Yes indeed. We are one of few households that have survived more than five years without the daily media blitz of reality television, sports games, breaking news, and celebrity gossip.
It all started when our “hook-up” finally came to an end and we were met with the decision to join the millions of other households paying high cable premiums.
I protested with my husband (he has never been a fan of television) to fit this bill into our already expanding budget.
I MUST watch my evening and morning news!
I MUST watch reality T.V!
I MUST have my daily dose of channel surfing – where I might stumble upon an intriguing documentary on Ancient Aliens!
My older children protested, as their bedrooms (what was once the place to get away from it all) became lifeless, quiet room caves of boredom. Thank goodness the youngest children were to little to understand that this was a major problem. What in the world were we all supposed to do now?
It forced me to have to be logical with myself for a moment. Let’s just stop going through the motions and actually really think about what is the “problem” here.
No morning News
Faithfully for many years started my morning with the latest news. I mean, how could you not? There is so much that might have happened overnight, or that morning. For goodness sake, a major Apocalypse could be happening! Or, a storm brewing. We must have cable so that I can prepare my family for such events before we head out into the world. Right?
Believe it or not, the days without the morning news turned from 1 week to 100+ weeks. Without my daily dose of “panic stories,” I found a sense of peace. Yes, I knew that there was a chance that someone was killed overnight, or a major traffic jam should be avoided, but I chose to not allow that to be my experience. I truly believe that no news is good news.
Instead, I engage more with my children by turning on music and dancing in the hallways before school. They get a kick out of choosing a book to read and sharing it. When we do get a media itch, we select positive content for the kids to watch via our phones or tablet. We like to show them our favorite programming. Not what the major channels think our children should see.
Sports or Championship Games
Yes, we have been salty a few times not being able to watch major sport situations that have occurred over the last year.
On a few occasions it forced us to venture out to spend time with family or at a new restaurant to watch . A majority of the time though we just check the score on our phone and find something better to do. Yes, there are better things we can do with our time than watching sports. But, I get it. Many people love watching sports as a way to relax. But, only you know if that time could be better spent.
Missing New Programming
It can still be a hard pill for me to swallow when I hear of new season of my favorite show coming out (Give me that $150+ cable bill right now damnit, lol). For several years I would have family record the episodes for me so I could catch up when I visited. However, to my surprise as time went on, my demand for those recordings dwindled. I realized that many of those shows were better off being missed anyway.
I would often browse the internet and see the people on these programs not “growing” anywhere. I saw them just getting worse with their fighting and accusations. What we watch greatly impacts our minds unconsciously. Rushing over to watch who fought who, or who slept with someone’s man started to feel foolish. How were these people in anyway impacting my life for the better? Now I spend my time reading more. Reading is the key to your ongoing success.
Almost everyday at least one of the kids ask if we can get cable. I understand how they feel. Their friends ask if they saw the latest episode of a show, or everyone around them sings the jingle to that commercial that’s played only in cable land. I would have cried if I wouldn’t have had my MTV or Disney Channel to show me the way of the world.
We agreed on having Netflix in the living room. Now believe me, this was not met with immediate cheers. For one, it meant sharing the television. Also, Netflix doesn’t necessarily have all our favorite shows and limited programming. But, we have survived with it. The kids are at a point where they are like “just give me some piece of normalcy.”
Although, due to this limitation they are not quick to just plop in front of the T.V. I have noticed an increase of art projects and imagination. I will take that any day over couch potatoes. : )
So, there you have it. Our family has survived without headlining news and commercials. Another plus that I meant to mention is where that extra cable money can go to: activities, shopping, investments and more. Looking back I see how cable really had control on my perception of how I felt and saw the world. Cable has evolved into something where a vast majority of us feel like it’s a necessity. Don’t believe the hype!
I am beginning to understand that there are many things we all do just “because” it has been the norm for so long. What other things can we change within ourselves and for our households? Take a moment in your day today to ponder that question…