Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Living Without Television

One of the luxuries that we gave up when moving out to our homestead was television. Actually, it wasn't something that we had intended to give up. We had discussed doing without TV, but ended up putting in the order to move our service out to our new property anyway. Then we learned that we wouldn't be able to get local channels at our new home. They simply weren't available out here. Shawn wasn't very happy about that and decided that he wasn't going to spend money on a bunch of satellite channels that we didn't watch when the channels we did watch weren't even available. So, we cancelled satellite TV.

We haven't had any television in our home since December 16th. Honestly, I am enjoying it. I was worried about it at first because Sam is very, VERY into TV. Part of his autistic behavior involves him obsessing over certain shows and memorizing them. He could recite the Dora Christmas Carol Adventure to you from start to finish and even include sound effects! So, it's not surprising to know that the most noticable improvement has been in Sam. I've noticed that he's using his imagination a lot more than before. He'll go to the magnetic letters on the fridge and spell out "shows" that we're going to watch. It's funny because he's limited to only the words he knows how to spell. This is one of the TV show lineups that will end up on the fridge:


Then he'll yell at me, "Momma, Momma..at 3:00 we'll watch Horse, at 4:00 we'll watch the Batman computer, and at 5:00 we'll watch the Sam show!!" He gets so excited that you'd think they were real shows he was planning to watch.

So, instead of our normal routine of:
6:00 Local news
6:30 Wheel of Fortune
7:00 NCIS or Biggest Loser, or whatever
8:00 put kids to bed and then Shawn and I would settle in front of the TV with a snack until 10:00 when we got ready for bed

Instead of doing this, we're spending the evenings actually interacting with the kids. Sarah and I wash the dishes by hand while Shawn plays with the boys. There's no longer the constant "noise" in the background. Once the kids are in bed, Shawn and I spend our time catching up on emails, researching future projects, or working on something around the house. It's really very nice and I'm glad we got rid of TV. I think it's really a good thing for our family and our budget.


  1. We have been without TV for around 15 to 20 years, forget exactly when. I struggled with giving it up but Mike finally won out and we have not missed it one bit. No, I don't know what the latest is that is going on but then again I don't even do facebook. As we like to say "TV has no redeeming qualities." Without TV you really find out how much time you had wasted in the past. You can always go to the internet and find out the latest news. Okay, I'm off my soap box now.
    Congratulations for pulling the plug! Enjoy your new found time.

  2. Great post. We have been struggling with giving up satellite as well. It seems it is such a huge waste of money for the very few things that we enjoy watching. I think our family would be much better off without it. I know at times it is very easy to simply procrastinate about doing something else and using a movie or something as an excuse to be lazy. You have given me some much needed encouragement. Thanks and God bless, Kat

  3. Suzanne,

    To be quite honest, I like not being in the loop about the latest happenings. I don't feel like I'm missing out by not knowing about the latest Hollywood scandal. At least it seems to me that that's what a lot of today's news revolves around. It's reassuring to know that your family has been without TV for such a long period and you choose to continue it.

  4. Kat,

    I wish I could say that Shawn and I just decided one day to cancel satellite. However it took extreme circumstances for us to finally pull the plug. In retrospect, I'm grateful for the outcome of those extreme circumstances, but I cannot honestly say that we ever would've cancelled TV if it hadn't been for them. I am enjoying the extra family time we have and am really happy that you found encouragement in my post!

  5. We have not had any "cable" for 10 years. When we first got married we couldn't afford a tv, let alone a monthly cable bill. Now we do have a tv and dvd player to watch movies on. I like knowing that I control what my kids watch.

    For hubs and I, we use an internet site called hulu to watch certain shows we like and thats it. We say we will purchase cable when you pay for only the channels you want! Until then, we don't really miss out on anything.

  6. We haven't had TV since we've been married (that's 12 years in July) We do watch movies from the library and occasionally RedBox. I like it, I don't think we'd even get it if it was free. We have three boys, they tend to entertain themselves.