Saturday, April 28, 2007

Without TV

A Wrung Sponge
is just too interesting. She talks about many of my favourite things, gardens, kids and kids' books.

I will nominate her as a Thinking Blogger.

This week she has been writing about doing the TV Turnoff Week and she wanted to know about other experiences with TV or the lack thereof.

Here is a bit about ours:

There is a tv in our livingroom. In a cabinet.
There is also a dvd player (actually 2 if you count the one that our English relative gave us so that we could watch european dvds that she gives us) and a video player.

We don't have cable and the machinations that we have to go through to get a decent peasant vision signal have proven to be more than we want to do.

Yes, we watch dvds and videos from the library, some that we have purchased and some that we rent.

We also have a game system that attaches to the tv, so I think that should count, it isn't allowed to be played when I am in the house. Except in rare instances of flu outbreak among the children.

It has made a difference in 0ur lives.

Sometimes it is hard socially when someone asks "Did you see....?" and looks at you like you are crazy when you explain that you don't really "get" television.

Our kids aren't as aware of all of the products being marketed at their age groups, they get some of it through the viral nature of having friends who are in the know, but it still cuts down on the demands and pleas for certain things.

Fast food for instance.
Yes, my kids do like having treats like that once in a while - by no means are they begging for Mom's Special Lentil and Beet Patties (okay I don't do a recipe for that) but neither are they pleading with me to stop and have a "fun" meal when we are driving in the car.

Maybe because their isn't a jingle running through their heads for each sign we see, or they are not feeling pulled in by the idea that there is a happy experience waiting for them in a bag of fries.
Or the promise of an exclusive toy item.
Especially since we often find toys like that by the bag full at Goodwill stores.

My older kids don't know that they are supposed to be devastated by pimples or dandruff or body odour.

A long time ago, years even, we did have cable for a while.
That stopped soon after a grocery trip we were all on, we needed to stop in the toiletries aisle and pick up some kids shampoo and my kids started pitching this brand at me.
They had to have it, they needed it!
It was so cool and fun! It was the best!

Since when has shampoo been "fun"?

Then I watched the ads that surrounded one of their favourite shows at the time an there it was, shampoo touted as fun and cool.

After that, we have been, except for one experiment for a month last year, been without cable.

My oldest daughter had told me that the first thing she was going to do when she turned 18, was move out so that she could get cable.

So we got cable and we got heartily sick of repeated shows, ads that increased in intensity and loudness and repetition during a show and the weird focus on what people should look and smell like.

Don't I sound holier than thou though?

I'm not.
There are many times that I am tempted by the lure of Tivo or whatever it is called - but here where I live it would cost $700 bucks to start up and then we would have to pay $40 bucks a month for cable on top of that to get the selection and the reception to make the gadget at all worthwhile.

And you know, I haven't even watched all the dvds that I have bought so maybe I would end up with all these shows backed up on digital recorder and never watch them either - but I would know they were there and that I was adding more to the virtual stack and then I would start to feel like I needed to get to watching them and I would add it to my list of things to do.

Which would defeat the whole purpose of the idea of it as entertainment.

There my disjointed thoughts on tv.
sort of.

What we don't watch are commercials.


abebech said...

We have TiVo without cable, and have discovered that there are all kinds of cool nature shows on at 2am on the few channels we do get. Still, I'm not clear on why we have TiVo without cable in the first place, but that's dh's department.

Little bun heard a commercial on the radio in the car one day, and not being overly familiar with commercials (thank goodness!) exclaimed indignantly, "Momma, I think they're trying to get you to waste your money!" But then on another day, he repeated a radio commercial verbatim, as evidence for something, and the other day was singing a grocery store jingle. So cds in the car it is.

Katherine said...

We have TV, but no cable. A few channels get decent reception, others are hopeless. We did turn off the TV week (as we have done for several years) and the only thing the kids missed was YouTube videos of anime. We declared that video on computer was "same as TV".

cloudscome said...

THanks for the thinking blogger nomination - you are too much! I am sorry I haven't been reading here. But I didn't know you moved last March... Oy!

I used to get Cable until Buster turned about 12 and they told me they couldn't cut out the MTV. I didn't want him watching that junk so I stopped paying for it. It was a great decision!