Living, Personal
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My year without TV!

Earlier last year, around March, when I moved house, I didn’t have a television set. My previous owner had one at the flat which I put to good use. When I moved I didn’t immediately buy one and it wasn’t a conscious decision at first, but then I decided that I’d try living without a TV for a while.

A few months have passed since (March : December) and I realised I’ve managed ‘une vie sans le télé’ for more than 10 months. These are some of my observations.

Television actually creeps into your life very surreptitiously and before you know it, you land up designing your life around it. And I didn’t quite like it. I also didn’t like the fact that on some nights, with nothing to do (or I should say, for the lack of a better alternative) it was just easier to slump in front of the TV changing channels till I dozed off : a rather zombie-like existence. I wasn’t quite happy with the amount of control it exerted.

Life without TV actually has been pretty good. I’ve missed my favourite shows and some nice programs but with time, I’ve now learnt to live without it. If I really want to watch some program, I gate crash at a friend’s place : it’s not only a great way to catch up, you also can also most probably also get invited to a meal (Aqua/G: I hope you folks are not reading this 🙂

Interestingly, I’ve actually started noticing people watching TV : a rather blanked out expression, with eyes glazed to the screen : and oblivious to everything else. In fact, whenever I come across those large screens in movie halls and food courts, I stare at it for a while like someone’s who’s come from a small town and hasn’t ever seen a screen of that size!

I’ve begun to notice the amount of television people watch : many people just leave it one to fill the silence, which is rather unfortunate because I’d rather have silence. Some people might ask, ‘how can you live without knowing what’s happening in the world’? Actually, I’ve realised I can. I no longer have the urge to check out every television channel to check out the latest. At the most, I read the paper and check out the news online. That urge to be informed every second with the latest news has dimmed over time. It’s probably good I moved out of journalism, since I wouldn’t have survived for long with this attitude!

I use my evenings more productively, or at least I’d like to think so. I’ve enjoyed going for different classes over the last few months and they fills up my evenings. If I had TV, I’d probably rush back to watch my favourite serial. For a change, I get out of the house in the evenings and try and go for a class or catch up with a friend, get some fresh air or do something different.

I’d like to however say that I have absolutely nothing against watching TV. I think it makes for good entertainment and time pass. And I absolutely plan to have a very large screen television in my house. But the time has not yet come 🙂

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11 Comments

  1. I am proud to say that I have been living without the idiot box for the last 2 years. We (hubby and I)spend our time playing scrabble/monopoly/travel trivia else we listen to music and pick up our favourite book to read….Its true we have missed some spectacular cricket matches and programmes..but our life was enriched with “me/ours” time.

  2. We didn’t have TV for many years when our children were young. It has since crept back into our lives, but I can’t agree more with your observations on how it does that. I do remember that people used to comment on how well behaved our children were when they were younger and I still think that not watching television had a lot to do with it.

    Interesting post!

  3. Hi Anita,
    I was just wondering the same yesterday.Back in Bangalore, after reaching home from office the only TP would be 2 watch TV. Even if it means watching some nonsense stuff.
    After coming back 2 mumbai, i hardly watch TV. Its only for news n cricket. Otherwise i haven’t watched any single serial or movie on the idiot box.
    But its not been an conscious decision, its only b cos i have got so much more to do…

  4. @ lavs: i think that’s a great way to spend time/bond. i often wonder how couples find quality time together after their hectic schedules and lives and i guess there has to be that extra effort to make it happen.

    @ cindy/snid: must be a challenge to control tv watching time for kids too. if adults like it so much, then it must be even easier for kids to get addicted!

    @ nandish: true. if you fill your life with other things that are more productive, then you rarely feel the necessity for it.

  5. No Wonder – we call TV An IDIOT BOX, Yes we all become IDIOTS UNCONSIOUSLY. Few weeks back there was conversation going on the DD – THo’ we had few programs to watch in a week, that indirectly gave enough and good information to viewers….Fundays. Now since we have many choices we are always in the prowl for searching the right one – but failing to get till we switch off !! Anita, Its good way to live LIFE – WITHOUT TV, But I always have a simple question lurking in one corner of my mind – Is it cos we dont have control over ourselves ?? Even this question will fall in to your last post. Just out of curiosity 🙂

  6. @ vinod: it’s difficult to control, because lack of willpower is one of human being’s biggest problems 🙂

    @ sathish: good for you!

  7. Interesting post. Made me introspect on how I use the idiot box.

    Thanks, you set me thinking…

    The interesting thing about most things in life is to use them in moderation… But I like the point you made about human willpower or the lack of it!

  8. I am actually surprised that people get addicted to it considering the pitiable fare that is available. What is even ,ore enigmatic is the way V switches news channels as if the news is going to be different in another channel!
    I a, proud to own a TV and not watching it more than 10 mins a day _ on the other hand; it seems such a low return on the investment!

  9. sateesh says

    Internet substituted TV for me… hahaha
    Atleast I am getting awarness of new things using internet and I am happy with it…

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