So I gave up TV about 3 years ago. And I get a lot of different responses when I tell people that. Some think I’m crazy. Some think I’m making a political statement. Most, I suspect, think that I am posturing myself as a bohemian hipster of some sort. A poet.
But it really didn’t start as much. I moved into a building with no cable. And I wasn’t going to live there long. So I silently protested the purchase of a $500 Satellite box, by having nothing at all.
It was uncomfortable at first. I was used to just…having it there. The familiar "bum-bum" of Law and Order keeping me company in the background. Casually perusing through the channels stumbling upon a Seinfeld rerun, or a Hitler documentary. Sometimes watching really excellent stuff too, like Battelestar, or Discovery. But in truth, I rarely sought out content, even with Tivo. I would just….have it on.
So when I moved into my new place, I figured I had gone a year without TV, and that I should get me some cable. But I had changed. I had found other things to do. I interact with the world differently. I just never watched it, and so I cut it off 3 months later.
I still watch shows sometimes. Either on AppleTV, or from Netflix. But there is something about the…deliberate… nature of my consumption now that reduces it by a factor of ten. I never have anything on in the background. TV does not keep me company.
I didn’t fully understand the meaning of it all until I stumbled upon this article. The author makes a great point- a societal-changing point about the meaning TV has had in the world since it became popular. That is was our response to something we had never really had much of before the 20th century. Free time.
I don’t know if it’s true or not. But it sure is an interesting read.
For me? Much happier. Much more productive. A political, bohemian, crazy poet.