Christian Living 

Why are we getting rid of the TV?

So the other day the TV went into the Garage for a month of solitary confinement. At the end of the month we will pronounce judgement on said box – it will be either returned to the Whittall family home or sent into permanent exile. The decision got a few comments on the blog and on Facebook. So why are we doing it? There are a lot of reasons:

  1. We’re not ditching all TV entertainment. We’ll watch DVD’s on computer and if we think about use online options to stream the TV. Given that we’re lucky enough to have those options what do we need the big box in the corner for? I want to be proactive not passive about the programmes I watch, exercise more not less discernment.
  2. TV makes us lazy in a number of ways. It’s too easy to just sit there and let the waves wash over you. I’m not sure ‘couch potato’ is a status I want to have.
  3. It makes me relationally lazy. I can spend time with Emma without actually being present to her. We can eat meals, pass evenings together and not communicate about anything significant. I’m not sure that’s good for me or my family life.
  4. It makes me mentally lazy & unimaginative. The TV does all the entertaining, without the TV – conversation, books, games, crafts (for Emma), running (for me) and other more stimulating and therefore more enjoyable activities take their place.
  5. I waste too much time in front of it. I don’t want to use that time for work necessarily, but playing computer games, watching Top Gear repeats or heaven forbid the X-Factor is time I’ll never get back again. Is that really what I want?
  6. It disciples me but not in a good way. All of the above forms character, influences my thinking, influences my views on the world, influences my thought-life and more and most of the time I’m not really very discerning about it. Best not have it.
  7. I don’t need to see more advertising. I just don’t. Most of it makes me cross.
  8. I don’t need the temptations in my house. Let’s face it – there’s a good chunk of immorality, sexual and otherwise on TV. I don’t need it, it doesn’t do me any good.
  9. I’m not sure it will do my son any favours as he grows up. I’m not sure I want the TV to be my babysitter, my child’s main educator or form of behaviour control. There are very little dangers associated with NOT watching TV, the same can’t be said of the opposite.
  10. The position of our chairs is no longer decided by the location of the TV. Talking to each other is now the design of the room, not watching the box. This is better.
  11. I don’t know why I chose to have one in the first place. ‘Because that’s just what you do’ is not a good reason.
  12. Silence is under-rated. There’s a lot of noise around in life. The TV is a big culprit in this. Not having will help us rediscover ‘peace & quiet’.

Got any more?

*Current situation: We have a TV. And Netflix.

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4 Thoughts to “Why are we getting rid of the TV?”

  1. nathan82

    I like the one about being discipled by the TV. It's so true, the media is indoctrinating another generation into idolatory. Great post, great idea. Looking forward to see how it works out.

  2. Mark Heath

    Good post Phil. We have a TV license, but almost never watch it (partly because our freeview reception is appalling). So our main viewing is DVDs (we rent 2 a month from LoveFilm).

    We recently tried watching the FlashForward series using streaming tv on the computer but it really is a rubbish viewing experience. You are sat on uncomfortable chairs, hoping that your internet connection holds up, and have to wiggle the mouse every 10 minutes to stop the screen-saver from kicking in. Still, I suppose its another way of keeping us from watching too much.

    Probably for me it would be no big deal to lose the TV altogether. The internet, though, that would be another matter entirely. Its probably time to spring clean my RSS list. Your blog's a keeper though 😉

  3. Iain

    have been without TV reception for years, first in Germany and Spain and now here in Africa, I do have a TV and a DVD player, but no antenna or Sat/cable for me if/when I return to Europe it will stay that way as I find when I stay in hotels or houses where there is a TV I waste far to much time I would prefer to do other things with. For instance interacting with real people or enjoying a book or cycling…

    1. Hi Iain, thanks for the comment. I think the feeling that time is wasted is one of the reasons why we choose DVDs over just watching TV. Feels more like a conscious decision rather than time just ebbing away.

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