This post originally appeared at Womanatics.
Can you imagine a life without a television? No. I guessed so.
Now imagine if I tell you that we have been living a life without TV for the past year or so. Yes!
Since the time I moved into my new house in New Delhi, we have been living a TV-less life.
We actually did not buy a TV set for our home nor do we plan to do so for many more years to come.
Surprising? May be.
Everyone around us is either glad or stupefied by the fact that we have never thought of buying an instrument that otherwise seems essential to many for a sustainable living.
Many asked me, "how do you pass time without a TV?"
Many claimed, "it is only for now... you would eventually buy it."
While most simply remarked, "this is commendable but we can not ditch the TV. We NEED it."
I usually smile when people say any of the above. I understand smiling is the best I can do when they are not in the mood to grasp the reasoning behind our decision. And to those who really want to know and may even want to chuck the TV out of their lives, this is what I say to them:
CHUCK THE TV OUT RIGHT AWAY. It is not only eating away your precious family time, it is also adding stress to your lives and throwing unnecessary competition, negativity and emotional burden upon you.
Let me first tell you why we decided to get rid of the television. It was our addiction to TV that prompted me to remove the object of our addiction.
1. It was taking away a hell lot of our time. Particularly family time. My husband would be glued to the TV after returning from office and there was no stopping him. When we were living in the Andamans, he would come home by around 7pm and right after dinner he would head to the hall, switch on the idiot box and watch the never-ending, noisy, loaded with brickbats news debates or the action movies (ofter repeats) on Star Movies. If none of these interested him, he would watch the Discovery Channel for hours.
2. I, on the other hand, unknowingly and unwillingly, got hooked to the ridiculous and extremely nonsensical TV soaps. Even if I watched two or three serials, just the dire desire to watch a fresh episode would turn my whole schedule upside down. My mornings and evenings were planned according to show timings.
3. My daughter had the worst addiction. She would watch cartoons for hours in a row, she later on developed the habit of eating or drinking milk only when she was watching TV.
So, I decided to call it quits.
We did a small experiment while we were in Andamans itself. One day, I removed the TV's cable wire and my husband and I challenged each other on who would start watching it again. Both of us stayed away from TV for a fortnight.
(I lost the challenge and switched on the TV first.)
But this little exercise taught us that we could go without TV, if needed.
When we moved to Delhi and shifted to our house, we had to buy everything needed for a household. But since we did not realize the need of a TV immediately, we thought we would delay it. We kept delaying it and ended up never buying one.
What difference do I notice in my life now?
1. It is much more peaceful than it would have been with a blaring TV. If you own a TV, you switch it on. And once switched on, it holds your attention because that is how TV channels make money.
2. Less advertisements mean less spending. Now I do not buy something just because it makes tall claims on TV.
3. NO TV means NO NOISE. Except the sweet chitter chatter of human beings or old melodies being played on the radio. Yes, I have a radio and I play it for two hours each in the mornings and evenings. So, I do get my dose of entertainment and music.
4. A LOT of time with family with undivided attention. Now that there is no TV, none of us are distracted while talking to the other.
5. Less stress, less electricity bill and less overload. Without TV there is much less stress in our lives now. I do not have to listen to those never-ending conspiring saas-bahu sagas or animated, hypothetical 'what if... happens to our earth' videos, nor do I have to listen to counterproductive news debates.
6. Less screen time altogether. I mostly spend my time on the laptop. Coupled with TV, my total screen time in a day would be devastating to my health. Thankfully, now my screen time is controlled as I have also put my laptop hours on check.
7. No more cartoons for my daughter. She watches some videos on the laptop but that way I can control what she watches. But with TV, you cannot control this. You cannot escape the advertisements that come between the shows, you cannot escape the plots, and you cannot choose outside those five/six channels for children. Internet gives you the liberty to choose or create your own plan. I am not saying internet addiction is better than being addicted to the TV, but if I have to show something to my daughter, I would rather search from the billion videos available on the internet than to put on a cartoon show on TV.
8. Better health, guaranteed.
9. Better sleep, guaranteed.
10. Better life, guaranteed.
We are extremely happy with our decision to live a TV-less life and I hope we do not buy a TV set ever. It's benefits are too many.
As far as staying updated with the world is concerned, we have the following:
1. We read newspapers and news magazines that not only give a more balanced opinion but also gives us the liberty to read as and when we like. Right now, as I write this, my husband is reading the newspaper in the balcony.
2. Internet is always there. We do a google search and read comprehensively when we feel we may be missing out on anything special. Like one night my husband stayed up till late in the night to watch LIVE telecast of the Apple Watch launch.
3. Instead of reading many opinions, we create our own. Since we get a lot of time to connect with each other now, my husband and I talk to each other more and form our own opinion on a topic without having to listen to the many conter and rather ruthless thoughts on TV.
I can go on and on about the good that 'no TV in life' has done to us but for the capacity of this article, I will stop here.
If you have any questions or if you want to remove the idiot box from your life and you need some tips, please feel free to contact me.
Also tell me who watches more TV in your home? And can you go for a TV-less life?