Monday, April 20, 2009

(May)be Better Off

The wife and I are throwing around the idea of a May without cable. Life seems to be better when you can avoid turning on the television. You find yourself engaged in activities like reading, talking, playing, making, walking, listening, and just using your time in a productive way. Days without television seem longer. Life seems better in general. I think we’d be happier without it.

Convincing ourselves of this move can be done. Staving off a children’s mutiny is another story. But ultimately, they would reap the most benefits from the experiment. They might discover reading and imagination. They might be inclined to get more exercise, take up hobbies and develop skills. Hopefully we’d all discover that we don’t even miss it. All realizing that cable was an addiction, offering little pleasure in exchange for hours of devotion.

On the other hand, we could become freakishly droll or unbearably uptight as a result. Or worse, we could discover that TV has been casually guarding us from discovering the fact that we are not compatible enough to live without it.

As part of a broader strategy, the cable free month will be supplemented with replacement activities. Scheduled walks, reading time, family game nights and earlier bed times will be instituted. And we shall devote ourselves to cultivating a vegetable garden and we will make time to watch movies together (so as to prevent atrophy of the entertainment center and withdraw fueled nervous breakdowns). Maybe some of us will learn to knit or sew. Maybe some of us will become healthier. Maybe we will all bond on a new level and become all around better, happier and smarter people.

But maybe we’ll hate the experience and resolve to watch more TV. Maybe we won’t make it a week before we mutually get to that point. Maybe we’ll bag the idea altogether. Maybe. Maybe not. But if it’s going to happen, it probably should be soon, the month of May being ideal. Because by the time June comes around and the rest of the family is stuck at home together full time, this kind of experiment might get ugly. Maybe I’ll have to rush home in the middle of the day to an episode of violent backlash. Or does that only happen on cable TV?


  1. Good luck, buddy! Awesome goal. I've done some TV fasting in the past, and after the initial shock, I always feel happier when TV is not part of my life. And then when I go back to watching it, it seems scandalous and insane and the addiction begins again.

  2. Last summer my three boys (10, 8 & 5) were in a constant state of "trouble" which was remedied with restriction from TV and video games. They rapidly became quite likeable.

  3. I like it. Of course, this coudn't be done until June in our household after the Premiere League has ended. One must have their priorities.