Since I moved out of my parents house six years ago, I have never owned a television. However, up until now, I always lived in a place that had a television. Four years of college dorms and apartments, my roommates always had a television. After college, I moved into a fully furnished house that already had two television sets.
When I moved into my cabin, I decided to forgo buying a television. I’ve been asked several times if I intend to get cable or if I have a television. I don’t intend to get cable nor do I intend to get a television – but I do love watching my favorite films. My laptop suffices for watching my favorite DVDs. I also have Netflix which I employ to watch my favorite shows (X-Files, Farscape, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, etc). For my other favorite shows, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, I just wait for it to come out on DVD/Netflix or watch it at a friend’s house.
My reasons for rejecting television are the following: I believe it encourages laziness, replaces the need for social interaction, and prevents me from getting shit done. I too much enjoyed laying on the couch letting the hours go by as I watched nothing of consequence. Did I enjoy Ancient Aliens? Yes. Do I miss Scott Disick from The Kardashians? Yes. But when I come from work now, I immediately find myself bored.
It’s not a bad thing to be bored. In fact, from this boredom, I am immediately driven to do something. I wash the dishes, make up the bed, do the laundry, go running, read a book. I make more phone calls to friends and family. I feel the need to actually socialize. I have never once though to myself, I wish I had a TV. Except on days when I’m sick, but then usually Netflix and some DVDs are enough.
What I’ve learned and how I’ve benefited from not having a television:
1.) It will make you a snob and you will always be quick to tell people you don’t own a television or have cable. It will make you feel like an elitist. That’s because you are.
2.) You save money. Cost of a decent television: $400. Cost of cable every year: $600. That’s a $1,000 you could be using on something awesome, like lots of new shoes and trips to the bar.
3.) Being sedentary is not healthy. Watching television is sedentary unless you’re doing it while on a treadmill.
4.) More time to do better shit. Hang out with your friends. Make them feel bad for ditching you for the premiere of some lame-ass show. Read a book, become smarter. Learn to play an instrument, impress people. Go for a run, get a hot body.
After awhile, you won’t even notice that you don’t have a television in your house until the asshole you invited over points it out and proceeds to ask how you get by. Uh – how humans have gotten by since the dawn of time: doing more important activities.