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What Living without a TV Looks Like

what living without a tv looks like
Written by Oana Schneider

If you happen to have a laptop and a good internet connection, there’s really no need to have a TV in your home. However, many people find it really difficult to live without one in their homes, afraid that they will get bored.

The truth is that without a TV you will be more in control of your life, maybe read a book every now and then and scientists say that your house will be much cleaner too. But let’s take a look at what life without a TV looks like:

Weekdays

Do you normally wake up, turn on the TV and then brush your teeth, get dressed and eat breakfast? In case you didn’t know, having your TV running in the background slows you down because unknowingly you get distracted. The average delay caused by your morning news or whatever it is that you watch before going to work is 7 minutes.

How about you ditch that TV and read your news on your laptop? This way, you’ll be in total control of what you’re watching, which is a lot like being your own news editor. If you have the chance, buy an actual newspaper every now and then and read it on your way to work or on your lunch break.

Coming home from work you probably grab some food on your way, unlock the front door and turn on the TV. There 2 huge mistakes right there: first of all, eating takeout food is a terrible idea, especially when it’s dinner time. Also, eating while watching the TV is not a very smart thing to do either: you’ll get distracted and eat much more food than you would otherwise.

Scientists say that you can eat twice the amount of food you would normally do. With your brain focused on the shows, you fail to notice the amount of food you’ve eaten. Not to mention that the taste buds on your tongue send signals to the brain, but some of them are ignored. This means that you probably won’t be able to taste everything correctly, enjoy the food and so on.

Whatever you do, don’t watch TV before going to bed. Take 30 minutes to read a book or do your beauty routine, giving your eyes and brain a chance to an easier transition from a very intense activity to a sleep-inducing one.

Weekends

Whatever you do, please don’t watch TV in your spare time! Remember 50 years ago when people went to the movies once a week and were so happy? Well, it was probably because they didn’t expose their brains to that much visual information.

90% of the information we acquire is through our eyes and TV producers know that, that’s why we have breaking news, picture in picture options, tiny commercials at the bottom of the screen and so on. We are being fed information of all kinds and are rarely in control: even when you watch your favorite show, there will be a commercial popping up that you really had no interest in!

If you gather all these pieces, you’ll see that some brain cells are dying for no reason. Turn off the TV or better yet just ditch it for good, go for a walk, take a friend out for coffee, pack some food and go for a picnic- the possibilities are endless!

What Living without a TV Looks Like

Teach Your Kids to Spend Their Weekends Away from the TV!

Birthdays

Ever noticed that there are some people who turn on the TV on their birthdays? So there you are, with a nicely wrapped gift, wanting to talk to the birthday boy/girl, and they are watching the news or some silly show!

In case we haven’t said this before, the TV inhibits social interaction and makes people focus on other kind of activities. Also, the media makes people think that they are very sociable while keeping them away from other people, which is quite the opposite of sociability.

If your birthday is coming up, take everybody out, go to an amusement park, a concert, a nice movie and dinner or just spend time at home. Not all conversations are great and awkward silence is not as bad as you think. You really don’t want to push people away by offering that kind of entertainment on your birthday.

Holidays

There are some people who just can’t wait for Home Alone to be on TV every Christmas, to watch all the seasonal programs and so on, when the truth is you can watch your favorite movies on your laptop or home cinema system.

As a matter of fact, many people believe that holidays would just pass unnoticed without the whole media focus. Well, we beg to differ! After all, haven’t you watched Home Alone like thousands of times already?

How about you give it a break and try something new: a trip, a family dinner, a pajama party- pretty much anything is better than watching TV.

If you constantly feel exhausted, you may want to throw it away or at least take a break from it. And here’s another interesting fact: if you like listening to music while working, please be aware of the fact that this is putting your body through a lot of stress and it’s not true that it helps you focus better. Just think about the fact that instead of performing one task, your brain performs two now.

Rainy Days

Many of us use rainy days as an excuse to binge watch TV which is not productive nor helpful. Not everybody enjoys the rain as much as we do here at DontPayFull, but how about you give it a try?

If it still doesn’t work, how about cleaning the house, doing some laundry or read a book? This way, you’ll make sure there’s nothing to do around the house when the weather is nice. Know what that means? That you are free to go on a trip or spend time at the park without a single care in the world.

Sunny Days

If you watch TV on a sunny day when everybody else is out and about, shame on you! Is this why you’re paying for cable? So that you can completely ignore the sunny days and focus on TV shows? Come on, you’re better than this!

Have nothing to do? How about you join a non-profit organization or volunteer at the local canteen? For some reason, everybody keeps saying that this is a great idea but never get to do anything for the less fortunate ones. Plus, when was the last time you went for a bike ride? If the weather is nice, why not do it?

What Living without a TV Looks Like

If you ask us, it looks like a very happy and meaningful life! Aren’t you tired of all that random information that targets you through the media? Plus, here are the advantages: you don’t have to pay for the cable, you’ll get to enjoy some quality time with your family, see more of the world, help other people, filter your own news and appreciate your me time a lot more.

The disadvantages? Well…none! If there’s something you want to watch, you have your laptop. The TV makes us less sociable, more anxious and selfish, advertising outrageous behavior as a norm (just ditch the TV with its Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, party Down South and other kinds of cheap productions).

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

21 Comments

  • I agree that, as a nation, we watch far too much television these days. And as a result of this I feel as though some of the relationships between friends and family members are suffering, which is an absolute shame because it shouldn’t be the case. Unfortunately, though, a lot of social occasions include conversations about which TV shows you’ve watched, and if you’re behind with any of them then you just don’t get the chance to catch up, which is a shame. So as a result people will try not to fall behind, and find that their schedules are taken up with TV instead. I am trying to cut back on the amount that I watch, and prefer to spend my evenings doing other things now, such as going out for meals with friends and talking to them. It is much better and I feel as though I get a lot more out of it.

    • You’re so right. It’s sad and a lot of people are suffering. I guess giving up my TV and paying a lot of dollars could help these kids out. Sometimes we need to really think about others.

  • Also take into account that viewers also like to watch what’s on the computer on their TV’s. This is what the people at Revision noticed when subscribers would ask if there was a way to view it on their TV’s. Another thing is the whole myth of the short attention span of online viewers ala youtube. Years ago the Phase II crew (Star Trek: New Voyages) found out this wasn’t the case. They used to break up their episodes by acts when downloaded or by time on Youtube. Then they put a few full eps up. I think one was like an hour and 3 min or something and they got more views. People even commented on the their YT page, their site forums, emailed them saying they liked the whole hour eps better.

  • I agree with many of the points in this article. I started thinking back, and we used to spend all of our holidays at my Grandmother’s house, growing up. There was 1 TV in the house, in the parlor, and we were rarely in there. We mostly socialized in the kitchen or dining room. On the few occasions when I would need a break from all of the people, I would sneak off to the sun room, and read a book. I often feel forced to watch hours of TV just to clean off my DVR, so it can fill up again. I’m glad I’m not one of the people who has to constantly have the television on, but I still watch it way too much, and am planning to cut the cable cord soon.

  • The birthdays one is a big pet peeve of mine. There are some of our extended family that we only see a few times a year, so I really hate to have that precious time wasted. It doesn’t have to just be the television either – the same thing can easily happen with a laptop or various tablets and phones.

    Getting everyone on board with the idea of going low tech for an afternoon can be tricky!

  • These points are completely correct. As a guy who does not watch television a lot (Once a month?), I can survive and other people can as well. I feel bad for the Americans that watch TV all day, I don’t even know why they find it interesting. Having no exercise and social interactions sounds really unattractive to me.

  • These are all excellent points. I currently live in a house where the television is running more often than not. I don’t watch a lot of it, but I find it incredibly distracting anyway. Plus it distracts others when I’m trying to talk to them, or otherwise engage with them. I find I have much more time now that I’ve cut down my active TV watching. Would be nice to have a slightly lower electric bill by turning it off, though!

  • It’s important to remember that you could potentially save upwards of $2,000 or even more by getting rid of television altogether. Far too many people fail to realize how much they spend on television services, but it’s a fairly high amount, even relative to other bills and expenses. Some people can’t live without cable, yet those that can will save tons of money.

  • What an affirmation! We’ve not had a TV for 15 years now. Thankfully. When we visit my daughter’s family, we do not crave for their TV to watch in. I don’t know, maybe, it’s habit that we enjoy the pleasure of being together in the rumpus and dining room. But we do sometimes watch YouTube educational videos and favorite series in some late afternoons after school. Come dinner, internet is fully off. And we watch DVDs of our choice on Friday nights.

    I think, life for is simplified for us this way– without the TV.

  • I used to watch a lot of television whenever I was bored and wanted to kill some time. Looking back, I regret watching as much as I did because that’s time I’ll never get back. The only reason I stopped watching TV is because pretty much every single show is some terrible reality show and they all follow the same formula.

    I’m so glad to be rid of it and spending more time outdoors gardening or taking walks. I encourage everyone to unplug and enjoy your surrounding rather than staring at a box for hours on end.

  • TV has become an addiction all over the world. People simply can’t miss a soap, a comedy show or a football match on the TV. I, myself, feel irritated if the I can’t watch news at least once in a day. I read the newspaper along with coffee, every morning, yet the visuals that they show and a ringside view of the world’s latest have to be seen at all costs.

    TV, however, kills productivity and makes us eat more if we combine eating and watching.

  • I was amazed at how much I DIDN’T miss cable. I have been without it for about a decade now. I have Netflix and Hulu Plus and even those I don’t watch too much. I couldn’t believe how much extra time I had in my day. I wouldn’t just sit and watch mindless tv. I highly recommend going no tv.

  • I’m a person who actually doesn’t watch TV much, I think it provides more peace and more free time on our hands. I do though watch some few things online at certain times, but not all of the time. It’s actually quite good to not spend a lot of time in front of the TV, and what’s even better is not having a TV. Not having a TV might save you a lot of money because if you own internet in the house, it kind of has replaced TV anyways. But it’s not always recommended to watch things on the internet as well, as it might be harmful to you or your kids. It doesn’t hurt to watch a few things online instead of watching TV, I find a lot of informative things online, such as this article made into a video in YouTube (as an example).

  • Living without TV was one of the things I looked forward to when I moved out. Finally escaping the talking box!!! I love it, I will never accept a TV. We have one that only plays movies, but it’s my room mate’s TV and it will never be hooked up to cable or anything. We both like not having the option of filling our heads with noise and garbage.

  • I personally think that we would be better off without TV altogether. I is nothing more than corporate programming that nobody needs. Turning off the TV gives you more time to do relevant things. And if you really want to know something then there is the internet.

  • The TV thing is really amazing to hear about for me. People are like, “I’ll be bored without it!” but then I see them turning it on, zapping a lot, staying on a program they say is dumb and lame, and just sit there looking bored for the next few hours.

    I’m like, really? This is the less boring thing you can find, and you’re scared of being bored without it? That’s so sad.

  • tv is a waste of time, you dont get to learn different stuffs from tv its just a time pass, on the other hand internet is awesome thing that has evolved in past 20 years, you get to learn, chat, know about things going around in the world, play, listen music and so many things on just a click.

  • I was lucky to grow up in a house that yes had a TV but no cable. We only got CBC and CTV and Global came in fuzzy. Due to this the TV was rarely on anyways. After we got cable is was bad me and my sister watched to much of it but stopped over time. When I moved in with my boyfriend we had cable briefly but not for long. We have been without it since 2010. Anything I want to watch we just get online on Netflix or other sources. I think it is a waste of money and will never pay for cable again.

  • Personally I don’t watch TV at all and i don’t have one i read the news on-line or on my phone i use laptop to watch shows or movies i watch 3 shows per everyone of them is 45:00 minutes long

  • In this generation, I will agree that most families spend too much time in front of a TV. If it’s not the cellphones, that’s the next best thing. On the flip side, that’s how some families bond or actually spend time away from work or computers. Personally, me and my daughter watch TV for maybe 2-3 hours out of the day. We listen to music, sing, dance and play the day away. We cook, clean up, paint and draw. she is only 2, but I want her to grow up knowing that there is more fun out there than being glued to the TV or cellphone all day.

  • Over the years, I’ve gotten to the point to just watch local sports teams (NFL football & NBA basketball). On occasions, I’ll watch a movie and maybe a news broadcast. I work online a lot, day and night, so I use my Internet-connected laptop that connects to my TV. There are two other household TVs used by family members, whereas news broadcasts (local, MSNBC & CNN) are the most watched. It’s pretty nerve racking when constantly hearing negative or very bad news everyday that happens not only in the US but worldwide. I had to get away from it because it overwhelms me emotionally when hearing that stuff.

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