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Without TV

A "luxury" lost?

By KJ AartilaPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Without TV
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Without TV

An interesting, but relatively simple twist came about in the life of my family. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it.

We have been without television for nearly a year now, and I’ve found it rather pleasant!

Having a TV or several in a household is so typical, that I think it may be considered a necessary standard-of-living commodity. It’s much more shocking to enter a household which doesn’t depend on one as a central part of daily life, and much more shocking to encounter a person who really doesn’t have one at all.

We do still have a decent TV, but no programming. We watch a lot of movies though our hooked-up DVD player – an option which I’m afraid will be following in the footsteps of the VCR.

Due to some ridiculous dealings with the television company, we’ve been using for over a decade, I cut ties, and, therefore, our access to television service. We have extremely limited choices up here, and none are reliable.

You can read about what prompted this event in the article linked below (also very relatable to Vocal and its treatment of Creators for the platform, ironically – they may want to step it up, as I’ve lived without TV this long, I’m pretty sure I can live without Vocal. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.)

I thought I may miss it as a way for escapism, time-wasting and keeping up on the news.

Turns out, I don’t. And actually, I find myself feeling less stressed and more productive. I also find more time to put toward researching subjects, or learning new skills, that I’d been putting off.

My husband and I have taken to watching a movie in the evenings. DVDs are pretty cheap now.

If I have an interest in what’s happening in the world (not a common occurrence – I’m finding I’m just not interested especially in the media spin and focus on the dismal), I can scroll through Google, or look things up online.

If I want escape or entertainment, I put on music or read a book. (I play music via CDs on the DVD player and read books in physical form.) Either of those options often lead to inspiration for writing! Watching television usually sucks the creativity and drive out of me – the opposite of inspiring.

More writing gets done, as well as cleaning and food prep. Instead of wasting my hours getting lost in some mindless program for an hour, then the nest – or clicking through channels just to find something tolerable to watch, I do the things that need to be done. And then I feel better anyway that it got done instead of procrastinated.

And I’m often outside, enjoying the beautiful days, taking a walk or spending time with my horses or pets, instead of confining myself to the comfy chair and letting another day drift by in mind-numbing programmed minutes.

It also saves us money, not having to pay a monthly fee or for equipment. I also found it irritating when they kept raising the prices, while removing options.

Sure, it’s convenient to have an expensive television package available on demand, but it ends up wasting more precious time than it’s worth, in my opinion. Having been without it, I realize my gains are far greater!

Thanks for reading! How much time do you find yourself wasting in front of the tube? Have you found opportunities by making unexpected changes? Have you decided to make permanent changes? Leave your answers in the comments below.

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About the Creator

KJ Aartila

A writer of words in northern WI with a small family and a large menagerie.

My Substack

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Comments (28)

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  • Robinson Ernest22 days ago

    Yes, it wouldn't be that difficult to live without television given the abundance of options we currently have for news and entertainment. Sometime let's play with me

  • Good job

  • 👍

  • Andy Potts2 months ago

    I found that moving to another country effectively severed my ties with TV. Watching shows in a language I didn't understand was incredibly draining (and, no, it wasn't some kind of magical language-by-osmosis learning experience). Taking an interest in a bunch of someone else's minor celebs didn't remotely appeal. I found the only thing I bothered with was live sport (don't need language skills to follow football or hockey), the rest was junk. Fast forward 10 years, back in my home country, and I had no reason to tune in again: I was too far out of the loop of the shows that I used to enjoy, and was out of the habit of picking up new ones. Can't say I miss it at all, but I suspect my daughter would be appalled at the prospect of life without cartoons!

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Your stat is challenging your story is so beautiful you write like this you will be a great writer I wish and yes one more thing please open my vocal id and a story come later

  • Bozhan Bozhkov2 months ago

    Yes, TV programs are becoming increasingly mindless. Have you ever watched the film "Idiocracy"? The situation is rapidly approaching the reality depicted in that movie. Even my favorite channels in the past - National Geographic and Discovery - are not as good now. So I'm planning to cancel my TV subscription too.

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    Back to say congrats!

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!

  • Test2 months ago

    This is lovely. I lived for two years without a TV and I see what you mean about the cost. I was more productive, but tbh I get inspired by movies on tv and like to knit sometimes while I watch my favorite shows so I like it. I haven't made any changes to that routine for a year or so lol. Great writing though!

  • Positive World2 months ago

    i spend 4-5 daily watching , any ways congrats for top story

  • Manisha Dhalani2 months ago

    This is so cool - I'm not a fan of the television. A movie a day sounds so chill and pretty productive. Congrats on top story!

  • highlighting the unexpected joys and productivity that can come from breaking away from the TV culture and embracing alternative forms of entertainment and information

  • Test2 months ago

    Bravo for your work! Keep it going—congrats!

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    I used to be prime time television watcher. Dinner with Jeopardy, then watch shows (usually sitcoms) until bedtime. A few years ago, I took a job in management where I had to up out the door at 4:30 am. This changed so much in my life including TV. It decreased by 95%. I didn't have time anymore. I worked that Job for two years. I work normal hours now but never went back to watching TV. There are so many other things to do with time than binge on TV. Nice article, KJ.

  • Caroline Craven2 months ago

    My three dogs are addicted to HGTV otherwise I wouldn’t have it on! Great piece.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!! Excellent story and advice!!!💕♥️♥️

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the TS

  • Phil Flannery2 months ago

    Well, I'm afraid even though we stopped watching "news", we still find our TV on almost all the time. I put it on before work and it is left on for the puppies,(cause they get lonely), but we still find ourselves planted in front of it for dinner and don't really move till bedtime. i'm sure if I wasn't doing that, I'd be surfing the net, which I sometimes do anyway. We're not couch potatoes as such, it's just an easy de-stress after a long day. Maybe if we had horses?

  • Yes, we have so many alternatives now for entertainment and news so being without tv wouldn't be too hard!

  • I hardly ever watch things on network tv. The last thing was the Super Bowl because, although my wife hates football, she loves the KC Chiefs, Patrick & Travis. Typically I watch movies or tv shows on disc or something streaming, but not often even that since sometime last year. But don't forget the never-ending entertainment which are your horses!

  • Holly Pheni2 months ago

    Very thought provoking! We use ours very little, but I have mused on the idea of going totally without. Nice article.

  • marie e ehlenbach2 months ago

    Sounds Good!

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    I loathe the TV. I like to put it on because I fancy watching something specific. I refuse to channel hop or let it be a background thing.

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Am interesting discussion iven the prevelnce of TV in households today. I don't have one and can't remember the last time I did....Maybe when I was in high school? I watched a lot on Netflix pre Vocal but cancelled my subscription to focus on writing. I stream movies occasionally but don't feel like I'm missing out on anything much!

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