We don’t have a TV in our home. We haven’t for seven years. This might sound crazy to some people. To us, it’s totally normal.
When I lived in Paris, I was inspired by the family that lived next to us. They didn’t have one, and instead of watching TV every night they played board games together and created the most imaginative (and elaborate) projects I had ever seen. They inspired me. They were a family that had fun together. They were engaged with life. It struck me at the time as something I wanted to strive for when I would one day have a family.
You could say that I’m a traditionalist. The world moves at a much faster rate than when I was a child. Ads are everywhere. Screens everywhere. I value a spirited discussion. A quality conversation. There’s something about a TV that makes conversation lapse to a slow crawl. If a TV is in a room, all of a sudden, everyone in the room is unable to do anything other than watch the screen in front of them.
Ads are another reason we don’t have a TV. Be a consumer, they say. Want more! Buy more! I don’t like the indoctrination. I don’t want my kids exposed to that. Specifically, I don’t want them asking me for the newest My Little Pony that sparkles and neighs. Donna Stevens’ photography series “Idiot Box” sums up my feelings best.
A TV takes up a significant portion of a living space. Inevitably, it becomes the focal point in a room, indicating that watching TV is the most important family activity that happens in said room. I don’t like the insinuation.
Sure, there are things I miss. Like watching the Olympics or an important political debate on a big screen instead of a small iPad. But for me, the benefits outweigh the negatives.
I notice with sadness that the art of conversation is becoming lost. Phones are everywhere. Screens everywhere. I want my kids to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation. More importantly, though, I want to raise a close, tight-knit family that does a lot of fun, creative things together. I’m convinced a TV would get in the way of that.