Year without television


It’s been nearly 10 months since I stopped watching TV. May be turned it on once for a DVD. Perhaps twice to check some now forgotten “breaking news”. Otherwise the the demon box is unplugged. I hope it stays that way. Or at least I manage a year of this bliss.

The sensation is the relief of not having a headache. Yet this post is not a rant against TV. Or those who stare at it (religiously or otherwise). Personal media consumption choices cover a wide spectrum. Abstinence is a logical part of it.

I don’t feel the need to justify my choice. It’s neither irrational nor ideological. It’s certainly not a “life style” choice but a choice dictated by the demands of life. Avoiding TV gives me time to get things done. It also lets me salvage whatever mental energy that survived past the sunset.

Behind these two simple facts is a brutal one. Raising offspring without slaves or relatives in the house is hard. It shrivels your free time and saps your energy. If unmarrieds or the offspring-less REALLY knew what this involved, population growth would crawl. The demands of the day makes not watching TV happen effortlessly. For once its a solution that works.

It reminds me of what I hate the most about TV. Evenings slopped on the couch staring at that thing. I would feel it suck some part of life out of me. Dracula could never match such efficiency. I was burning time being “entertained” or “informed”. Then scrambling to get other things done. I certainly don’t miss the relentless pounding of “news” and advertising. The first is always bad and shallow. The second involved things I neither want nor need.

The bliss of not having to process all those audio visual inputs after a long day is wonderful. Now the mind (or what’s left of it) can rest with the body. Its free. No pills, booze or other expensive relaxants needed. Imagine how much you’ll save from bingeing on Veuve Clicquot and cocaine.

Despite the clean relief of abstinence I miss nothing. The internet is a quieter, convenient medium for information. I get my news with better context. Rather than wasting my life watching “popular” shows I get overviews of them in short online articles. Often as streaming internet audio or read to me during boring tasks like driving. These let me get a feel of a show with some dollops of detail. More than enough to hold a conversation about it and avoid sounding like I live under a rock.

The blessing of “free” time is a chance to actually chill with Mrs C. Or produce something of my own. Pathetic little doodles or word drivels such as this. Lately it’s the urge to get what sleep I can.

Like most other things, including the present regime, this too will pass. Mrs C likes to “relax” “watching” TV. It feels heartless to leave her alone on the couch (specially since I serve as a customisable cushion). As a result I’ll end up getting exposed to the life sapping glow of that screen. By then, it will be a conscious sacrifice for a greater purpose. Not a change of mind for a vampiric medium. At least when that happens it will mean a slightly slower pace of life. A small mercy, accepted with gratitude.

I should probably insert a stock photo of a smashed TV set here but won’t.

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8 thoughts on “Year without television

  1. This is awesome. I, too, watch next to no TV (unless the cricket is on). What little TV I consume, I get off the internet instead. As someone who was pretty much “hooked” to the box for all of his teenage years, I can’t now understand what I saw in pre-programmed broadcasts (and the glut of advertisements). No thanks, *I’ll* pick what I waste my time on. :D

    1. :) thank you. Glad to know I’m not alone. I guess in the pre internet video age we didn’t know any better. But it must be harder on Cricket fans to stay off TV specially during live broadcasts.

      1. I’m amazed anyone has the patience for that sort of torture. You certainly got a lot of endurance for that sort of pain.

  2. Went many years without watching anything regularly-a lack of time and everyone else wanting to watch something else. Have been watchin bits and pieces occassionally the last couple of years, when boredom overtakes me but most of the time spend channel hopping.

    1. I certainly don’t miss channel hopping. :) Now that you mention it I remember how miserable it was – specially when you are tired and everything on the tube is too annoying or dull.

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