Can you tell this will be a personal rant?
A little background first.
Some time this summer we will have been married 27 years! When first married and in our apartment, the owner installed cable during our stay. So we subscribed and got a package. It took a couple months before we said “we are paying to watch this?” So we dropped cable and agreed to not get it again.
Fast forward about 14 years, to our second house fully wired for cable and an antenna in the attic with a disappearing cable. Cable was not an option and we could not route the antenna cable without opening walls or drilling a bunch of holes. So no air wave TV either. The analog age passes and in comes the digital age. We are way behind and have had no TV since moving here in 1999.
Okay, fast forward to the fall of 2011. Our oldest son buys his TV and it is set up in the living room, an antenna is rigged up, we have TV! The attic antenna wire is pulled up and run through the house, down 2 sets of stairs and around the living room. We now have even better reception (it does go in and out some times).
So we can now watch TV. Mainly sports, some news, some educational stuff, (we do homeschool if you didn’t know) and the occasional TV show (mainly shows our son knows).
Wow! What has happened to TV these past 12 years?! I mean I know it had raunchiness back then, but now you can’t seem to not find it. It is not just the commercials either, which have gotten worse. It is on the TV shows! Stuff that would have been “said” on cable is now on TV. All the double en tenders and innuendos and out right blatancy is there for anyone to watch and hear.
We have three kids 13 and under so for the past 12 years they haven’t really seen all this junk. The same for our older three boys. I think they are better off for not having been exposed to it. Now for my 2 daughters and really all of us being exposed to this kind of stuff is not what was anticipated.
Even the commercials during the sports have left us uncomfortable and my oldest daughter even said so. I mean one minute we are watching men smash each other on the football field, the next it is a Victoria’s Secret scantily clad model strutting down a runway. Beer ads, erectile dysfunction, (wow! I’m uncomfortable writing that!) lingerie and more. Stuff on TV shows being talked about and or being used for humor, some times I want to take a shower afterwards (and not a cold one).
Granted, we don’t have to watch and most of the time the mute button is used, but you don’t get up and leave the room for every commercial break. Speaking of commercial breaks, there is almost as much commercial time as show time now. They repeat and repeat the same thing over and over and over. Did I say they repeat over and over?
In the 12 plus years of not watching TV regularly, I must say it has gone downhill quite a bit in that time frame. I guess that is where everything is heading. Nothing is taboo anymore and anything and everything can and is talked about, whether seriously or for humor. TV shows are being USED to ram someone’s PERSONAL agenda or IDEAS down our throats and not just the newsy type programs. It is not that the envelope is being pushed. It is now being filled, stuffed full of ideals that are NOT ideal! Not in my house.
They aren’t being exposed to the real world you say? Since when is TV the real world. Even school is NOT the real world. How many of you work with other people and they are ALL your age? I would dare to say NONE! The zoo may be as real as you want to get and we have seen what happens when people get too close to certain animals. Would you put yourself or your child down in front of a rattlesnake den? Now THAT’S the real world! There will be consequences. The same for the viewing of what is on the TV if we are not careful viewers.
So we will and do not watch much. Since that is what we are used to doing. Some periods of 24 hours or more, it is not even turned on. We don’t even know what IS on. The kids are definitely not watching anything they want and it is off during the day time hours. They still don’t miss it.
Even for watching sports I could still do with out and have not watched some games. I don’t miss it.
How about you? Have you ever tried not watching TV for a period of time? A day, a week, a month, a couple months or a year or longer? We did from the summer of 1999 to the fall of 2011, over 12 years and we still are not regular viewers.
What would you do with the time? Invest it in your family? Read books? Find a hobby? Go out and enjoy nature?
We kind of did all that and more! All our kids are voracious readers and all above their age level. I have probably read more books these past 12 years than in the rest of my life. There were periods when I read a lot back then too. Some of the books I read were recommended by my kids! We took field trips, went on walks and bike rides. I took up wood crafting. My wife took some classes. We are all learning about computers and not just how to use them.
So television you have definitely gone down the tubes! I and my family are NOT going with you. We will pick and choose and be very picky and choosy about what we watch. See you around.