For the month of August my family has done away with our TV. We have not turned it on once – except for the DVD my wife and I watched a couple of weekends ago. No shows, no cartoons, no football, and no PGA Championship – okay, so I watched a few holes online:).
Going into this experiment I was a little anxious over how I would spend my time without the TV. You see, I like to think I don’t watch too much, I can even play it off as if I really don’t watch it at all – but come to find out, I watch quite a bit more than I thought.
Our typical schedule (before this month) – cartoons for the kids in the morning, I’d turn on the tube in the afternoon while eating lunch and sometimes it wouldn’t turn off until late afternoon. The evenings would be spent as a family without the TV, but after the kids went to bed, it would be right back to the TV until we went to sleep.
Man that’s a lot.
Even worse, on the weekends the TV would be on almost the whole day. It may not be watched the entire time, but it’d be on.
Needless to say, going a month without the TV meant there would be a lot of time freed up – what would we do with all this time?
Today we are on day 17, and thus far it’s been great!
We’ve really only missed it a couple of times. In the mornings, breakfast is together either out on the back porch or in the kitchen. The kids play puzzles and with toys more. The evenings are pretty much the same as before, we play outside, work on the garden, or head to the park. But after the kids go to bed, my wife and I either work on a puzzle together, sit outside and talk, get little projects done, or spend our time in other pursuits (wink).
The first week of this experiment I noticed my stress level was a little higher – it seems that TV was a stress reliever for me. On top of that, my parents came to visit for a couple of days (I’m proud to say they joined in the experiment with us while they were there). Once we adjusted to life without TV, we’ve used the time to do other things.
Without the TV, we fold and put away the laundry as soon as it’s dry. We’ve decluttered and organized the kitchen and other parts of the house. We play more games with the kids. I’ve read 2 books and am almost finished with the 3rd. We talk and interact more. We dream. Plan. Play. Laugh. Dance.
Our journey is ongoing, how’s yours? Did you join us? You still can.
Share your journey in the comments below.

Photo courtesy Aaron Escobar™

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