A few months ago I subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog. Every day I get a short observation e-mailed to me. If you haven’t heard of Seth Godin, click on the link on his name for the Wiki article. Fairly amazing, self-made dude.
Anyway, today’s pearl of wisdom is about TV. Or the complete lack of it in Seth’s life. Seth doesn’t watch TV since he feels “there are so many other things I’d rather do in that moment.”
I & the mrs. (dating at the time) stopped watching TV several years ago.
Here’s our story: the show “Survivor” just started. Remember the show where strangers stranded on an island had nothing to do but 5-minute game-show contests? Their staged problems and bickering, distilled down to 20 minutes plus commercials. And all for our entertainment. Behold, Reality TV.
So, right after we watched this first Survivor episode, my wife said (and I think I remember her words well) “What the fuck have we become today? What was that? What are we doing with ourselves?”
I took a mental step back, paused and agreed. She was totally right.
Survival, defense mechanism took over. I opened my toolbox, grabbed a pair of diagonal pliers, and cut our TV’s coax cable to the wall. “There. No turning back from that,” I said.
That was 11 years ago. We haven’t owned a TV since.
Sure, when we’re with friends, at a bar or at their house and the TV is on, we have to be careful not to get sucked in. TV is a novelty now. If we’re not careful, we catch ourselves staring, with our mouths hanging open, …drooling. It’s not pretty.
No one asks what we’ve done “instead.” Maybe the answer might be painful to hear. I will say this: Our Own Choice. We’re no prize winners, but we have accomplished much more than if we hadn’t disconnected. After a few weeks, the lifestyle difference was already huge.
I know I won’t convince anyone. It’s something you know only after a decision to quit.
What are some disadvantages of quitting TV? I hear about Oscars night & the Superbowl only in the news. I miss them, consistently. They’re not something I especially wait for, or hear much about until the morning after.
Do we watch any TV? We were once hooked on “24” and “Weeds.” For the show “24,” we watched 4 full days worth (4 seasons) But after that, Jack just couldn’t keep our attention. “Weeds” hasn’t come back after the fifth season, so I guess we’re done there, too.
And now our latest is “The Big Bang Theory.” Love those guys. Thanks to the Internet, we can find and watch these fairly easily. It’s all brain candy, but we’re comfy getting our brain candy in single serving portions.
Anyway, enough of the soapbox.
But I have to question this much… if we never disconnected, would we have left? Would we have become expats? I’m confident that yes, we would have wanted to move.
But I’m not sure the jump would come so easily.
Something to pause and think about.