How the No TV Experiment led to Living Life Without Cable TV
Is it really possible to live life without cable TV? Yes, yes it is. I’ve been doing it for the past 9 years. You might think the reason was economics, and sure that played a part, but the real reason was the feeling I had after a night of television. I felt unproductive and lazy.
I found myself mostly watching home improvement shows or nature shows. While these shows aren’t necessarily bad, I felt like the time I spent watching them was wasted. I really didn’t learn enough about home improvement to turn my house into a mansion, and in all actuality, I can’t remember any tips that were worth all the time I spent watching. And all that nature knowledge has yet to be proven useful. Maybe next time I see a tiger staring me down at the grocery store, I’ll wish I had watched more Discovery channel. But until then, I’ve found all that television to be a waste of time.
So, we took the plunge. When we moved into our house 9 years ago, we decided to go without cable TV. For the sake of full disclosure, we did get the very basic cable, which comes with mostly local broadcast channels, about 10 total. It only costs $10 per month, and since we are a cable subscriber we get a $15 dollar discount on our cable Internet. Looks like we stumbled upon a small loop hole, plus we don’t have to deal with a TV antenna.
The choice to ditch the cable started some time before moving into our house. We decided to conduct a little experiment to turn off the TV for an entire week. No TV at all for one week. Going into it, I wasn’t sure how the week would unfold. Like most households, I would come home from work and spend most of the evening lounging on the couch watching TV. I wondered how I would occupy my time.
We decided to just jump right into it, and here’s how it went. I spent a lot of time reading. It was nice to have additional time to read, but the real bonus was I could read in quiet. There were no noisy distractions. I spent more time talking with my wife. We could chat about the day or ponder the mysteries of the universe. Once again, no distractions. We were able to spend more time cooking. No rush to get through cooking or eating dinner just so we could catch some “must see” TV. The thing I remember the most from our “No TV Week” was the quiet. All week I came home to a silent peaceful environment.
It might make a good story if I told you we decided to give up TV completely, but we didn’t. We allowed the TV back into our lives. When it came back though, it was no longer allowed to consume our evenings. We were more mindful about what we watched. The evening news was no longer allowed, as we saw the constant stream of negativity as detrimental to our peaceful evenings. We applied a loose rule to TV programs that they had to be better than watching a movie. If we would pay the cost of a movie rental, then it may be worth watching.
The “No TV Week” allowed us to look more objectively about what we wanted to watch on TV. From this, we determined that we weren’t watching near as much Cable TV as we had thought. Most of the shows we watched were on regular network TV. Looking at the cost of $60 a month for standard cable, we figured we had to have at least 10 movie quality shows per month. That just didn’t pan out. We didn’t watch that many movie quality TV shows on cable in any given month. So, when it came time to move into our house, we didn’t sign up for Cable. I haven’t missed it in the least.
Have you ever tried a No TV experiment? Have you considered giving up cable TV? I’d love to hear from you.
Eric is a lifestyle blogger and amateur philosopher. He enjoys discussions of our path in life; where the path leads, the adventure along the path, and the unseen forces that guide us as we progress along our own personal path. In addition to writing here, you can find him at Eden Journal, where he posts a wide spectrum of articles from personal development to spiritual and philosophical awakenings. lifetime of experiences.