Friday, November 19, 2010

Life without TV

Since 2007 there is no TV set in our house anymore. And we are still alive!

Of course, there were times in our lives when we were almost addicted to TV.
My family didn't own a TV set before '89. On those times there wasn't much to be seen on TV. There was only 1 channel available and on it they were repeating again and again how grateful we should have been for being Romanians, how much we should have loved our country and its leaders, how Romania was the Europe's garner and other stuffs like this.
After revolution we bought a TV and addiction started. We were watching like crazy (especially me and my dad) and sometimes my mom was asking "what are you watching there so interesting that you need no food or water?". The truth was that TV was giving us the feeling of freedom and through it we were able to "think outside the box".

When me and Adrian moved together, of course a TV set had to join fast.
And of course we were fighting often on what to watch. He is crazy about ANY sport EXCEPT the ONLY one I like: figure skating. So he would have watched Eurosport non-stop and when was time for figure skating he would have changed the channel! Funny, isn't it? Don't ask me!
The most ridiculous quarrel we had was when Pope John Paul II was dying and there were transmissions from Vatican, everybody speaking about his beautiful life. OK, not everybody, because there still were some guys... playing football!!! And Adrian wanted to watch them... I prefer to stop here and not to detail further.

I remember when I was in elementary school, our form tutor (dirigintele), the geography teacher, a guy who traveled much for those times, was teaching us how to watch TV: "You should start TV only after checking the TV program and after finding some subjects you are interested in. Don't turn on the TV and wait for them to give you something good." Unfortunately that was good theory, but I wasn't strong enough to apply it. I wasted a lot of time waiting for "something good" on TV. Something which many times didn't come. 

I remember our friend Aniela telling us that she read somewhere about a family which chose to throw up the TV and it proved to be the best decision of their life.
Once again we were not strong enough to follow such a good example...

But in 2007 fate smiled to us and our TV crashed. Tired of so many hours spent in front of the TV and of our what-to-watch quarrels, we were sharp enough to say "no-more-TV-set-in-this-house". And we can confirm that family's testimony: life without TV is better. We cannot imagine now, with our busy life, when we would have had time to also watch TV!? Fur sure there wouldn't be so much time spent with Ilaria, not so many books read in this house, not so many meals cooked, not so many meetings with nature; which would be really sad.. And for sure there will be more money spent. Because on TV they are soooo well-meaning, that they teach you almost everything: what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, what to drive,... for having the happiest life ever. And sooner or later you will find out that even owning everything they've recommended, you are not so happy as the commercials promised you.

Even without TV, we still keep ourselves informed. We have Internet and Radio station and those are sources of information easier to be controlled. I am a little bit melancholic for my lovely Italians which I don't watch so often anymore (I love RaiUno) and that I get my most beloved events on TV - Miss Italia & Eurovision - on a low quality over the Internet, but I still survive. And Adrian takes his TV addiction dose when we visit our parents and he stay glued on TV for hours.

I've read a study about children watching TV for an average of 4 hours / day and following 20.000 advertisements / year! You can check more here.
As we are Ilaria's angels, we will try to keep her away of this. For how long... we will see! :-)

The funniest news I've heard on how TV can take your minds away, was before a Christmas, when a Romanian housewife refused to cook for her family the Romanian traditional recipe "sarmale", because in Dallas TV series Bobby has just died.. :-)
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manu said...

Draga Ralu, de cativa ani si la mine s-a redus drastic timpul petrecut in fata televizorului (in prezent cam 2-3 ore pe saptamana sau nici atat!), desi in trecut nu as fi putut sa-mi imaginez asta! Totusi nu e un motiv de lauda, pentru ca am inlocuit televizorul cu calculatorul+internetul!! Nu e chiar tot aia poate gandesti, dar de multe ori doar "pierd vremea" pe net... Oricum iti impartasesc parerea ca se poate trai fara televizor. :-)

Mihaela said...

Great subject and view point!

Sue said...

You are not alone. We have been television free since 2001, with the exception of 2 years when we lived at my mom's house and she had a TV. The bottom line is that Dan and I have no self control when it comes to television and we didn't want to waste our lives staring at a box.

I am so grateful that my children don't have a television to sit in front of every morning and afternoon. We read and play outside and the kids play together.

They're not completely media deprived as we allow them to watch DVD's on the computer, but we can very easily monitor the time they are "brain rotting", as my husband calls it. I find that kids who watch TV all the time have smart mouths (sassy), are greedy for every little toy they see advertised, and in a lot of ways I think it exposes children to things that they should have no idea about in their innocence. For instance, things like Hannah Montana or High School Musical, shows about teen romance, are very popular with little girls as young as 4. I don't even let my 8 year old daughter watch that stuff because why in the world do I want my young daughter thinking about boys and romance? She'll have plenty of time for that when she's a teenager!

Staying away from the TV also strengthens your marriage because rather than just turning your minds off, you actually talk to each other. Or if you're reading a book side by side it gives you something to talk about later.

People think we're crazy for not having a TV, but it's one of the best decisions we've ever made for our family. Stick with it, you and Adrian are doing great!

Sue said...

I should add a disclaimer: I spend as much time on the internet as some people do watching TV. So I'm not without vice. But I justify it by thinking that I'm at least spending most of my online time communicating with friends and family via blogs and facebook. It's not a COMPLETE waste of time, right? :)

Dan said...

Să ţâpăm teveu' pe geam şi să fugim la Hetiur, apoi peste deal până-n Jac şi să ne aducem aminte de ce copilărie şi adolescenţă faine am avut... chiar şi fără televizor...
Şi să vă fac nişte poze faine :)
Alles Gute!

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