Experiment Concluded

Back in the dim and distant past (December 2009) we began to experiment with life without a TV and gave my reasons why. The experiment is now officially over and it’s not good news for the television.

I haven’t missed it. Hardly at all, we’ve watched some films on computers and a couple of progammes online, but most of the time just not thought about it (not even enough to blog about it). Emma, has missed it a little bit more, but not enough to seriously consider reversing the decision.

So I shall soon be cancelling my licence to the BBC and saving a hundred plus pounds of hard earned money. The TV will be given away (seeing as it was a free gift to us) along with assorted other TV related gadgets.

I’ve enjoyed having one less distraction and I feel a bit more focussed as a result. I think I suffer from what John Naish calls ‘infobesity’, too much information. I’m wondering about restrictions on computer use and mobile phone (that one just involves switching it off a bit more) but I think I’ll find the computer a harder challenge.

Why do it? To spend my time and energy on the things that matter most, to detox my head and heart of things, noise, distractions and temptations that if I thought about it I don’t really want. To be more present to the people I’m around, to be more devoted to family, less distracted and hopefully more fruitful.

I’m a big fan of technology, I read about it, fascinated by it and use it daily, but as with most things things designed to be servants make poor masters and we must always be aware of what has mastery over us.

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8 Thoughts to “Experiment Concluded”

  1. Well done Phil!

    We’ve been without a TV for the last 7 (I think) years. Like you, we watch DVDs, and some stuff on iPlayer, and are by no means anti-tech, but being without a TV has definitely helped our family life, given us more time for other stuff, and I’m sure it has contributed to the kids creativity.

    Enjoy the peace!

  2. Adam Voke

    Congratulations on completing your trial. We too have been TV’less for many years! We’ve found it definately created more space, I found it particularly helpful as it stopped the tendancy I have to just flick on and scan. We get by fine with DVD’s and now iplayer, although having dvd box sets of 24 and West Wing hanging around releases pulling power into the room as much as having a TV! Ironically we recently discussed returned to TV for the first time in years! But we’ve not made that move yet.

    Sadly though, I must admit that the computer/internet info/email/blogs has probably filled the gap! So like you I really need to review that cheeky little puppy!

  3. Will you keep your TV licence if you are using iplayer?

    1. No I’ll get rid of the licence. You only need it if you watch at the same time as the broadcast (http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/)

  4. June Brown

    Very impressed, well done, but don’t know if I could do it yet. Have given up Eastenders for about two months for all the right reasons I think….and thought I’d done very well….but total TV weeeeeelll…. a bit like chocolate or smoking, you’ve just got to want to do it I guess.

  5. Tim Curtis

    Interesting stuff Phil. I rarely watch TV these days (maybe during Sunday night ironing…)but I do spend a lot of time online.

    However, in a strange way I think that TV is a more sociable activity than facebook/blogs/mobiles etc. which are usually conducted on your own. Looking at a small screen is an exclusive activity whereas a tv programme can be shared with others.

    The big challenge for me is how to get away from constantly checking to see if I have a new email/text/comment on my status – will be looking forward to seeing how you get on with that one!

    Ideally, I think a family might be better off without a tv, however I think it is preferable that they watch tv together rather than being glued to small screens in different areas of the house.

    1. Hi Tim
      All fair points. Yes TV can be social and it’s at its best when it is (sporting finals, end of drama series, breaking news etc…). However, often it’s done in the same room as someone else but necessarily with someone else.
      I agree with you that a bigger challenge for the upcoming generation is no longer the TV but the internet and the phone. Thought coming on that one.

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