[B]elieve it or not, when I was 25 years old, I did something crazy. It was amazing and down right un-American. I went television free for a solid year!
[blockquote author=”FullCustodyDad”]I know, hard to fathom. I honestly and completely didn’t watch one stinking HOUR of television for a solid year. No news, no sports, no soaps, no commercials, no anything for 365 days.[/blockquote]
Television Free Experiment
It was a fascinating and geeky experiment. During that time, I excelled in my business, spent more time studying the Bible, and greatly decreased my desire for consumer products. Who knew a minimalist attitude could be accomplished with only one simple act?
It would be a lesson I would repeat over and over again several times in my life.
Our Television Addiction
A Nelson report shows that average American adults wastes, I mean watch, 35 hours a week. And you cannot blame the kids on this one. The numbers ARE much greater for adults. Those over 65, spend an average of 48 hours a week in front of the boob tube. In addition to television viewing, the recent 2014 numbers estimated there are 116 million televisions in our homes with 96.1% of them are connected to regular broadcasting source. That means there are only 3.9% geeky yo-yo like me, who have or had a television free house.
Over their lives, my kids have only known one TV and it was in the living room mostly off. Our single television had no cable, no dish, no DVR, no game box, nothing connected to it other than a VCR and maybe some old rabbit ears. However, when my oldest daughter was 10, I repeated the experiment again. From 2009 to 2013 our family went television free for five years.
My Five Year Television Free Study
What was the most dramatic result? All the kids improved one complete grade level in school, my kids started becoming smarter, reading books and playing board games. Not to mention the desire for the latest gizmo, clothing style, and toys went way down.
So with such metamorphic success, I decided last year to re-introduce “the sin” box back into our lives. I bought a flat screen during my annual Black Friday shopping, and added an Amazon Prime subscription to boot.
I Love Everybody Loves Raymond
This past year, I caught up on hours of wasted shows. I indulged in seasons of shows I never knew existed. This enlightenment has added pounds to my waistline, a sedentary lifestyle of snoring and decreased in personal IQ points. But all is not “Lost,” (a great show I’m now addicted too), I also understand why “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
No seriously, I totally dig this show! I love Robert Barone, he’s my favorite character and underdog! There is so much education fortitude to glen from such high quality programming.
So breakout the TVs. Re-connect that cable. Open a Netflix account. Because the deal is… Everybody Loves Television!