Friday, November 28, 2008

Pulling the Plug

This summer I started considering pulling the plug on our television. There are so many reasons that it's something to think about. I decided about a month ago that I was really wanting to make that switch and talked to my husband about it. He agreed to give it a try. What are my reasons for this change?

#1 - It takes time away from things that are more important. This was my first reason for leaning toward getting rid of TV actually. I thought about it, and if we have the TV, we are more likely to use it instead of spending time as a family along with other things. I have been working on not watching any television in my own time and it has been working well for me. In the evening I spend my time reading, being with my husband, or on the computer. I intend on having some time for crafting, but haven't reached that yet. I realize that the computer can have just as negative an impact with the reasons that I will mention, but I am trying to be intentional about my use of this technology.

#2 - I do not like the images it invites into my home. I cannot fully screen what my children, and family for that matter, watch and they often get glimpses of things I would rather they didn't. I am a firm believer that the things that you allow into your mind are there forever. Once an image is there it stays there, even if it is hidden deeply.

22"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matthew 26:22-23

This has always been a verse that sticks in my mind. I want to keep myself and my family full of light (good things).

#3 - I do not like who it invites into my home. There are many scantily dressed, perverse, sailor mouthed people that live on cable TV. I do not want my children to hear those things, see those people, or get those ideas earlier than they have to. I am amazed at what is allowed to come through on the basic channels now! If it isn't something I want my two year old to say or do, I should not have her watch it. She isn't old enough to determine which things are okay and which are not. She copies everything she sees. I also believe that the things we are bombarded with desensitize us and make us more tolerant of inappropriate things.

#4 - I don't want the television to babysit my kids. Now, sometimes it is helpful to pop in Leap Frog's Letter Factory while I take a shower. I know that I need to be clean and the distraction that the screen gives keeps mayhem from bursting out while I make myself squeaky. I also know that I do not have the will power to keep myself from using the option if it is there. If it is available, I will use it in my moments of weakness. You want to get up early after keeping Mom awake all night? All I want to do is sleep- sure kid, watch a little television for an hour.

While I am not ready to give up my good friend DVD and VHS (yes, I do have a couple of those around that she watches), those can be pre-screened. In the future we may have a more remotely located television, but we have no other location in our current house. I think that out of site may be a little helpful too.

I am sure that I sound like an extremist fruit loop to most of you, and that's okay. I haven't been missing the box since I stopped watching it, and I don't think I will. Once I get used to not having the option with the kids I think that will get easier too. And for those of you that are worried for my husband- he isn't one to watch sports at all and he doesn't watch all that much television anyway. He is more of a computer guy, I have always loved that about him.


Katherine Laine said...

I think it's a wonderful idea. I remember when I was much younger, my parents unplugged us for a year. Sure, we'd end up watching at other people's homes, but when we were together, we were together. And I totally agree with what a TV can let into your home.

Go for it!

Vicky said...

As you know, I don't think you're "an extremist fruit loop" (though I did think the phrase was pretty funny)... then again, maybe I'm just one too :)

I'm proud of you!

Laurel said...

We turned off our t.v. 18 years ago, and have NEVER regretted it. It's the best thing we ever did for our FAMILY!

We do still have our dvd's and LOTS of the old VHS (remember, our older kids are in their 20's). And ... we use the Leap Frog Letter Factory. Good choice!

I mentioned to Vicky that maybe the 3 of us could "do lunch" some time. Let me know if it will work out.


Laurel :)