Let’s talk about televisions. It’s been 7 years since we had cable TV. That’s right, 7 YEARS! Strangely enough, we still had a television in our living room up until 6 months ago, when we finally got rid of it for good. And let me tell you, this was the best decluttering decision we’ve ever made. We’ve gone so long without cable, I don’t even remember what life is like with it, so it was only a matter of time before we ditched our physical television too.
So why did we keep one for so long when nothing was hooked up to it? I think because that’s just what people do: They have TVs. It’s the focal point of the living room, right? I laugh to myself when I think how silly it was all these years to have our living room face a big, black meaningless box. We even UPGRADED our TV several years ago, thinking we’d stream Netflix. (Spoiler Alert: We didn’t).
7 years without cable television has its benefits. For one, we saved around $4000. But this isn’t just about money. It about getting back all the lost moments with one another – and making the most of the time we have together at home. I’ll be the first to admit just how exhausting it can be to work all day, then jump right into a marathon play session when our daughter is home from school. (I’m NOT a saint, we DO definitely have “TV time” when she gets to watch something on the iPad twice a week). But without the option of watching – via the absence of our TV – we dig into other activities more easily.
I spoke with a friend recently who doesn’t have children (unless you count her adorable fur-babies!), and she explained how the television is a nice way to break up a quiet/boring evening. She’s right. It’s entertaining, and by most standards, it’s a relatively inexpensive service. She didn’t struggle with the temptation to use it during the day. (That’s some A+ self-control!). So if you’re the type who isn’t tempted by turning on the tele, the decision to ditch it might seem a little extreme.
Reasons we decided to ditch our television:
If you’re on the fence, there’s SO much to be gained by going without TV. The biggest benefit being your ability to THINK. There’s a reason people say some of their best thinking happens while in the shower – and why there’s a very popular subreddit called ‘showerthoughts’. It’s because while in the shower, we literally have NOTHING but our minds to distract us. The running water is just loud enough to block out the sounds of your house. Now imagine having that precious ‘thinking time’ doubled, tripled, or quadrupled each day! It’s amazing where your mind will go when you just let it breathe.
Another great reason to let go of your television? You’ll rediscover your hobbies or other things you enjoy, but “didn’t have time for”. You might find yourself reading a book or stealing some glances at a magazine. Or the house will seem boring… perhaps too quiet – so you’ll pop outside and reignite your gardening, diy, or woodworking hobbies. Or you’ll realize that corner in your living room is PERFECT to start crafting again. Whatever your hobby is, you’ll find the energy to partake when TV isn’t an option.
Reconnect with family or roommates
There’s a BIG difference in the quality of interactions made with people while watching TV vs time spent doing other activities together. Take a walk together, have some tea, etc. You can even find fun in doing household chores together, just by removing the television (or turning it off).
One thing I hear all the time – and have struggled with myself for many years – is how hard it is to save money. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve saved about $4000 over the years JUST by cutting our cable bill. Yours could be higher depending on what channel packages you subscribe to. Even trying to cut it for a year could save you anywhere from $420 – $1500… in ONE YEAR!
This one always seems like a no brainer to me because I’m such a busy body, but sometimes all we need is a little push (or pull) to start a task. And when there’s a distraction, be it a television, cell phone, video game, etc – it’s way too easy to procrastinate. Distractions are just too much fun! Remove the distraction, and your boredom will sort itself out in the form of productivity.
So what do you think? Are you ready to cut back or ditch your television in favor of some of the fabulous benefits listed above? I’d love to hear why or why not! 😉