We Americans love our televisions. Television programming is not just a way to educate and entertain our youngsters, it also serves as a way for us adults to relax. In most homes, televisions are the focal point of the living room, and in recent years, the bigger the television the better as 42 inch (or even 80 inch!) flat screens turn our homes into mini movie theaters.
Could you survive without a television? Can you even imagine?
We have three young children, ages 8, 4 and nearly 3, and I was quite certain we could not survive without a television. However, when ours died a few weeks ago, we didn’t have the money to rush out and replace it. What has followed has been an interesting experiment in life without tv.
What Options Are There Without a Television?
I found that my laptop worked just fine. During our time with no television, my middle child got the stomach flu, and my little one got a bad cold at the same time. They both wanted to just lay around and relax. I thought this would be difficult with no tv, but instead I just set up my laptop for them and they could watch their favorite shows on YouTube and pbskids.com. Not having a tv wasn’t much of an issue.
I, myself, don’t watch many shows, but in the evening, I tend to want to just mindless watch 30 or 60 minutes of television to unwind. I’m not going to lie, I missed it at first, but then I started reading at night and found that reading was even more relaxing and enjoyable than watching television.
What I did miss was watching the weather and nightly news. However, I bookmarked our local station’s online weather report, and I would glance through ABC World News’ major stories in the evening, so that need was taken care of, too.
How Much Money Could You Save Without a Television?
In our case, we immediately saved a few hundred dollars by not going out and buying a new television. (In fairness, though, there are plenty of old televisions listed on Craigslist for less than $100.)
I also called to cut the cable from our combined Internet/cable bill. We are getting the most basic cable package, so I thought we would save $34 a month, which is the price of our cable package. However, dropping the cable meant our two services would no longer be bundled, so we would only save $20 a month after they increased the cost of our Internet. If you have a more expensive cable package and go without television, you would save even more.
Ironically, because I called the cable company to cut the cable since we had no need for it, they offered me a generous package to stay on that would keep our cable service as is and upgrade our Internet. That deal would save us $20 a month for the next 12 months.
Will We Get a Replacement Television?
As luck would have it, my aunt and uncle have several televisions they are not using, so they are going to give us one. We’ll pick it up from them in a few weeks. However, if we hadn’t gotten one for free, I don’t think we would have rushed to replace ours. After a brief period of adjustment, we got along just fine without a television, and we didn’t miss much in our entertainment options.
Could you survive without a television? Would you want to?