Goodbye TV . . . Part One

A couple weeks ago we did something I never really pictured myself doing.

We got rid of our satellite TV service.

Why did I never picture myself doing this? Because I like TV. Alot.

Therein lies the problem.

Last year on our cruise, I read a challenging book called Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris that got me thinking more about how I spend my time. It occurred to me then how much more time I would have to do things, and accomplish things, if I didn't have satellite TV.

The thought continued to niggle in the back of my mind over the next couple months. Then I got pregnant, and I had to put away alot of my paycheck to pay for medical bills - so we weren't able to give as much to the Lord as we would have liked. We started thinking of ways to cut out certain expenses so we could give more to the Lord, and the thought of giving up TV came up again.

Of course Derek thought it was a great idea - because he doesn't like TV nearly as much as I do.

We could have done it then, but I just wasn't quite ready.

Then a few months later, I happened to read Radical by David Platt, which discusses sacrificial giving to the Lord. And of course, I thought of the TV again.

Honestly, I was getting rather tired of wasting so much time watching TV. I don't know how many times I would resolve to watch less, do well for a day, and then fall right back into my old habits. I don't like how it was so hard for me to cut back, especially when I could accomplish so much more without it.

Plus with all the niggling in my brain, and all the things that kept making me consider giving it up, I figured the Lord was trying to tell me something.

So Derek and I talked it over and made the decision. We decided to get rid of our TV service as soon as the current season of reality TV was over (after all, I have to see who wins, right?).

It's been two weeks now. The withdrawl wasn't as serious as I thought it would be, though I still find myself popping a movie in our DVD player too often. But overall, getting rid of satellite has made me more intentional about the time I spend watching TV. If I want to watch something, I'll actually sit down and watch it - instead of just turning the TV on for background noise, which can add chaos and distractions.

Not to say I make so much better use of my time just yet. I still waste far too much of my day, but it's a step in the right direction.

In my next post I'll discuss the pros and cons that I've come up with so far on this decision.

Have you ever considered giving up satellite or cable TV? Do you think you could do it? How would you cope and/or use your extra time?



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Amanda said...

We got satellite with dvr just a few months ago when we switched internet providers, but now we're planning on cancelling it when the baby comes so we can save money and live on one income. I've loved the idea of having no tv for a while, but it's hard to actually go through with it! I hope it helps me accomplish more around the house! I'm excited to see your pros and cons list!

LeAnna said...

We've actually never had it! We use the free channels to watch the news, PBS, and the old movie but that's it. I didn't grow up with cable/satellite but my Hubby did. His family has the TV on 24/7 and it is so annoying. The only thing I really wish I had was the cooking channel, but I've made it this far without it, so I suppose I'll make it a while longer. :) Good for you guys, though! I happen to think TV (for the most part) is a huge time waster.

Amanda said...

Good for you!!!

I have digital TV, and have thought about disconitnuing service. I can't believe how much money we give to AT&T each month (combined with our cell bill). Which is another thing-- i've thought about switching cell phone companies, which would mean I loose my iPhone (which I love, too).

I had a friend growing up who NEVER had cable... ever. So when we went over there, it was either local channels or a movie. And she suffered no long-term damage. ;)
My sister also doesn't have cable because right now, she just can't afford it and can use that money for other bills, etc.

Wow, that was a ramble. :) Anyways, I admire yall for actually going thru with it!! I def. could use a change in my day, instead of sitting in front of my TV & comp.

Lauren said...

Good for you! I've considered this at times...but my Hubby lives on ESPN! Ha! Yes, I realize that would be exactly the reason to give it up...but I don't think I'm going to convince him of that quite yet! Can't wait to see your pros/cons post!

Lydia said...

I am right there with ya! I almost always have the tv on just because! We decided when we moved into our house we wouldn't get cable but then the company never came and turned it off... so we still have it and I watch way too much of it! Although I do watch less than when we had DVR. Good for you though!

Leen said...

callie,
my husband and i chose not to have satellite on our TV and it has been a GREAT choice. we do have to be very intentional about watching TV, and its nice because we normally do it together. when we are out and someone else has their TV on, it is shocking to see what subtle things people are watching. everything is extremely sexually charged! when you watch it everyday, you become immune to it. we love that we are raising our daughter in a world where we can very closely monitor what she is watching and listening to. you made a hard decision, i applaud you!

Ashley said...

We gave up cable about 2 years ago because it was an extra expense for us. Neither of us miss it! We sometimes watch TV at my parents and it makes me realize how pointless most of the programing on cable is (we get like 6 channels through our antenna but we rarely watch anything other than cartoons).

Michelle said...

I gave up TV about a year ago. It was too distracting and I never felt like I was getting anything accomplished. Sometimes it's weird to hear everyone talking about a TV show but oh well. It's worth it because you realize there isn't much on TV anyway. I end up watching more movies but not as often.

Ashley said...

I am so proud of you for following through with what the Lord was obiviously trying to lead you. It's funny because I have thought about giving up TV several times and just haven't had the guts to do it yet. I think I use the excuse that our contract isn't up for another year :) I totally know what you mean about it being a good way to waste time and it is also a good waste of money..but like you I love it so! I am looking forward to your next post :) Thanks for making think about this again!

Jennifer said...

Wow! I've read Radical and Do Hard Things this past year as well. I've stopped watching TV on my lunch break and I get a lot more done...or I just read the Word more. I can't wait to hear how this goes for you guys!

Jenene said...

We cancelled our cable over a year ago, and I'm so glad we did. We realized how much money and time we were wasting. It was surprisingly easy, and we don't miss it at all.

Amber said...

It's actually something we've thought about doing as well. The dumb thing is that our Internet and cable are "bundled" so our bill for Internet would actually stay the same as we're paying now if we cancelled cable! Isn't that stupid?? So we've kept it for now...and I'll be honest...I'd be EXTREMELY disappointed when football season came around if I couldn't watch my team! And I'd miss HGTV a little too :)

Natalie said...

That is awesome! Good for you guys!
We actually have never had cable. When I moved into our apartment before we were married I was student teaching so didn't have time or money for it and then we were broke when we got married and we were so used to it that we couldn't justify ever getting it. I think I would just do nothing all the time if I have it! I think you will get used to it really fast!!!

Kate Craig said...

I watch all my TV online :) I still waste too much time, but at least I can take it around the house and do dishes or put away laundry.

Kara @ Just1Step said...

I guess I'm more on Derek's end in this situation, because I really don't like tv and would prefer that we just totally got rid of all of ours, haha. But Dave does like tv, and we just use an antenna. You really can get by, I promise. And a lot of shows you can watch online nowadays. :) Good luck girl...you're doing this with a great purpose and heart and I'm sure you will benefit from it. :)

Mrs. Lukie said...

We gave up cable TV when we got married over 2 years ago. There were several reasons for us doing so, and we haven't really looked back. We don't even have an antenna that allows us the basic channels and we honestly do not miss it at all!

I'm considering signing up for a very basic cable package before Baby L gets here, for those days/nights that I'm up nursing or consoling a sick baby and the hubby is gone. We'll see--we haven't fully decided yet, but I suppose it would be something we got for just 6 months or so and then got rid of again...

Lauren said...

Good for you! We talked about this as a way to save some money but haven't done it yet! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Julie S. said...

We've talked about it but neither of us can give in. I like sports way too much! BUT I am proud of you! :)

Veronica Hill said...

My husband and I did the same thing...out of all the channels we only watched a few, the price was to high, and we felt there were better ways to spend our money. Many shows are available on-line - and we are more movie people anyway :)

Lauren said...

So proud of you, Callie! I have had that same feeling many times and have yet to do it. The hubs and I talk about it all the time for financial reasons but can't seem to do it. The Lord will bless you for it, I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

Pre-marriage I didn't have tv in my apartment for 3 years. I'd watch a DVD if I needed some entertainment, but I never missed the TV. I could do without it now but the hubs likes it.

Jessica said...

Wow, that is awesome! I don't know if I could do that, and I definitely don't think my husband would let me! haha...good for you, though. You'll have to keep us posted on how it's going :-)

Anne said...

I love this. We are planning on getting rid of our cable soon. Derek is the tv watcher in our relationship. I'm really looking forward to not having it. We have a friend living with us right now and I feel bad getting rid of the tv while he is here, but I think at the end of the summer when he moves out the cable is going to go too. I completely relate to all your reasons for wanting to get rid of it and totally agree!

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