But Really, Where Is Your T.V.?

 
 

"Gorgeous!!!  But where's the T.V.?" was the response a friend of mine had after seeing a photo I had texted to her of our living room.  I had just spent the afternoon re-arranging the space, with the focus of adding in more seating.  Having family and friends over was something that I wanted to prioritize in the New Year, which meant shedding what I no longer needed in order to create space.  The first thing to go?  Our T.V.  

Though it was only a couple years old at the time, it had slowly worn on me...  Our living room is my favorite place to curl up with a book and cup of tea at the beginning and end of each day, and it had driven me crazy that sitting right across from me was this big black box.  Not only did it require a media cabinet, it also took up a good deal of floor space, and presented the interior design challenge of what to do with the wall space above it.  I was ready for it to go.  

Aesthetic reasons aside, I had been mulling over the intrinsic value of owning a T.V.  Did it really add anything to our lives?  Instead of having our meals at our nice dining room table, my husband and I often found ourselves hunched over the coffee table, eating our dinner while watching an hour of Netflix.  It was only after the show was done that we would sit back and really talk about our day.  I have a feeling that we're not alone here...  Did you know that the average American adult watches 33 hours of T.V. every week.  33 hours.  That's 1,716 hours per year that Americans spend in front of the big screen.  If you divided that number by 24 hours you would get 71.5 days spent purely watching T.V.  I knew that this was not what I wanted for our family's life; and that a cautionary change was going to have to be made. 

For most of America we've all grown up watching T.V.  It was simply something that everyone had and, if your anything like our families, your family had at least two.  As kids, we would spend an average of 30 - 60 minutes watching T.V. per day and maybe 60 - 120 minutes on the weekend.  It was okay for us to watch T.V. however it was certainly encouraged for us to play outside.  I feel that my parents' relaxed attitude was beneficial for me, as its helped me to make informed decisions about my own T.V. usage years later.  

It took my husband and I awhile to come to the decision to let go of our T.V.  We started off by observing how much we consumed and considered other ways that we could use our time (talking, reading, working on projects, going on long walks, etc.).  We also thought about ways in which we could still watch some T.V. and movies (our tablet and computer), since we did find pleasure those things.  The next step was removing the T.V. from the living room all together and putting it in another room for several weeks.  It sat there unplugged while we spent time determining if this was something that was worth it.  This was our turning point.  We found that over the following weeks we ate our dining room table more often, had more meaningful conversations, read more, and were more apt to go outside.  Together we felt more present and aware of how we could use our home.

I'm not saying that owning a T.V. is a bad thing... all I'm doing is encouraging our community to evaluate this thing that we often don't think twice about owning, and consider its benefit.  T.V. is not bad in and of itself.  Like anything, it can be abused.  We can use it as an escape, as a way to numb ourselves and avoid living a life.  Consider if your family is doing this, and if so what positive changes could be made.  What would your family look like without this item in it's life?  How would each of you benefit?