With the recent downward plunge of the economy, we’ve been looking at ways to reduce our spending. Many of our bills are fixed amounts, but one way we decided we could economize was to have our cable television shut off. We’ve got a whole cabinet full of DVDs and videos, and we figured our children would survive. Nice thing is, we’re saving $70.00 a month.
This cutback has produced some surprising results. The children aren’t asking to watch TV as often, and they’re spending more time playing together and being creative with their toys. They aren’t fighting as much, and the shows they do watch are shows we own and have prescreened for content, so they aren’t accidentally seeing things we’d rather they not. We’re not being drenched in commercial advertisements, so their “wants” list has shrunk considerably. They’re handling it very well indeed.
What surprised me the most, however, was my own reaction to the cutback. I’ve never really watched a whole lot of television, but I do have a few favorite shows, and I confess, I’m having withdrawals. I can get some of my favorite sitcoms on DVD through Netflix, but it’s now American Idol season and I’m starting to twitch a little bit. Isn’t it amazing how we can get to the point where we think we need something that really has no bearing on our survival whatsoever? If I never see another season of AI again, I will still be a human and I’ll still breathe oxygen, and yet right now, I couldn’t prove that to you.
I sometimes wonder what our pioneer ancestors would think of us spending so much time staring at a little box. I’m sure they’d think we were out of our minds, and I have to agree. What is this strange power television has over us? I’m hoping to break its hold on me before too much longer. Maybe I need to follow my children’s example and learn to play with my toys instead.
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