Tuning Out Television

After eight years, our primary television gave up the ghost the other day. Fortunately, I was able to finish watching Wimbledon, which I look forward to every year, on our secondary television. However, at thirteen years of age, it also has shown signs of quitting. All of which has gotten me thinking about either not replacing them, or at least only replacing one of them and severely limiting the time spent watching it.

My wife and I know firsthand what it is like to live with little or no television in the house, as she grew up in a household largely devoid of the one-eyed monster, and I grew up in a rural setting where we were lucky to get good reception of the three major networks, let alone cable or satellite. And for the first five years of our marriage, the only television we had was a ten-inch black and white set with antennae, which we actually boxed up during our first year of Bible school.

What I’ve been reminded of lately is how little I’ve missed television. In its place, my wife and I finally broke out our vintage Scrabble set to play for the first time in our married lives, and on our nineteenth wedding anniversary no less. We’ve also read more, listened to more music, hosted friends for a pizza and game night, ridden our scooter around town, and enjoyed a host of other fun, albeit low-tech, activities.

One of the books I’ve read pointed out that the average American spends four hours a day watching television. That adds up to more than one day every week, two months every year, and a decade by age seventy, that we spend glued to the tube. I for one think that is too much, and we are contemplating what to do about it. So, stay tuned for details…