Today's Top 10:
WHY WE DON'T HAVE REGULAR TV, AND LOVE IT
We gave up regular tv around five years ago. It was initially circumstantial, we moved into a camper (a story for another time) and were waiting a while until we found a tv that we really wanted. Well after a couple of weeks, we realized that we really didn't miss it. In fact we thoroughly enjoyed it.
We found ourselves with a lot more time to read and study, and we played games more. But the biggest thing was how much more willing we were to go outside, just to be outside. We didn't have a screen trap holding us hostage in our chairs, or beckoning us to come back because this or that was going to be on at a certain time.
We didn't completely cut out all media entertainment. We had a portable dvd player that the kids used to watch movies on. And we had a laptop that we could use for research, study, banking, email, games, and movies also.
One of our favorite things to do is watch movies or old episodes of our favorite shows, but we, everyone in our family except Grace, have a hard time regulating our screen time. Having constant access to non-stop tv programming is very hard for us to control. And it becomes disruptive to us. But we recognize that in ourselves and so decided that we simply would not receive tv signal. We have a tv, and a dvd player, and a wii, and that's it. No satellite or cable. We can watch anything that comes on dvd.
I am a very visual person, so my mind is easily distracted by movement. If a tv is on, it is very hard for me to completely focus my mind on other things. Not always, but I've had to train myself to tune it out. I also have the problem of just wanting to veg when the tv is on. And when my mind gets interrupted, I get edgy. It's ridiculous for me to get irritated about needing to cook dinner because Wheel of Fortune is on, but that's what will happen. And lastly, even when I'm not even interested in watching, having it on as a background sound very quickly becomes noise pollution to me, I get tense and agitated, though this can vary a lot from day to day. Some days it's no big deal, other's I really can't handle it at all. What is on contributes greatly to my ability or lack thereof to tolerate the noise.
The guys are similar in being visually distracted by tv. If it's on, they can not not watch it. And not only that, but it's as if it sucks them in and they can't break free. Zak will sit there for an hour, literally, and just watch a dvd menu repeat itself. Someone has to actually tell him to turn it off, and until the screen is black, his eyes are glued to it. But on top of that they can not not hear it either. Zak cannot get his schoolwork, chores or bedtime stuff done if someone is watching something. And since our living room, library/school zone, and kitchen all kind of flow one into the other, he can hear it and often see it from just about anywhere.
This became a BIG problem when Grandpa moved in with us. He has only two hobbies. Reading and watching tv. We had hoped that maybe we could keep him happy with dvd's until his room was finished. But no, that did not last long, and he became pretty insistent about wanting to watch the news. And since he is very picky about movies, and the library seemed to be running low on documentaries and biographies about John Wayne and Ronald Regan, we were kind of stuck. So Victor bought an antenna and set it up. We were able to pick up two channels that way.
That was great for Grandpa. He'll sit there all day and watch court shows. But it was a huger than HUGE distraction to the rest of us, especially Zak. Poor guy had a really hard time focusing on his school stuff for those couple of months. So we were relieved to finally be able to set up his tv, in his room, and to have a relative media peace restored throughout the rest of the house. And an important reminder that no all access tv is definitely better for our whole family.
So here are my Top 10 Reasons I love being tv free!
10. No fighting over two shows on at the same time.
9. I read my news instead of watch it, which means I only read what I want.
8. Black outs are much more fun when you are not mad about missing your show. Plus we can still watch by simply popping the disc into the laptop as long as it's charged up :) Ahhhh, movie by candle light.
7. We are way less exposed to disturbing images or previews. And those that might pop up as a preview on a disc, we can skip or fast forward.
6. We all are much more imaginative when we are bored.
5. We can request just about anything from the library. There have been times when we will see a movie at the library sooner than at Redbox.
4. We can wait for a whole season of a show to come out on dvd, and then watch it when ever we want.
3. We have ultimate fast forward or rewind control, and can pause anytime that a little person needs something.
2. NO COMMERCIALS! Then the occasional one we happen to see elsewhere is actually funny since we haven't been bombarded with it 500 times a day.
1. Our family is just happier. All of us. Less stressed. Less agitated. Way more organized and in control. Our screen time revolves around our lives, not the other way around.