Am I ready to give up television?

April 15, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

Something funny has been happening in my house recently – I think we're giving up television.

I say I "think" because it hasn't been a conscious decision, but instead a combination of little changes, weather and technological snafus which have conspired to reduce the number of hours and programs we watch on any given day. And I'm surprised to say, I don't think any of us (including the kids) misses it.

This statement is a big deal coming from a woman with two TiVo's which can simultaneously record 3 shows at a time (and often does).

It all started when my husband and I decided to remove the television from our bedroom. I had been having trouble sleeping and was suffering from headaches, and was convinced that I was staying up too late watching the boob-tube, instead of packing in some much needed shut eye. Removing the TV from our room did one thing I didn't anticipate, it kept my kids from messing up my bed, because there wasn't any reason for them to be hanging out in our room.

After a couple of weeks we realized that we were missing some of the shows I regularly recorded on the TiVo upstairs had not made it into the Season Passes downstairs, and again, I didn't mind. One or two were added (gotta' get my Gossip Girl fix), while others were not.

Then, last week, our Comcast service went haywire because of a slow connection from the street – the box died and they won't be able to fix it until they dig a trench and run new cable through our front yard. So this week we've been doing something really radical, only watching TV that comes through the digital antenna.

Which means on a good day we have 11 channels – 5 of them from our local PBS affiliates.

And guess what, we have survived. And I think we're even thriving. The kids are watching much less television, and spending much more time coloring, reading and spending time outside (it helps that spring is here – not sure this experiment would go as well in the winter). I am reading much more, regularly staying up much later than I did watching TV, but still feeling more refreshed in the morning. I've even seen a precipitous drop in the amount of time we're spending playing video games.

There are times I know I'll miss my dual-tuner TiVo, if just to help me record the shows that conflict on the schedule (Glee/V, New Adventures of Old Christine/Modern Family). And on occasion I like to watch HGTV and BBC America. But my husband is now investigating the idea of giving up on cable (sorry Comcast) in favor of streaming Hulu through our XBox (more on that later).

Have you given up on tv, or just on cable?

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