Goodbye TV . . . Part Two

So I left off explaining how we came to the decision to get rid of our satellite TV. Here are some of the reasons I think this may be a good thing, and some reasons why I think it may be a bad thing.

The Good

- Less TV to watch means more quality time spent with family. If we want to watch a movie, we'll be intentional about it and watch a movie together. But we'll also spend more time playing games, going for walks, and just talking. Family bonding time occurs best when you spend time doing things together, engaging in conversation, which is harder to do with a constant schedule of TV programs to work around.

- Less TV means less time wasted for me. I waste so much time watching TV. I have more time to do other things that I always want to do but never get around to, now that we don't have TV. I find myself reading alot more, which I love.

- No scheduled programs means no time schedule for our evening (other than Wyatt's meal times and bedtime), so we're more likely to eat dinner together at the table. This is something that Derek and I have wanted to establish for our family for a long time, but more often than not we'd find ourselves eating dinner while watching TV, and it wasn't getting any better. We've shared more meals together since getting rid of our satellite service.

- The money we used to spend on our TV bill we're now using for the Lord. I love that we can do that now.

- I tended to just turn on the TV and leave it on all day in the background while I did other things. But then I wouldn't get nearly as much done because I was constantly distracted by the TV. I also think it gives a more chaotic feel to everything when I do that. I want a peaceful home. It's much easier to achieve that now that there can't be constant TV noise in the background.

- I hate that you can't find a TV package that does not include inappropriate channels. And even though you can lock alot of those channels, I was always finding new ones coming through that I had to lock. I trust my hubby, but I don't want the TV accidentally switching to a channel where my husband or son will see something they don't want to see and shouldn't see.

- I think it's healthy for kids to learn how to occupy themselves without watching TV. To play, and learn, and be creative. In my opinion, this will be accomplished more easily for Wyatt without the constant temptation of the TV schedule - and I'll also be less distracted by the TV schedule, so I'll be able to spend more time playing, learning, and being creative with him.

- I have my suspicions about TV and the decline of children's attention spans . . . this is purely my opinion, but if less TV in our house means more advantages for Wyatt, I want to give it a try.

The Bad

- Football games. Derek is a huge football fan, and we won't be able to watch all the games. It was a big sacrifice for him to give it up for that reason, but he'll listen to the games on the radio. For the ones he really wants to watch, we'll either go to a sports restaurant to watch or we'll see if we can watch at my parent's house.

- We won't be able to watch the news. This isn't a huge deal, because I get most of the day-to-day news from talk radio, and I think I'm better informed that way - but when there's a big news event, it'll be kind of hard not to be able to watch the live coverage.

- Election coverage. I love to watch the news on election nights, and see the votes come in, and see who wins in all the different states. We may have to visit my parents on election nights from now on.

- We'll miss shows we might like to watch. Though I've found that most TV ends up just being a waste of time for me, there are certain shows that we really enjoyed watching together. But if we decide we really want to see a certain show, we can just visit my parents on those nights again (we may end up spending more time over there this way, but I don't think they'll complain).

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Derek and I are doing this right now because we feel led to do it. I've been getting "hints" from the Lord for months, and we decided to finally take a leap of faith and follow the Lord's leading in this.

Is this a forever thing? I don't know. Derek and I figure we will reevaluate in a few months and decide where to go from there. But I'm starting to suspect that the benefits are going to become more and more evident the longer we go without TV. We may decide to get TV service again in the future, but we may not. Time will tell.

Do I have a problem with TV in general? No. We still have a TV, and we still watch movies together. I don't think it's wrong to watch TV, and I'm not trying to tell anyone that they should do the same thing that we've decided to do - I just know that for me, TV is more of a hindrance than a help to strong family relationships, intellectual development, and spiritual growth.

As I look at our future without the TV blaring in the background, I'm feeling pretty hopeful. I know that this will be a good thing, because I feel the calling to give this up right now. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do with our family as we try this little "experiment".

I'll keep you posted.

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Brittney Galloway said...

Great points! I think that if I was to write a pro/con list, it would look exactly like this! And I totally agree with you about children's attention span- I know of a 2 year old who CONSTANTLY has an ipod touch in his had, watching tv or playing games- it's kind of ridiculous!

~M~ said...

We got rid of our cable and the TV in our house a few years ago. We love it! Now we watch movies on Netflix and catch up on our favorite shows on It is amazing how much less time is wasted mindlessly watching stuff. When I go to my parent's house and see them flipping through the channels I am so glad that we do not own a TV anymore. 99% of what is on TV isn't worth watching any ways!

Meg said...

Thanks for sharing, Callie! I have enjoyed reading about your desire to give more to the Lord. :)

Andrew and I decided when we first married that we were not going to pay for cable or satellite services. He lived by himself for 3 years without TV so that wasn't a big deal to him, but I love watching my shows. I was a bit worried at first, but after awhile I came to love it. I grew up watching so much TV and I think it took the place of talking and building better relationships. Our marriage is so much strong for it today, and we really do not have any plans to ever pay for TV services again. Now, we do have Netflix so we are able to watch movies or TV series on DVD still. But there is just so much filth on TV. Most of the shows I watch are on major networks which allow you to watch them the day after they air on their websites...for FREE! ;)

the only time I actually miss having a TV is during bad weather because if our power goes out we're pretty much blind. I also missed being able to watch the Olympics, and Andrew misses watching sports but, after awhile, those things just don't seem to matter as much!

Tatiana said...

Tv can def. be a huge distraction. I am a bit addicted to it, and I do know it's a problem. My husband love NASCAR, and the majority of the time they only show their races on cable. I think if it wasn't for that, we would get rid of our cable too.

Amber said...

FYI...a lot of football games can be watched online on espn or espn3. So if Derek gets desperate, he might be alble to stream them from the Internet!

vintch said...

so happy to find and follow your lovely blog! what an awesome and inspiring notion--no television! i had a friend in college who didn't have a t.v. or computer and i envied her free time to read and just go.outside.

anything that brings us farther away from our Lord certainly needs to be re-evaluated. kudos to you and your family for making the leap!

Natalie said...

I think you might find that a lot of the shows you like to watch you can get on the internet. We have 2 shows we watch regularly (and we've never had cable) and we pull them up online at abc or nbc and watch them together. THen it's really fun because you can snuggle together in front of the laptop and watch it whenever you want :) And you won't be tempted to have to watch it right away because it'll be there for a whole week after it airs! Check it out!

Jen | Our Life Accounts said...

We don't want too much tv. A few shows here and there but mostly we are too busy to regularly tune in to anything. Sports would be the toughest, it gets turned on in the background some evenings to keep up with the baseball/hockey/football game but even for that we are often more apt to check in our phones. Our cable is free so we haven't had to make a financial decision to cut it but I doubt we would pay for it-most everything is available for free online via hulu or via the networks and we often watch shows a season behind so that we can just rent from the library and blitz watch the season.

chloƫ. said...

Proud of you guys for making the tough decision. I think you'll really be blessed because of it.

Anna said...

I enjoyed these posts, Callie. Thanks for being honest about how difficult of a decision this was. We haven't had cable since we got married, although we were eventually given a TV so we watch movies occasionally. My time-wasting addiction is the computer, not the TV. A lot of your thoughts apply to that as well.

I also like the intentional nature of having to decide to watch a movie rather than just keep the TV on. And you don't have to watch commercials - which I can't stand anyway.

Another thing I agree with - bringing cable/satellite brings in a lot of inappropriateness and temptation. We have an Internet filter, but it's much harder to filter the TV.

Some friends of ours who are in their thirties or so and have three children had a conversation with us about having cable. They said they started out their marriage without it and it was a really good thing. Then they got it for awhile, then turned it off for awhile, on again, etc. They said it helps them balance it and enjoy it occasionally but keeps it from becoming an idol.

Christi said...

great points! we rarely watch tv and only have one in the cabinet in the bedroom. if it weren't for footbool, we'd have no tv in the house. i'm waiting and hoping that football will broadcast live on the web soon! =)

Jessica said...

I couldn't agree with you more...especially about children watching t.v. and having lower attention spans! As a teacher I can tell which kids have spent the majority of their childhood playing and being imaginative and which kids are plopped in front of the t.v. all day! Good for you!

Jessica Elyse @ Memoirs of a Mommy said...

Way to go Callie! Since being married 5 years ago, we have only had the basic antenna tv (so 5 stations or so). It costs nothing, but also allows you to have the news and election coverage that you may want occasionally. However, it is still quite addicting. The past few weeks, I ended up turning off the TV completely because it is such garbage and anti-God! Surprisingly, I find I haven't missed it at all and I find I actually have time to do things now. I think you are on the right track and your reasons are solid. Good luck and fight hard even when it seems easy to want to slip back.

LeAnna said...

Loved your points here! There are some days I want to just get rid of the tv in general, and only use it for movies. We only have free-tv, but even then, I feel like it can be such a distraction. I've really been struggling finding balance with Q and technology in general, too. He's always getting his Daddy's iPad or iPhone and knows how to use the youtube channel. I hate that, because he inevitably clicks here and there and ends up with something that's not suitable for a 2 year old! Recently I've been making sure to keep all of that out of his reach, and being more intentional about sending him outside or sitting him down with crafts even instead of letting him watch harmless movies and kids cartoons. I think there is much to be said about kids attention spans and modern media!

Anonymous said...

Excellent points! We are getting rid of our satellite when the contract is up. We don't watch alot of TV, and there is so much trash anyway, that I'm tired of paying for it.

cait said...

Love that you followed your convictions! We went back and forth on this for quite a while and gave up our cable a few months ago. It definitely was an adjustment b/c I love my reality shows, too and Justin loves his movies. However, we have found it has freed up so much more time and we aren't filling out time and minds with empty "trash". We did get a digital antenna for our local channels...but the antenna is so cruddy, we usually get frustrated and end up turning it off all together. Like you, we don't know if it's a forever decision, but it works for us now. Plus I like the idea that Adeline won't be subjected to so much on TV just like you mentioned about Wyatt. I have my theories about attention spans too! ;)

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Jessica and Stephan said...

Good for you! I definitely agree about the shorter attention spans, and the inappropriate shows!

Katie said...

I just found your blo and I love this post! We got rid of our cable plan almost a year ago and we are LOVING it. I wasted so much time watching stupid shows, as did my husband and we spend a lot more time just sitting and talking now. I also think this has made it easier to not just stick our 4 month old in front of the tv to occupy her. I don't want that! Now we have to make a conscious effor to put in a movie, and it makes me stop and think before I do it. Love that you followed those nudges you were getting, I'm sure you will see great reward!

Felicia said...

Chris and I have decided to not get satellite tv. The only thing I miss are home design shows and Food Network! We have Netflix, but they don't have either of the things I miss. I only have one show that I really care about watching every week (Chuck), and the past 3 years of school have cured me from being religious about it (I always ended up having an evening class the night it was on!) So I just buy the dvds and catch up then. I'm sure you two will be very happy with your decision! I think that's really great that you feel led that way! Wyatt will probably be the most attentive kid in school due to that ;)

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