215 Days ’til 40: Turn OFF Your T.V.!!!

21 Jul


I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent. ~ Steve Jobs

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. ~ Groucho Marx

Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television. ~ Woody Allen

When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships. ~ Andy Warhol

Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

It seems that one of the largest time wasters in society today is the television…. this hasn’t changed much in over 20 years… even when I was growing up children would spend hours each day zoned out in front of the television.  Thankfully, my daughters zone out for far fewer hours than I used to.  My siblings and I would easily spend 3 hours daily in front of the television… and it was even longer when we got our first video game system!  My girls rarely have time during the week for television – if they watch any television at all they may get 30-60 minutes.  This is because between school and after school activities and homework there is rarely time for television during the week.  On a Saturday the girls may watch 3-4 hours (a movie or two) but that is it… so they probably average between 5 and 7 hours a week – when I was a child I was watching between 21 and 25 hours a week!  I am glad I have been able to lessen the television impact on my girls!

I would encourage parents to get their kids off their couches or beds and out into nature, reading a book, or participating in art projects.  Television sucks our time with little productivity to show in return.  In fact, I find that my daughters end up zoned out and not able to think after a day in front of the television – I see how it harms their thinking and functioning.  Yet, I also see how their spirit is lifted when they spend a day doing art projects, reading, and playing outside.  Sometimes it takes more work than placing your child in front of a television set, but it pays off.

Today, 215 days ’til 40, I continue to challenge my family to limit television viewing and expand our possibilities – there is so much more to do with our time!



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39 responses to “215 Days ’til 40: Turn OFF Your T.V.!!!

  1. Laurie Buchanan

    July 21, 2012 at 00:51

    In 32 years of marriage, I’m pleased to share that we’ve NEVER owned a television.

    Our son (who is now 29) was raised without one. At the time he wouldn’t have told you this, but now he tells people it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:59

      Wow, Laurie, that is so amazing! I have had many periods in my life when I did not own a TV, or only had one for movies (not hooked up to cable)….. I never, ever missed it! I think it is wonderful that you have never owned one! Does the computer end up creeping into the space a TV may have inhabited???

      • Laurie Buchanan

        July 22, 2012 at 00:54

        On date night (Thursdays) we sometimes watch a movie that we’ve checked out at the library. Other than that, we’re just not interested. We are voracious readers. I read a couple of books a week, myself. And we always have a “together” book that we’re reading (taking turns readings chapters out loud, back and forth).

        • 400daystil40

          July 22, 2012 at 09:29

          I think that is wonderful. For the most part, our TV time is also just an occasional movie or sitcom that we want to see (usually watched while riding stationary bikes, or knitting, etc…. rarely watched alone with nothing else going on. I love the idea of a together book that you read to each other – what a wonderful thing to do… I think we may have to start that at our house (perhaps as a family, with our girls involved too!!!) 🙂 🙂

  2. Wayne to the Max

    July 21, 2012 at 00:56

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

  3. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    July 21, 2012 at 01:09

    I’m completely with you!

  4. buckwheatsrisk

    July 21, 2012 at 01:10

    preach it sista! 😉

  5. sahbinahvioletflynn

    July 21, 2012 at 06:12

    I recently moved to a new apartment and I heaved the tv (it was 15 years old) along with all the other electronics, save for my cell phone and lapop. Don’t miss any of them.

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:58

      I love this! I didn’t have a TV for years and never missed it! The only reason we have TV and cable now is because as an educator I am expected to keep up with local news events (the tough ones) as they come up in school…..

  6. The World Is My Cuttlefish

    July 21, 2012 at 09:40

    I think mindfulness in choosing what to watch is the key to getting the best out of tv. If one wants to zone, fine, but be aware that this is what is happening and try other things too.

  7. caprimontgomery

    July 21, 2012 at 10:29

    I don’t have cable now, but one of the things I loved about television when I watched it was how much I could learn watching it, and how many places I could go. The Weather Channel fueled my fascination and education of tornadoes, Discovery took me through time and around the world and I had a chance to learn more about ancient Egypt than I had learned through the books I had access to, PBS broadcasting gave me a little bit of everything. I had my first experience with River Dance that way and then finally got a chance (so many years later) to see Lord of the Dance live. TV can be great, it’s how you use it, and how much you use it, that defines the experience.

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:56

      Yes, very true – we get some great things on cable (and some time suckers)….. the problem is that even the great things can take too much time if you let it!

  8. The Quiet Borderline (back in hospital)

    July 21, 2012 at 10:34

    Here here!! I don’t own a TV. BUT I must admit, I have a laptop which is pretty much the same as a TV!

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:56

      Very true, I find my computer can even be worse than TV!!!!

  9. saymber

    July 21, 2012 at 16:09

    400 you spook me out sometimes with your topics lol — we’d have great conversations if we ever met lol. Just yesterday, after everything that happened with the Aurora CO incident, my husband and I were horribly depressed and decided to go out in the 100 plus for a walk into old town. We went into Dorothy’s and the gal who run it, Dorothy, is probably in her 80’s. Just a dear lady. Well I mentioned what happened and she said she hadn’t heard because she hadn’t turned on her tv in a couple of days! I told her, don’t bother right now. Nothing but bad news. We find ourselves much happier when we miss watching the news! Tried to yesterday but when we opened our computers, the NBC News web page had the blaring headlines…unavoidable. I’m always delighted to see kids of all ages when they are out riding bikes, playing sports or just sitting together talking.

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:54

      It is strange how two strangers can share very similar views – yes, I imagine we would enjoy a cup of coffee together!!! What a great example of how turning of our TVs can actually allow us to live life in a happier (albeit, sheltered) manner.

  10. Another Thousand Words

    July 21, 2012 at 17:02

    Totally agree with the Steve Jobs quote…and I was wondering “What ever happened to “Reading is Fun!”. Great post,400!

  11. knitxpressions

    July 21, 2012 at 18:49

    I agree with you that television takes away lots of time that can be spent doing more productive work…especially with so much nonsense that’s being aired these days. But then again, programs such as documentaries can be very educational and useful for learning (and seeing) lots of things around the world =)

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:53

      Yes, true, in balance it can be educational 🙂

  12. appletonavenue

    July 21, 2012 at 19:27

    I watch about 2 hours of television a week, and have never been a huge fan, even as a kid, there was always a book to read. Unfortunately, I have a family, and they love the tv. If it was up to me we wouldn’t own one, let alone, three!

    • 400daystil40

      July 21, 2012 at 21:53

      Yes, I loved the years when I did not own a TV!

  13. ssgt leslie

    July 22, 2012 at 15:00

    great quotes, do we include the internet, in my apt, i have no tv reception, if i want to watch tv, there goes the computer….on…..

    • 400daystil40

      July 22, 2012 at 22:31

      Yes, this is an issue, isn’t it? The computer can be an even greater time waster than a television set! I must admit, this is a HUGE weakness of mine!

      • ssgt leslie

        July 23, 2012 at 04:30

        your not alone with regards to weakness and the computer, we as a society has relied too much on internet and all the various techno to use these in a positive and pro active way…along with minimizing the time spent.

  14. A Table in the Sun

    July 22, 2012 at 15:53

    We have gone years without television (deliberately). My children learned the joy of reading, creativity, and movement. Win! Win! Win! (You have to be just as careful about the computer…It can suck away your time very easily).

    • 400daystil40

      July 22, 2012 at 22:30

      I think that is great, and you are so right about the computer – it is as bad (maybe even worse!) than our televisions!

  15. sued51

    July 22, 2012 at 16:38

    Great quotes!

  16. freewriter777

    July 23, 2012 at 09:02

    Great post. I especially like the Woody Allen quote.

    The average TV show is on about a sixth grade level. So when adults spend four or five hours a day watching TV, many of them are going backwards on the IQ chart!

    It’s a shame that great books that will give you knowledge will only sell a few thousand copies, but 9 million people will watch mindless drunks on Jersey Shore. But this is a TV based society. I know
    people who will spend six hour of their day playing XBOX, and then spend three more hours watching sitcoms or adult cartoons. And they do this almost daily. I wonder if they will look back in 25 years and be happy they spent all that time with the TV instead of going out and living.

    • 400daystil40

      July 23, 2012 at 09:30

      Thank you! Yes, it is so scary that we seem to live in front of electronic devices, instead of interacting with people!

  17. uamamabear

    July 25, 2012 at 02:27

    Great post! My boys do not watch that much TV either – we got rid of cable about a year ago – as one post stated we are mindful with our watching – as a family we might sit down and watch a show together or a movie, but we do not sit down to have noise on. – Thanks!

    • 400daystil40

      July 25, 2012 at 14:32

      You are welcome – it makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

  18. simon7banks

    July 26, 2012 at 16:12

    For some time I didn’t have a TV. I got threatening letters from the TV licensing authority demanding to know why I hadn’t got a TV licence (this is a legal requirement in the UK and the money goes to support public sector broadcasting – an idea I totally support, but then I didn’t have a TV so there was no requirement for me to have a licence!), I sent letters back refusing to answer and asking the man who sent the letters to me why he didn’t have a shotgun licence. My cousin who was a police officer also didn’t have a TV and was taken aback by the threatening tones of the authority’s letters. The assumption was that everybody had a TV, but what I objected to was being asked to justify not having a licence when the only reason they had for thinking I had a TV was that most people did.

    Now I have one, but I view selectively. I would say, though, that TV is an immense good for old people living alone or alone for much of the time, if they can’t get out much. It’s not only entertainment, it keeps them informed. Of course, there is misinformation too on TV – probably more in the US than the UK.

    • 400daystil40

      July 27, 2012 at 23:50

      This made me laugh – I have many friend with similar stories! 🙂


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