i know that's a general statement...but you get what i mean.)
  23. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Guess you didn't catch too much of 'Ren and Stimpy', huh?

  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Or Beavis and Butthead...oh, or Southpark. :D

    I probably watch an average of 2-4 hours ov TV a week. The only channels I watch are Discovery, Discovery Time, Discovery Wings, History, History International, BBC America, Speed, Biography. For some reason I can never become a regular viewer of shows though, so even those are watched irregularly.

    Anyway I'm an insatiable reader and I find reading more enjoyable than watching most of the time, although I just got one of the DVD sets of Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett for Christmas - DVDs put me in front of the tube much more often the TV shows.

    I doubt you'll miss the TV too much.
  25. MrSugar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2003
    with no TV I couldn't play Mario Power Tennis for the Gamecube :(

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