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Acorn
12-12-11, 2:44am
I was having a conversation the other day and we were trying to figure out the percentage of the population (first world) that voluntarily does without television. It was funny because we ended up not being able to name a single person who did not own a television which led us to conclude it must be a significant minority.

We have a tv, but it is only used to watch dvds and play video games. Once it breaks we will not replace it.

flowerseverywhere
12-12-11, 4:33am
Not only does everyone I know have a television, very few people I know have only one!

I only occasionally watch TV, and can go for days without turning it on. It just doesn't dawn on me.

razz
12-12-11, 5:01am
I cannot think of anyone who does not have a TV but some, like us, don't watch it much and what we get is via an aerial so no monthly cost involved.

Rosemary
12-12-11, 5:01am
We have one, but no cable or netflix or anything like that. We occasionally watch something on PBS or a library DVD... maybe twice/month.
DH watches streaming shows from the internet on the computer more often than that, though.

Kestra
12-12-11, 5:19am
Neither DH nor I had TVs when we were married. We both used our computers for games and movies. Now we have a big screen TV, though no cable or satellite or antenna. We discussed it before getting married and it was a treat we spent our wedding money on. It's just more social and comfortable to have the sofa and TV for two people. We do play video games and watch lots of movies. If it was just me again I could easily go back to no TV but the computer pretty much serves the same purpose as we're still fighting our addiction to a little box with words and pictures.

Float On
12-12-11, 5:28am
We didn't have a TV (or computer) the first 10 years of our marriage. We've never had cable or anything. Never watch regular TV only use it for movies. Never got into video games (even my teenage boys don't see the point of video games).
I still know 3 families without TV by choice. My husband is still pissed that I bought a TV but that doesn't stop him from sitting down and watching a movie with us. He even recently suggested upgrading from our 17" boxy TV to a flatscreen in the 22"-24" range.

I do know that I weighed 40 lbs less pre TV/computer days.

Miss Cellane
12-12-11, 5:32am
I have a TV. I can also watch on-line shows and streaming Netflix on my computer and iPod Touch. And I have basic cable.

On the other hand, I've gone years without a TV, and with a TV but without cable, so using the TV just to watch DVDs.

I read more when I don't have a TV. But then, a case could be made that I read too much. For me, getting out of the house and seeing other people is the real challenge, not cutting down on TV watching.

One of my brothers lives alone, in a two bedroom house. He has 4 computers, an iPod Touch, and as of the recent Black Friday, 4 TVs, all of which are large flat screens. I have no idea where he's fitting in the new one, which is a 60" screen.

daisy
12-12-11, 6:19am
We had satellite service for years, but when the receiver died, we canceled the service. So yes, we do have a tv, but we only watch what we can get over the antenna and Netflix. Interestingly enough, we haven't really missed the satellite service and being limited to what is available locally has greatly reduced getting sucked into just sitting and watching what is on.

We do have some friends who have never had a tv and are vehemently opposed to them. However, they do watch some tv shows online and regularly rent dvds to watch on their computers, so I really don't see how that is different than just having a tv.

Simplicity
12-12-11, 6:36am
We have a TV, but no cable or satellite or anything. We just use it to watch DVDs and DH plays xbox.

pcooley
12-12-11, 7:25am
I haven't had a TV since I moved out of my parents' house in 1984. However, it's a bit of a gray area these days. With the computer - and Netflix - I've done plenty of catching up on TV shows I've never seen. We've worked our way through most of the various Star Trek spinoffs. Maybe ten years ago I could have puffed myself up about not owning a television, but these days, the computer pretty much is one. However, when I think of TV, I still think of "Gilligan's Island" and "Starsky and Hutch". I don't even know what "Lost" is, except I know people mention it on Twitter, and I've never seen a reality show, and I don't have even an inkling of streaming one to find out what they are. And who, exactly, are the Kardashians, and why do people talk about them?

I wonder, even give our nightly streaming video habits, if we still somehow inhabit some sort of parallel culture because we're forced to choose what to watch across a wide range of choices rather than surf along through video that's already playing. Right now, in our family, it's Star Trek Voyager for the parents, Dr. Who for my ten-year-old son, and my twelve-year-old daughter is going through a definite Barbara Streisand phase.

reader99
12-12-11, 7:50am
We had satellite service for years, but when the receiver died, we canceled the service. So yes, we do have a tv, but we only watch what we can get over the antenna and Netflix. Interestingly enough, we haven't really missed the satellite service and being limited to what is available locally has greatly reduced getting sucked into just sitting and watching what is on.

We do have some friends who have never had a tv and are vehemently opposed to them. However, they do watch some tv shows online and regularly rent dvds to watch on their computers, so I really don't see how that is different than just having a tv.

Thank you. In terms of the more-off-the-grid-than-thou thing, I don't think there is a difference. Could be a difference if it means not paying for TV service. Could be a difference in a very small space where the computer can save clutter by carrying the TV's purpose. To be comfortable watching TV on my computer I'd have to move it to where I could see it from the couch. But if my TV stopped working, I would certainly try moving the computer and learning how to find the shows I want on it. With my TV I can just look at tvguide.com and know what's on; I don't know if there is a central way to find shows online.

jennipurrr
12-12-11, 8:12am
We have two TVs in the house, which I think is more than enough! They are both the old bulky style which people can't believe we have still. They are both perfectly working so no plans to replace with a newer model. I laugh that if our house ever gets broken into thieves would be really disappointed since we don't have flat screens, game systems, etc.

I did have tenants in one of my rentals this past year who were super crunchy granola types who didn't have a TV, but then about 6 months in did end up dumpster diving one.

Bastelmutti
12-12-11, 8:55am
We do have one now along with satellite TV, but have gone through periods of years without a TV or with very limited access (communal TV, TV w/only 2 channels). We enjoy watching TV, so plan to keep it around, but I really like having Netflix and a DVR so that we can "tape" or pull up exactly what we want to watch and skip the commercials. The kids never get to watch in real-time, so they are used to picking from recorded shows and fast-forwarding the commercials.

peggy
12-12-11, 8:55am
yes we have 2. One on the lower floor and one on the main floor. None on the upper floor. We mainly watch in the evenings and the hubby likes football on the weekends. We watch more in the winter since during the spring/summer/fall we are outside more of the time.

JaneV2.0
12-12-11, 9:10am
I lived for quite awhile without a TV, but caved when CNN came along (back when it was worth watching). Programming, in my opinion, has vastly improved since then with science, history, food, nature, investigations, etc. channels. Not to mention picture quality!

I've been an avid reader all my life. Call me a heretic, but I don't think there's a dram's worth of difference between reading a book and watching equivalent TV. I guess you could say I like to watch.;)

bae
12-12-11, 9:23am
Just last Christmas, we replaced our mid-1980s-vintage glass tube with a more modern LCD display.

It is only used for DVDs and Internet streaming, there is no broadcast or cable available here, and we haven't missed that for 12+ years now.

Miss Cellane
12-12-11, 9:33am
We do have some friends who have never had a tv and are vehemently opposed to them. However, they do watch some tv shows online and regularly rent dvds to watch on their computers, so I really don't see how that is different than just having a tv.

To me, the main difference is that with DVDs and some on-line shows, you don't get all the advertising. And even when on-line shows have advertising, there's usually much less of it. You can't fastforward through it, but there's maybe 3 or 4 ads per show, instead of 4 or 5 ads per commercial break, which you get when watching real-time TV.

I've discovered that I can get through boring computer-related chores while watching streaming shows on my computer. Half the screen is the show, the other half is my email mailbox or the list of all the files on my computer. I'm always saying I need to clean those up and delete or move or organize what's there, but it's so boring, I deal with 5 or 6 emails and then I'm done. But I can watch a show for 45 minutes and get a lot of files cleaned up at the same time.

flowerseverywhere
12-12-11, 9:33am
I've been an avid reader all my life. Call me a heretic, but I don't think there's a dram's worth of difference between reading a book and watching equivalent TV. I guess you could say I like to watch.;)

1. commercials
2. books are available for free at the library. You pay for TV, electricity, cable etc. if you watch the same on TV
3. I find a great deal of difference between books and TV. Especially for young children. Sitting on a couch with a box screaming at you is very different from an adult quietly reading a book and talking about the images or words on a page.

But if you like to watch TV, there is nothing wrong with that. Whether it is for sports, nature or history programs or to watch soap operas, if it floats your boat then it is OK for you. I just think books stimulate the mind in very different ways than flashing images.

creaker
12-12-11, 10:27am
I have a TV with no cable or antenna. Use Netflix and a roku box.

It was given to me, last TV was from freecycle. I think the last TV I bought was sometime in the early 90's?

sunnyjoe
12-12-11, 10:33am
We don't techincally own television set. We have EyeTV" software for our Mac which along with out cable subscription turns our Mac into a t.v. We only really use it for live broadcasts (football games) and more typically get movies from the library. Our girls watch most of their cartoons on youtube.

JaneV2.0
12-12-11, 10:37am
"I find a great deal of difference between books and TV. Especially for young children. Sitting on a couch with a box screaming at you is very different from an adult quietly reading a book and talking about the images or words on a page."

I'm sorry your TV screams at you; how rude! :laff:

And of course reading to/with a child is a teaching/bonding experience, whereas I'm an adult watching selected programs for my own education/enjoyment. And often analyzing commercials--sometimes even laughing at them. And though I've been a life-long library booster, even working at one, I buy plenty of books as well. So I stand by my dram.

Zoebird
12-12-11, 11:33am
no tv.

Aqua Blue
12-12-11, 11:55am
I have a TV and watch almost everyday. Last week I watched the Rifleman every day, now I am enthralled with Chuck Conners. I went out on the internet and read about him and watched some u tube of Johnny Crawford(Mark) singing. I watched British comedies, I watched some very interesting Nova programs, learned some things on Antique Roadshow, enjoyed History detectives, watched Seasame street with my young niece, saw singers from the 50's and 60's singing now. I feel very blessed to live in an age when I can see and hear and experience those things for the cost of a TV, antenna and a little electicity. I think it is one of the most bang for my buck ever. YMMV

loosechickens
12-12-11, 12:03pm
We had no tv (by choice) from when we got together in 1977 until 1986 when the Challenger disaster happened. Our son, who was at the launch, live, called us from a pay phone. A girlfriend of his was storing some of her belongings at our place, so we dug into her closet and got out her tv and plugged it in to see the news about that.

We left it out on the table, started watching the news at night on it, and after some months discovered that although nothing in our real life had changed, our exposure to TV news had made us feel less secure and we were starting to lock our house when we left to go somewhere, something that we'd never done before (lived very rural, on a dirt road with few nearby neighbors, thirteen miles from town, where there had never been ANY kind of crime or breakins). That sobered us, so we put Kim's tv back into the closet, and were without tv access again, and much happier.

We continued to have no tv, as long as we lived in our fixed base life, and then afterward as nomads. In 1996, after we'd come back to the U.S. we invited a guy camped near us for Thanksgiving dinner, and he was horrified that we had no tv, so showed up at our door the next day with a little 12 volt, 5 in. screen tv as a gift.

We had that up until we bought our motorhome, although we hardly ever watched it (I'm embarassed to say, I did get up in the middle of the night to watch Princess Diana's funeral on it, on some overnight spot somewhere). Our motorhome came with two tvs, but we were so out of the tv habit that they pretty much sat there for several years unused.

We discovered that a relative that we had helped out financially had satellite TV, and in a fit of "geez......all these people have all this stuff, and WE are donating money to them and we don't even have it", we got basic satellite service. It's been a love/hate relationship ever since. We get the half price deal for about $30 a month, then when that runs out, we cancel it, then a couple months later, they come on with a "come back and we'll give you a deal for $30 a month", and we bite, and the dance goes on.

We watch very little TV and the only programs we actually plan and watch are The Daily Show and 60 Minutes. I sit down and watch it sometimes while I eat lunch if my sweetie isn't home to talk to, but often days and days go by and we don't turn it on. It's definitely time again to cut it loose, and this time, hopefully, resist the blandishments of DirecTV when they come with their sweet-talking offers, hahahaahha.

The thing is that we are often where there is little to no on-air reception, and I like the idea that if I WANT to turn it on, if something major happens, I can.....but my sweetie points out that if something like 9/11 or some other major thing happens, we're only about one minute and a cell phone call away from restoring service, since we have the antenna and receiver, so maybe we'll do that.

If we had unlimited internet, I'd ditch the tv completely in an instant, because I could watch news on that, if necessary. But with the satellite internet, we are so limited in our download amount that a few minutes of video (the occasional You Tube, etc.) is all we can handle without going over the limit.

I will say that when we axe it, it's only a few days before I forget about it completely, because the "habit" of watching just isn't there. Now, the INTERNET......that's a whole 'nother story.....they'd have to pry my internet from "my cold, dead hands".....

reader99
12-12-11, 12:06pm
I lived for quite awhile without a TV, but caved when CNN came along (back when it was worth watching). Programming, in my opinion, has vastly improved since then with science, history, food, nature, investigations, etc. channels. Not to mention picture quality!

I've been an avid reader all my life. Call me a heretic, but I don't think there's a dram's worth of difference between reading a book and watching equivalent TV. I guess you could say I like to watch.;)

I read a lot too - a book a day habit since I was 5, except for the year I needed bifocals and didn't realize it. I also watch tv. The commercial breaks are so long now that I can mute it and read 3-4 pages before the show comes back on!;)

The main difference I can think of is if a young child ONLY watched TV and didn't read. Years ago there was an interesting article in Reader's Digest about a man (sorry I can't remember his name) who was the first Black <rocket scientist? brain surgeon? something difficult>. He said that when he was a young kid, he and his brother were both doing poorly in school. His mother made them each read a book and do a report on it evey week. He said that he believes that the actual brain process of reading strengthens the mind and the ability to learn. He also said that he didn't realize until he was grown that his mother couldn't read the book reports she was making them write.

goldensmom
12-12-11, 12:11pm
I know a dozen families that do not own a TV - Amish neighbors, I know not fair, although they do not have a problem watching our TV. We have 3 new digital TVs, 1-32 (big enough) and 2-19. They are not turned on all that much because there is not that much we want to watch (satellite). Funny thing, on the way to town one evening last week we passed by a house that had such a huge TV that we could see it clearly from the road. I was thinking that maybe we could get rid of our TVs/satellite and when we wanted to watch TV we could park in front of the neighbors house and watch theirs from the road.

reader99
12-12-11, 12:21pm
I know a dozen families that do not own a TV - Amish neighbors, I know not fair, although they do not have a problem watching our TV. We have 3 new digital TVs, 1-32 (big enough) and 2-19. They are not turned on all that much because there is not that much we want to watch (satellite). Funny thing, on the way to town one evening last week we passed by a house that had such a huge TV that we could see it clearly from the road. I was thinking that maybe we could get rid of our TVs/satellite and when we wanted to watch TV we could park in front of the neighbors house and watch theirs from the road.

LOL! From my balcony I can watch the giant TV in one of the rooms in the next building. No sound though.

Mrs-M
12-12-11, 1:53pm
We own two televisions, one upstairs, the other down. Eventually, when all is said and done, I'd like one television, that television, being downstairs in a room reserved solely for TV watching/relaxing.

JaneV2.0
12-12-11, 2:14pm
"Years ago there was an interesting article in Reader's Digest about a man (sorry I can't remember his name) who was the first Black <rocket scientist? brain surgeon? something difficult>."

I think that was Ben Carson. I don't remember whether I read that in a book or saw it on TV...:cool:
Seriously, I read his biography years ago (Gifted Hands?) and have also seen him interviewed. Multi-media, that's me.

libby
12-12-11, 2:36pm
We have one television and it is located in our basement. Out of sight out of mind works for us. We hardly watch the thing! I know many Mennonite people in our community that do not have televisions.

Spartana
12-12-11, 3:25pm
Didn't have a TV or computer for many many years. Now I have a 32 inch flat screen but no cable and only a few "antenna-channels" so use it mainly to watch occasional DVDs. Also have a laptop now but no home internet access - use the free library or free hotspot. I don't do anything on the laptop except surf the web and e-mail so I don't do anything financial (i.e. buying, banking, bill paying) online. Will be TV free soon as I sold my house (YAY) and will be traveling full time (with long stops in vacation rental places that will have TVs, cable and internet access) and am giving my TV to my sister. Although my sister doesn't watch TV at all - not even DVDs - and doesn't own one, so it will most likely sit in the corner gathering dust for years.

Kestrel
12-12-11, 4:14pm
OK ... here goes ... for many years, while the kids were young, we didn't have TV, and didn't miss it. Then ... the Olympics came along, where US beat Russia in ice hockey, and we HAD TO watch the Olympics, so we broke down and bought one. It was great! We watched everything that was on for awhile there, just because we COULD ... and loved being able to watch baseball and football games!

Now ... we have three TVs -- one in the kitchen (for me), one in the bedroom (for us) and one in our "tv room" for DH. Well, the one in the bedroom is really for DH, but I don't like to watch what DH records, so I read or something.

Anyway ... we hardly ever watch live TV. We record everything we like and watch when it's convenient for us, and yes, we fast-forward thru commercials. We have DirecTV -- we got it so we could watch Boise State University Broncos football games!!! And we'll keep it because we love them. I record a lot of PBS!! and other random things and watch when I'm cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen (I don't enjoy cooking). I record BookTV now and again, and DH likes TED Talks and what I call his "hammering and nailing" shows -- This Old House and the like. We used to have Netflix but weren't watching the movies, so cancelled. We don't rent movies -- RedBox, or whatever it's called.

So yeah, we record and watch what we like on TV, and we're willing to pay for it. I'm not willing to watch on the computer.

artist
12-12-11, 4:36pm
We do not have a television. Have no desire to own one either. I rather enjoy my down time with a good book, working in my studio, listening to NHPR and knitting.

Jemima
12-12-11, 4:52pm
I have one old TV which hasn't been plugged in for three or four months. I would throw it out, but it has a VCR player and I have some old VCR tapes I occasionally watch. Right now I'm too busy getting the house organized to even think about it.

mamalatte
12-12-11, 4:56pm
We don't have a TV. We mostly didn't want our kids exposed to all the advertising. When they were very small (like 2 and under) we also really didn't even watch videos. We read read read and go to the library a lot. It helps that we live on a small island in Maine where it's actually quite a big excitement to go to the library! These days the kids are 8 and almost 5, and we will sometimes do videos on netflix, mostly of tv shows, like Dinosaur Train or Word World, with no ads. It's still fairly rare that we do even that, though. The only things I miss about TV are the Olympics, certain other sports events, Sesame Street, and sometimes 60 Minutes, and, I must say, I miss Oprah!! Kind of glad she's not on anymore so I don't have to feel bad about missing her--haha. Watch the Daily Show on the computer occasionally. I am really interested in research about the effects of TV, and other "screentime," on our brains, especially children and especially children born in recent years who have grown up in an age of watching all these screens virtually from birth onward. I believe it will eventually be shown to have a big (probably negative) effect on our brains, even aside from the content (advertising, consumerism, violence, sexism, etc etc etc.). I'm a big believer in the whole Last Child in the Woods, kids should play outside in nature not watch screens school of thought.

jania
12-12-11, 6:00pm
I have one TV, using an antenna for reception. I don't know anyone without a TV. Something that always strikes me as funny is I know a family who sports a "Kill Your TV" bumper sticker on their car but in their house they have a big screen TV and cable.

Acorn
12-12-11, 10:29pm
Well, it seems even among us simple living folks, not owning a tv is far from the norm. It certainly is a convenient way to receive entertainment and information and I have nothing against it. I just don't enjoy most programming so it isn't something I miss. I gave up our tv when our kids were small because I noticed they were almost magnetically drawn to it and i thought little ones should be actively engaged in the world rather than sucked into passive entertainment. And I guess the passive part is something I dislike about tv watching. The times I do watch tv while visiting people I feel like I'm being passively brainwashed - like the folks in Wall-E. :)

lizii
12-13-11, 12:55am
I haven't watched TV for at least 25 years. I keep up with news on my computer.

Acorn
12-13-11, 1:27am
Lizii, I keep up with the news via the internet as well, mostly just reading newspapers. But as Loosechickens noted, I find news can have a negative effect on how I perceive the world. So much of it, whether tv or print, is unnecessarily alarmist, but it is what sells. So I think I'm getting to the point where I am going to limit how much news I even read.

Zoebird
12-13-11, 1:42am
i've limited news for the last decade. it really does have a strong effect.

i find it is much better to chase down a story that interests me rather than just take a bunch of soundbytes (written or otherwise) at face value. turns out, though, not that much interests me.

i mostly read about gardening. or parenting.

Anne Lee
12-13-11, 3:08am
My sons, one is a Marine the other a college student.

We have two and probably always will have one.

Gregg
12-13-11, 6:53am
I had gone a few years without a TV by the time DW and I met. No computer either, but they weren't a common fixture then. Did have a cell phone! One of those brick phones (you know, the kind Michael Douglas has in "Wall Street"). Not sure why, it was very expensive, but it was also kind of fun. Anyway, the whole house is pretty well wired for electronic entertainment now, including TVs.

reader99
12-13-11, 8:48am
I read a lot too - a book a day habit since I was 5, except for the year I needed bifocals and didn't realize it. I also watch tv. The commercial breaks are so long now that I can mute it and read 3-4 pages before the show comes back on!;)

The main difference I can think of is if a young child ONLY watched TV and didn't read. Years ago there was an interesting article in Reader's Digest about a man (sorry I can't remember his name) who was the first Black <rocket scientist? brain surgeon? something difficult>. He said that when he was a young kid, he and his brother were both doing poorly in school. His mother made them each read a book and do a report on it evey week. He said that he believes that the actual brain process of reading strengthens the mind and the ability to learn. He also said that he didn't realize until he was grown that his mother couldn't read the book reports she was making them write.

Replying to my own post because it just occured to me - my younger stepson did not enjoy reading, he read only what school required. And yet he was in the gifted program and went to college on full scholarship. So maybe it's more complicated than I thought. OTOH, his sister who loved to read had a far larger vocabulary than he did.

Miss Cellane
12-13-11, 9:26am
As for reading vs. watching TV--I do think for some people, it's easier to learn things from an educational TV show than by reading a book, especially if they are auditory learners, or visual learners who need pictures. For some kids with learning disabilities that affect their reading skills, PBS shows and the Discovery Channel and the like are probably godsends.

I read a lot. An awful lot. I'm actually trying to cut down on the amount of time I spend reading and get outside/meet other people more. I'll be the first to admit that some of the books I read are no more mentally taxing than watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory. There's good, solid, intellectual reading and then there's "junk food for the brain" reading. Reading is not necessarily always better than TV and TV is not always a waste of time. All depends on what you watch or read.

JaneV2.0
12-13-11, 10:20am
And I'm always bemused by the outlook that if you watch television, that's all you do (while drooling, scratching, and eating Cheetos by the bag, the meme goes) :devil: .

Surprisingly, many of us--especially the info junkies among us--read books, newspapers, magazines, Internet articles, listen to radio and podcasts, watch movies and documentaries, use the library for all the media it offers, and attend lectures and symposia.

Even though I've read--almost compulsively--since I was tiny, I learn better by watching and doing than simply by reading instructions. If I'm interested in a subject, the more relevant media I can find, the happier I am.

chanterelle
12-13-11, 10:41am
In his book, Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television, Jerry Mander presents some interesting arguments about the difference between reading and TV watching..how the images are perceived by the brain and the control that the viewer/reader has over the process and how the images are retained by the brain. Interesting and thought provoking stuff... He does not dwell on the prevailing images of shows or of the meme about viewers that Jane mentions but rather on the medium itself and how it determies the content and use of TV in our lives.
Written in the later 70's, the book doesn't deal with today's computers, streaming video etc but much about mainstream media is still very valid and worth the read.

As to the OP, I have one tv which I watch infrequently...very little time or interest on my part...no computer viewing of media either. I find the more I am away from commercial media the more it irritates me when I do view it.

Spartana
12-13-11, 10:50am
And I'm always bemused by the outlook that if you watch television, that's all you do (while drooling, scratching, and eating Cheetos by the bag, the meme goes) :devil: .



Are you talking about me again Jane :-)!! I actually find I do more "other" stuff when I watch TV as compared to reading. If I'm reading, I usually sit on my butt engrossed in something for long periods of time. Where as with a TV show, news, etc... there is a limited time that a program is on, often times with numerous (LOUD) commercials to interrupt the flow, which give me that break i need to unhook myself and go out and do other things. I can watch a half hour of TV, turn it off and go play (brushing the cheetos crumbs out of my belly button and giving my hinny-end one last scratch) which is something I can't seem to do when reading a book - even short stories. I also work out in front of the TV which is something I can't do when I read. So reading is more addictive - and much more sedentary - to me then TV. The internet is even more additiove - and even more sedendary - to me then reading or TV (and the main reason I don't have home internet access), and games are WAY WAY WAY more addictive to me then anything else (once stayed up 3 days straight playing some crazy game) so those are completely banned from my life.

JaneV2.0
12-13-11, 11:21am
I've read about the reorganization of the brain, and I think that goes on any time you spend a lot of time in a pursuit--sports, languages, video games, hunting. Different pathways form and are used. I had the concentration of a fruit fly before television, and I'm pretty sure spending time on line has made it more pronounced.

But video is here to stay, unless J. H. Kunstler has his way, so my take is any changes are evolutionary. Does watching Nancy Zieman do felt applique' rather than reading a book on it wreck my brain? What about doing both? Time will tell.


Like Spartana, I generally multi-task while listening to TV unless the visuals are particularly compelling, though Cheeto dust makes typing messy business.

Spartana
12-13-11, 11:44am
Does watching Nancy Zieman do felt applique' rather than reading a book on it wreck my brain? What about doing both? Time will tell.


Well i do actually fall asleep watching those PBS crafty shows. That droning voice just lulls me off too sleep. Too bad Martha Steward is off the air. Her show was a certain cure for any insomnia I ever had ;-)! Nancy Zieman comes in a close 2nd. Although I am sort of a cooking show junkie - even though I don't cook at all and really only own one pot and one pan (never used either). But I'm a bit obsessed. I don't think it's with the actual cooking but with te food itself. I am totally obsessed with food... eating food cooked by others. My favorite past time :-)!

JaneV2.0
12-13-11, 1:38pm
Haha! Yes, I could use staff myself. :idea:

reader99
12-13-11, 2:17pm
And I'm always bemused by the outlook that if you watch television, that's all you do (while drooling, scratching, and eating Cheetos by the bag, the meme goes) :devil: .



Doritos

JaneV2.0
12-13-11, 3:20pm
:laff:

catherine
12-13-11, 3:29pm
So, does that include computers and ipad and iphones, etc? These days, TV's role in passive entertainment is shrinking a bit in terms of its monopoly on the medium.

I can't wait to get something like an Apple TV where you can just watch off the internet. I know anyone can do it now, but I'm looking forward to a true hybrid.

I'm not a big TV watcher, but in the evening, to be honest it's a matter of ritual and the presence of "live sounds" which sounds weird, but if I tell myself I'm not going to watch TV on a certain night, it feels lonely (if DH isn't around). Does anyone else feel that way? Is it too quiet without a TV--especially at night?

Dhiana
12-13-11, 4:05pm
As a child who grew up without a tv I definitely own a tv!

While I do agree with how much more knowledge we may gain by learning through books and other non-tv watching activities,
being able to relate socially to a a world that does watch tv regularly is also just as important.

I literally didn't know how to play or socialize with kids my own age because they played games they were influenced by on tv. Even something simple such as never having seen 'Little House on the Prairie' made me a social outcast, unable to play the game or understand any pop culture references.

Acorn
12-14-11, 7:51am
Ha, I just read this quote in the NYT (article about opting out of FB) - "Ms. Lenhart noted that about 16 percent of Americans don’t have cellphones. “There will always be holdouts,” she said."
So I'm guessing if 16% don't own cellphones then the percentage that don't own tvs is significantly smaller. Maybe less than 5%?

loosechickens
12-14-11, 11:57am
Dhiana.....I remember so well, during our tv-less years......going into a Dunkin' Donuts one day and everybody in there talking about this guy, J.R., who got shot. I thought there had been a robbery at the store or something and one of the bakers had been shot. When I asked, everybody in there looked at me like I was nuts (and since there was a psychiatric hospital right across the road, I could see them looking furtively for my plastic bracelet).......I had no IDEA who J.R. was, and when I finally realized they were talking about a television show, was my face red.....

I was probably the only person in the world who didn't know who the Fonz was, either.......I'm similarly "out of it" with popular culture on TV these days, even though I'm now in possession of a set (actually TWO), but I've gotten old enough that being uninformed about such things is no longer embarassing to me........ ;-)

mamalatte
12-14-11, 1:51pm
In response to the post above about percentage of people without a television, 99% of Americans own televisions, according to stats found here: http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

There were also some other really interesting stats about TV at that link, including the following:

I. FAMILY LIFE
Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
Value of that time assuming an average wage of S5/hour: S1.25 trillion
Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49


II CHILDREN
Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
conversation with their children: 3.5
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500

Gregg
12-14-11, 2:14pm
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million


My local library has a large selection of DVDs available to check out...

Fawn
12-14-11, 5:07pm
"Do you own a television?" No.

loosechickens
12-14-11, 6:15pm
Well, looking at those statistics, and our posts on this thread, it's clear that we are a group definitely marching to a different drummer (or a different accordian, as kib used to say). No wonder we find ourselves on a "simple living" site, when so many of us seem to have fewer tvs and watch them much less than the mainstream.

I always feel as though I save myself many, many thousands of advertising messages, which helps in feeling comfortable not buying much......who knew?

Of course, I'm old enough to remember the days before TV......and since I was already a dedicated reader when tv came along, I just never got sucked into it very far. I AM constantly amazed when I go in peoples' homes and several tvs are going all the time, often on different channels, whether anyone is watching or not.......boy, I hate that......

mamalatte
12-14-11, 6:45pm
Hey all you non-TV-owners, we are the 1% !!

Acorn
12-15-11, 3:54am
Lol Mamalatte - 1%! Wow. Thanks for sharing those stats, very interesting.

The way the conversation about not owning televisions started was a friend and I were talking about social signals that pop up when you first meet someone. We came up with things that a new acquaintance might mention that might cause us to give pause. Not make a snap judgement, but just a pause for thought. And then I thought if I met someone who told me they didn't watch any tv that it would have the opposite effect of a pause. It would probably intrigue me and I would want to learn more about their lifestyle/interests. And then, of course, I couldn't name anyone who didn't own/watch tv. 1% indeed!

Loosechickens, all that competing television noise makes me crazy too. I find it so distracting! But for those accustomed to it I don't think it is distracting at all. And I completely agree about dodging those advertising messages. TV is really only a marketing tool, with engaging entertainment to lure us in. I'm not saying the entertainment is bad, I just dislike the necessary marketing that accompanies it.

JaneV2.0
12-15-11, 7:19am
"Of course, I'm old enough to remember the days before TV......and since I was already a dedicated reader when tv came along, I just never got sucked into it very far."

I'm roughly the same age and a dedicated life-long reader (as mentioned above) too, so that reads like a non sequitur to me. I do wonder who buys all the products advertised on television, as I've never bought anything more substantial than a mascara after seeing it advertised. It's hard to imagine advertisers are getting their money's worth.

And honestly? I'd likely shy away from anyone who boasted right off the bat they didn't watch TV. It would be a red flag for me, just like someone bragging they were a non-reader.

Acorn
12-15-11, 8:36am
Boasting about any thing would put me off.

I think TV advertisers must be getting their money's worth or the medium would have been unsustainable. Well, aside from non commercial television anyway.

Alan
12-15-11, 9:05am
We have several TV's in the house and two more in the motorhome (although only one of them works, the other is built into the cabinetry and I haven't gotten around to looking at it yet).

Advertising on TV doesn't bother me, although it's often annoying I do possess free will so it's influence is minimal. My only complaint with TV is that so much of the programming panders to the lowest common denominator. Thank goodness for networks such as History International (oops, it's now H2), Nat Geo, The Science Channel and BBC America, among others.

There's a lot of quality programming on other stations as well if you're patient and look for it. My newest favorites have been The Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels on AMC. I also try not to miss Dr Who, Battlestar Galactica (missed it the first time around), Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and a few others which escape me at the moment. I miss some others such as Deadwood and The Soprano's. My youngest grandson even turned me onto Phineas & Ferb on Disney and Star Wars - The Clone Wars on The Cartoon Network.

Good stuff all, if you ask me.

reader99
12-15-11, 9:38am
Since I have no money, advertising can't 'make' me overspend. The long commercial breaks give me time to wash dishes, put away laundry, de-clutter, read a few pages...

Spartana
12-15-11, 11:03am
As I said in an earlier post I do own a TV but currently am not using it - and haven't for almost 2 weeks - except to watch rental DVDs. Need a new antenna for it (no cable) and haven't gotten around to buying one yet. Do I miss TV? Not really. I have found that it really frees up alot of time for me so I am much more active and engaged with doing things rather then watching things. I also don't own a stereo or radio (except the alarm clock radio which I never listen to) so only get news/info about the world right now thru the car radio which isn't very informative. So I do feel sort of uninformed at the moment (not necessariliy a bad thing :-)!). Also no home internet so, again, only get news/info when I'm at a free wi-fi spot like now. So for all I know we could be in the middle of a nuclear war and I wouldn't know. When the Iraq war started I was also "TV-less" and away from any media source so it took me several days to learn we were at war. Geesh! I don't really like being so information-less, but really do enjoy my current (and past) TV-less life. BTW, I don't have a radio or listen to news or music at home because I am pretty deaf and it just all sounds like noise to me. Plus, to answer Cathy A's question - I like the silence. However in the car - where I can crank up the volume on my VERY good stereo - I do listen alot. Nothing like "Guns and Roses" full blast in the truck cab to blow what remains of my ear drums out :-)!

Gardenarian
12-15-11, 3:44pm
We have an old TV set, but no digital converter or antenna, cable or satellite, so we just watch movies from the library. Luckily I am a librarian and so I don't get any fines! :~)

iris lily
12-15-11, 7:32pm
The stuff advertised on tv is stupid.

I keep hearing about online targeted ads, but the only thing that pops up on my screen are light fixtures that I've looked at in the past. I kind of wish the data mining and analysis was far more sophisticated and they could put photos of things I might REALLY be tempted to buy in front of me.

ljevtich
12-15-11, 7:58pm
So, does that include computers and ipad and iphones, etc? These days, TV's role in passive entertainment is shrinking a bit in terms of its monopoly on the medium.

I can't wait to get something like an Apple TV where you can just watch off the internet. I know anyone can do it now, but I'm looking forward to a true hybrid.

I'm not a big TV watcher, but in the evening, to be honest it's a matter of ritual and the presence of "live sounds" which sounds weird, but if I tell myself I'm not going to watch TV on a certain night, it feels lonely (if DH isn't around). Does anyone else feel that way? Is it too quiet without a TV--especially at night?
Catherine, you can watch TV off of the internet. It is called streaming video. Hulu has it for free, there is also Hulu Plus that is similar to Netflix.

We have a TV that is an LCD monitor/TV. It has a tuner, but we have it connected to our stereo system and 1 Terabyte hard drive. That way we can watch digital movies (not streaming) that we originally got from the library or friends/family collection.

The tuner does not really work in the areas that we are (Grand Canyon National Park or Lake Mead National Recreation Area) as it would have too far to go!

My DH uses it as a very large screen as his computer is connected to it. But we only got this monitor/TV last year. Before that, we were without for 4 years. I have noticed my reading time has gone down while my watching shows and movies has gone up.

Of course, I also spend a little bit of time on the internet too...:laff::laff::laff:
I think that is where most of my time has really gotten away from me.

JaneV2.0
12-15-11, 8:43pm
Exactly. The Internet has taken a big bite out of my (book) reading time, because what am I doing on line? Reading!
I spend the same amount of time--or maybe even less--watching TV as I always have.

I'm enjoying streaming old X-Files episode via Amazon Prime, too.

Glo
12-16-11, 5:17am
We have one TV, watch it a lot, love it. We have lots of cable channels, netflix streaming, and Wii. We still have time for the gym 5 days a week, and I'm a voracious reader.

JaneV2.0
12-16-11, 8:51am
I'm puzzled by the either/or notions some have about reading/TV, as most of my friends and relatives are avid readers and library patrons, and enjoy television as well. I rarely watch movies (or "films," if you will), but I don't make it a point of honor. I'm just not much interested in fiction, which is entirely a personal quirk, not a moral stance.

Gregg
12-16-11, 9:54am
I'm just not much interested in fiction...

Don't feel bad Jane, I'm just the same way whether it comes to what I watch or what I read.

Acorn
12-16-11, 9:57am
I don't think anyone is making a moral stance regarding watching or not watching television. I do find it interesting that many on this forum have limited tv watching habits compared to the population at large and wonder how it relates to living a simpler lifestyle. I was just curious as to what the stats were regarding television ownership and habits - not making any judgements. And certainly not making judgements regarding anyone's reading habits.
I find it interesting that only 1% of the population does not own a television and meeting someone like that would pique my interest as to what their lifestyle might be. As would meeting someone who lives in a yurt. Or a freegan. Or any number of unusual lifestyle choices. No judgements, just curiosity.

Spartana
12-16-11, 10:44am
I I find it interesting that only 1% of the population does not own a television and meeting someone like that would pique my interest as to what their lifestyle might be.

As a person who went without a TV for years - both by choice and by circumstances (stationed in ships that had no TV reception when at sea, and this before VCR's, DVD players or the internet was invented - yes, youngin' there was a time before all that :-)!) - I found that I was much less informed about what went on in the world, but my personal life was so much more active.

For the last couple of weeks I did a sort of experiment - I got rid of the TV antenna (no TV reception without it), no DVDs, no internet at home (although I did check in here and yapped alot - will end that tomorrow as part two of my experiment - and because I won't be anywhere with internet access :-)!), and no reading material of any kind - books, magazines, etc.. - or games or anything to do, just to see how I did with literally nothing to entertain me except reading the back of the cereal box. It was pretty interesting because I did soooooooooooo much more then I thought I could. All those little moments when we sit down to read an article or a couple of pages in a book, or turn on the TV to see a half hour news show, or check the e-mail or watch just one DVD - all those moments were gone.

At first I was so restless I couldn't sit still - constantly moving and doing stuff - stuff I thought I never had time for before. I'd get tired earlier then normal and go to bed 10 pm and wake up at 6 am really refreshed. Walked my dogs more and longer, walked around my 'hood more and longer, met people, called friends to actually talk (they were usually too busy on their Blackberrys to chat :-)!), did a longer run in the morning and had longer workouts in the evening, etc... Just DID so much more. I finally broke down about a week into it and rented a couple of DVDs at the library. Ended up staying up late, prone on the couch, watching them. After that I went back to my experiment and other then chatting here haven't really had any other media or reading exposure. It's an interesting experience and I recommend that everyone should give it a try just for a week. Pretty eye opening. I've gone without all the electronic stuff before but I always had books to read. Very interesting to see what your life looks like when you do away with everything, including all reading material like books, magazines, newspapers, etc... I even did away with cards (no solitare), no puzzles or games of every kind, basicly any and everything that would distract me and give me something to do. Very interesting.

JaneV2.0
12-16-11, 11:59am
I used to quilt with a couple of women who maintained they would never have or use a computer. I remarked at the time that people probably said that about the telephone. At least one of them has changed her mind since then. It won't be long until computer avoiders will be another one percent demographic.

JaneV2.0
12-16-11, 12:01pm
Don't feel bad Jane, I'm just the same way whether it comes to what I watch or what I read.

It occurs to me that I apparently don't consider The X-Files fiction. Oh dear...http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-alien011.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Acorn
12-17-11, 2:24am
Spartana, that is quite a lifestyle challenge you set up for yourself. What led you to give it a try? I think it is a good exercise to learn to live with our selves and within our selves. I am convinced so much of what we keep ourselves occupied with are purposeful distractions from the futility of life. Or if not the futility of life, than at least, from learning and accepting who we truly are.
So aside from this forum, you haven't done any reading or watching? That is a substantive challenge. I could, and have, given up electronics for short time periods, but never reading material. I'm trying to imagine what I would do, and I guess it would be similar to you. More time exercising, maybe gardening/chores, dog walking, socialising. How long will you continue with the challenge?
Thanks for sharing your experience, it's very interesting!

lizii
12-17-11, 10:52pm
I haven't watched TV for over 20 years now. Don't miss it either.

reader99
12-18-11, 10:40am
It occurs to me that I apparently don't consider The X-Files fiction. Oh dear...http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-alien011.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

Love the spaceship!

Gregg
12-19-11, 6:27am
It occurs to me that I apparently don't consider The X-Files fiction. Oh dear...http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-alien011.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

FOFL! The truth is out there Jane.

DonkaDoo
12-19-11, 12:46pm
Yes. I own a televison. I really like TV.

jp1
12-19-11, 6:40pm
I actually didn't have a tv for about 10 years after I graduated college in 1990. During college I found ample entertainment opportunities doing other things. (read: I went to a lot of parties and bars and drank a lot of beer...) Once I finished school and started my adult life I didn't have money to buy one at first. As the weeks and months rolled by there was always something else to spend the money on and after several months I realized that I didn't really care that I didn't have one. So I just never got one.

I eventually bought a small one and a vcr so I could rent movies. Now I live with an SO who LOVES tv, so we absolutely have one, a big one, with cable and tivo and netflix and blueray machine, etc. If I am ever single again I'd probably do without, since when I'm home alone (including the 3 months when I was still living in NJ and SO had already moved out here to California) I never ever turn it on.

Tradd
12-19-11, 7:46pm
No TV. I've been TV free for a little over 8 years. I do use my laptop to watch the occasional movie (I have a few DVDs and sometimes get them from the library) and I will watch a very occasional show online, mostly PBS stuff.

The place I'm staying temporarily while my building is undergoing foundation repairs has a TV. The lady who owns the place was beginning to show me how to work the remote and DVD player, but I told her not to worry about it, as I don't have one. The jaws of both her and her DH just dropped. They also couldn't believe it when told that of my 17 tubs (18 gallons) of stuff I moved, I had more books than clothes. ;-) It's most fun watching people's reactions.

madgeylou
12-20-11, 7:27am
i bought my first tv in 2002, to watch my bootleg copy of "fellowship of the ring" that i bought on ebay from singapore! it's 27", flat screen but not flat panel. cost around $500 at the time.

over the last 10 years, sometimes i've had cable on that tv, and sometimes i haven't. usually i get it for a few months, binge on terrible telly, and then cancel it again. when i went through a big breakup about 5 years ago, i was really glad to have premium cable and a DVR! but i haven't had it since.

i'm getting rid of the old tv now, because my fiancee and i just got ourselves a new tv for christmas -- a 40" flat panel -- and it is AWESOME. we can play games from his iphone on it (through the apple tv) and we can stream netflix and download stuff from itunes and basically just watch whatever we want whenever we want for minimal cost.

the future is awesome.

it is a little dangerous, though. we have it set up to do an automatic slideshow of vacation photos from the last few years, and i can sit and look at that slideshow for a really inordinate amount of time!

nordette
1-9-12, 12:45pm
Don't own a TV.

Friends of ours gave us their gigantic TV before they moved away about 8 years ago, and then when we moved a year afterward - we gave it away.

Although the option of watching TV via Hulu and other streaming sites are available, I have a hard time committing to it. Once in a while when I want to look up things or be inspired I will watch youtube clips (like clips of people's frugal ideas, or how people save money, or the interior of small homes - SLN themes). Also have a hard time watching movies since we don't really visit movie houses either. I think because I know I have an addictive personality, I just don't want to get sucked into watching shows.

I do read a lot and catch up on the latest TV shows via gawker.com (just so I'm not totally lost at gatherings and other social occasions). What is funny is that because I read about this, I'm often not sure how to pronounce things. For example, I didn't know how to pronounce Palin or Obama (when he first showed in public consciousness), or the Kardha-something sisters, I knew for a long time about American Idol being a vote based show, but couldn't for the life of me tell anyone what it was about...except I knew who was the popular favorite at a given time.I live in some bizarre parallel universe where I know to a large degree the stuff that people are paying attention to, but very little idea on who these people are, or why they're really worthy of attention, or how to pronounce their names, and such. And I'm not living in the woods somewhere, I live in the middle of a bustling city!

martha
1-17-12, 12:23pm
Have been tv-less since the early 90's, and am much happier not being exposed to the incessant advertising. I used to be way too susceptible to feelings of inadequacy about what I already had when constantly brainwashed to buy newer, shinier stuff. I like it lots better this way. :)

My news comes from NPR, a daily newspaper, and the internet. Am an avid reader, and spend way too much time online, but now when I'm at someone's home and the tv is blaring in the background, it seriously gets on my nerves.

folkypoet
1-17-12, 2:25pm
We own a TV (got it for free!), but it's not hooked up to receive any stations. Occasionally, we use it to watch movies (though we've only done this maybe twice in the last three months). We do, however, watch shows on the computer. Right now, we're watching an episode or two of The West Wing each night (new hubby had never seen it before!). Love the fact that there are no commercials.