Monday, August 6, 2007

Saved From Television

I don't watch TV anymore. It's a conscious choice now, but it started when my cable bill became too exorbitant to budget about three or four years ago and for the next two years we didn't have television in our house. The reception these days is so weak, an antenna provided nothing more than snow.

After the cable went off, I bought the first of what turned out to be a series of cheap DVD players and invested in movies and children's shows for the kids to watch. A membership in the local video store provided the newer films that we couldn't afford to buy. Besides, once the kids have watched a movie about 25 times or so, they lose interest. Of course, once they have watched it 25 times or so, you have lost brain cells. By the way, you don't get those back.

I noticed how well-behaved and engaged the children were when we visited relatives with cable. They would turn on Disney or Nickolodeon and sit transfixed before the flickering screen. Foolishly, I thought that if I relented and got them real television at home, it would have the same effect. So, in an effort to avail myself of an electronic babysitter, I got satellite TV with not just one Disney channel, but two! East coast and west coast so they could watch everything twice if they wanted to.

I never re-entered the world of television viewing myself. I kept up with all the news I needed on the net and threw myself into blogging - a brave new world. The internet had taken up all the slots in my prime-time.

As I traverse the blogosphere I find I don't actually need a TV to keep up with all the latest shows. There are entire blogs dedicated to sitcoms, reality shows and soap operas (although these are starting to lose popularity).

As for the kids, they tire of television easily now. My grand scheme to pay a monthly fee and secure a few moments of quiet for myself hasn't really panned out. These days, they would much rather play outside, ride scooters, run and scream and get deliciously dirty.

Sometimes, they make me proud.

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