Our Life…Unplugged

dish_network_logo_colorI have never liked being alone and I have never enjoyed the sound of silence. For me, if it was quiet then I was more than likely alone and I wasn’t comfortable with that. I would actually have my TV on for back ground noise. I know for some, including my MIL, they can’t stand that. But for me if I was alone and the TV was on, I felt better. It’s hard to explain I guess. The sound of silence always made me nervous, an unsettling feeling.

Before we moved I had our Dish Network shut off for the move. Well our moving got pushed back a month so we went without. After we moved we were so busy and never had time for TV so we just never had it turned on, plus we just didn’t want to spend any extra money for stuff like that. So we have been without TV for some time. All summer in fact. And with this new digital crap we didn’t even get local and buying an antennae just was never on our priority list. At first I must say I missed it, I know my son did and Jason really missed watching the Twins as did I.

I began to realize how much we watch TV and how I have become dependent on it. Not for the News. I very rarely watched that other than the weather, it’s just too sad. But for the “company” it gave me. And in the evening it became a filler for all of us, we’d sit down and stare at this idiot box for hours! It had become a very big part of our life.

After going so long without it….I LOVE it. I honestly didn’t want to get it back until maybe the Fall. It’s been so nice, we’ve been outside as much as we can, we play games together, go for bike rides, we genuinely enjoyed each other and not the TV. I do have the computer and that gives me MY time. But our time as a family together has been exactly that, together, not with a TV. Jason has been outside trimming trees and fixing things and helping Bailey build ramps. Bailey and I built a nifty little “club house” he calls it. I’m honestly contemplating whether we should give TV up every summer.

Nikki with a tool!

Baily's clubhouse

ramp building1

catching some air

We still do not have Dish Network going and won’t until September. Jason bought an antennae and we get a few channels that come in quite clean. The first night I found myself glued to it watching some half hour sitcom I would normally never watch. Bailey was glued to it also watching some show he’d never watch normally either. It’s new to us now and that will fade out I hope.

Through having no TV I have learned to not only love but appreciate the silence. I no longer feel anxious or nervous when it’s completely silent. I have played even more and have enjoyed my son even more. If you don’t think that’s possible, unplug your TV for 3 months and go play!! When you turn off the radio, TV or computer, you turn on your imagination and that my friends is a wonderful thing! You play more and I am a firm believer that you never get too old to play…but rather get old from not playing.

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23 Responses to Our Life…Unplugged

  1. pammy wammy says:

    Thats awesome all your playing,building and fixing up the yard time ๐Ÿ™‚ Its amazing what you can find to do.Summers are great for that.But I do find winters harder.But there are board games you can play.Also making snow angels,building a snowman in winter is fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lucy says:

    My boyfriend and I have had many conversations about no longer getting cable. We both would love to save the money that we spend on it. We also think we both spend too much time watching it…. however, we still haven;t cancelled it. I think we are both not willing to miss out on our shows that we watch. Maybe someday…..

  3. Are you familiar with the children’s books The Bearnstein Bears? There’s a book that’s exactly about this – how when we get away from the TV, we suddenly don’t really miss it and we find so many other things we can enjoy. When I was little I used to watch TV a LOT, but nowadays, the only things I watch are specific shows or movies that I rent. I almost NEVER turn the TV on and just find something to watch.

    Also, I wanted to give you an alternative – I know that sitting at home with no sound on can sometimes be unnerving. How about finding a good easy listening radio station and having that on for simple background noise? Or putting on your favorite CDs and giving Baily a start to a musical education :P. Music doesn’t have to impede on any activities you guys do together and it can definitely be talked over!

    • nikki says:

      You know I do love music, there is one station I really enjoy. It’s good soft music. I won’t ever turn the TV on to FIND something to watch either anymore. There are shows we really enjoy and we will have it turned on before Sept, that’s when all the good shows start. We also have insanely cold winters and the TV does come in handy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. SKL says:

    It has been some years since I stopped turning on the TV as a habit. For years, I watched only on one or two “relaxed” evenings with friends, or late at night when I got home from work too exhausted to go upstairs and get ready for bed. At some point, I just stopped turning on the TV – I use it only for watching DVDs with the girls, and then only a few hours a week. There is just so much to do that feels better than TV! Going to the park, reading, teaching my girls, even cleaning house – I feel so much better afterwards. Watching TV just makes me negative. I can’t just ignore it as “background noise” and I get either sucked in or irritated – “The libs are spewing lies again”; “I would rather not think about Cialis, Summer’s Eve, or Tampax right now”; “I wonder if watching CSI is desensitizing me to evil?”; “Tell me something I don’t already know.” I also hate the way the TV sucks my kids in when they are supposed to be thinking about something else. So I am pretty militant about keeping it off when we’re eating, etc.

  5. Karen Joy says:

    Its so much easier to go without TV in summer I find.We hardley watch it at all.This weekend we actually went out and bought the biggest screen tv Ive ever had(huge)and a sound system(which is a guy thing,I dont get it.lol)I thought,why are we spending money on this when we barely watch it anymore….then yesterday as the weather cooled down it reminded me of whats to come!!!Dreaded winter..The TV will be in use again!LOL!

  6. kweenmama says:

    I have “unplugged” during National Turn off your tv week (April) for the last two years. Not only do I not watch tv, I also stay away from the computer for that week. It is amazing how easy it is to find other ways to occupy my time without electronic gagetry. I would recommend all families try it occasionally. They will find, as you did, that spending time with family is invaluable.

  7. Sue says:

    I too, like having the TV on for background noise, but not always. One thing I hate is when Toby leaves the bedroom, but doesn’t turn the TV off and NEVER goes back in there! Turn the damn thing off!!!!! I like watching the news and feel out of touch with things if I haven’t seen it for a couple of days.

    It’s funny you wrote a post about this because lately (last couple of weeks) I’ve been thinking how much I have loved this summer! Being able to be outside or do other things then worry about what’s on the tube tonight. I have enjoyed not watching TV and don’t care that I missed an episode of this or that. Now, I will admit, in the fall I will watch my shows again and record them if need be, but when it’s dark by 5pm and freezing outside all I want to do is snuggle up with a blanket and veg out!

  8. Sue says:

    This is too funny what I’m about to ask! Mum, did you see the line up for Dancing with the Stars?!!!

  9. Just a Mom says:

    If I had the satelitte removed I would probably be dead within a day! My youngest daughter has to have her Disney Channel, my oldest daughter lives on those reality shows and my husband has to have his racing and golf. Me, I watch maybe 2 shows a week. I have gotten to the point where I could take it or leave it.
    I also like to have the tv on for sound and it drives my husband nuts!

  10. Laura says:

    I “stay home to watch” only one prime-time show a week, and that’s Numb3rs. It’s an addiction (ok, it’s Dylan Bruno). And then there’s “Red Green” and “Vicar of Dibley”, on late-night PBS. Otherwise? The TV is off, unless it’s on kid’s shows (PBS Kids or Qubo) for Josh, which isn’t much, the weather, or a Netflix. And all that, even with my “must watch” stuff, averages out to about 4 hours a week!

    I don’t see myself getting cable/satellite any time soon, partly because it’s so expensive, but also because I have to take so much CRAP with the stuff I want. If the pay TV companies offered an a la carte menu – meaning, “pay $xx per month and choose ten channels” – I would be SO all over it. But until that happens, I’m not paying $60 a month for a couple hundred channels, and only watch 5 or 10 of them.

    I’d much rather read a book, and that includes reading to Josh.

    • nikki says:

      That’s the problem I have too. I was on Dish Network website looking at the packages they have, I’m looking at each channel thinking…I’ve never even heard of this crap. You have to pay for 200 channels just to get the 10 you want! It really is ridiculous! And you have to pay $10 a month extra for 55 channels in HD…I thought every channel was going to be in HD regardless…shows ya how much I know!

  11. Joy says:

    I absolutely can’t stand when the tv is on and nobody is watching anything. I think after all this time, Paul is seeming to get that!! Took long enough. He used to walk in a room, turn on the tv and then go outside or sit on the computer. Or get up in the morning, turn on the tv in the kitchen and then go in the bathroom and take a shower. WHY?? That’s what I don’t get. Just why is it on if you’re not going to watch anything?

    I will admit that I like certain “shows” but if they aren’t on, my tv is off. I like the quiet or if I want to listen to something, I will turn on the radio or put in a CD. But to just have it on to have it on, I just don’t get that. I also don’t mind if it’s on IF someone is watching something.

    I think it’s great when nothing is on yet at the same time, I do miss certain things during the summer. It is nice though to sit outside and not worry if I’m recording this or that or worrying about “what time is it.”

    I’m thanking my lucky stars that tv wasn’t like it is now with cable and dishes when my kids were young. They really played and I think that is so much better than being glued to the boob tube.

    • nikki says:

      I liked to have it on just because…so I didn’t feel alone. I’m not sure why others do or did it. To have it on and leave the room?? IDK about that!

  12. DM says:

    our TV broke when our kids were 3 and 4. Distinctly remember going through withdrawal/ big time. Things were so tight @ that point in our lives, buying postage stamps was an issue..so there was no $ to get it replaced or fixed..fast forward several years…finally got to the point where we could get a new one..which we did, probably more to watch Video’s, etc….I never reacquired the addiction and can’t sit still for very long to watch it. We did get “hooked” 2 years ago on 2 of those weekly shows..(24 and Surface) not this year. good post DM

  13. mssc54 says:

    Funny, isn’t it?… The things we think we just can not do without.

  14. SKL says:

    I often observe that “busy” families (you know, on the “working moms” sites and such) always complain about not having enough family time, yet they use the time they do have watching TV. I don’t think they even realize how that doesn’t make sense. If you didn’t watch TV for hours every day, what could you do instead? How much more could you connect with your kids/husband/friends? Or if it’s really more important to you to catch your shows, at least don’t blame your employer or the US government! Just be happy that you have the choice! If these people had an extra 2 hours a day for “family time,” how much do you wanna bet that they would increase their TV time to fill it up?

  15. JQ says:

    I applaud you and your hubs for going without. I have mentioned turning ours off for a week and my huz is like, “NO WAY!” – he is addicted to his favorite shows.

    When the t.v. is on and no one is watching it- it’s annoys me and I turn it off. I only want it on if someone is watching it.

    I’ll admit- we are all addicted.

    I think it’s 100% FANTASTIC that you are doing without. Nobody needs it, that’s for sure. Nobody.

    Gosh, GOOD FOR YOU NIKKI!

  16. joz1234 says:

    We are possibly going to go without our cable soon. I’m seeing the benefit as my husband has to work less extra shifts, and the boys are the only ones who watch it. We watch so much TV on the internet, that i don’t think we will miss it much.

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