Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is Not a Test


The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.
~Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun

Do you remember that we suspended our TV service last June in Taking a Break from the Regular Scheduled Programming? Since then I wrote about how the TV service was scheduled to come back on in December but that we might turn it on earlier. We did not do that after all. We did allow it to come back on at the end of the six month period as that is the longest time period we could have it suspended but during that six months our finances had changed with our double tithe commitment.

It was not a test, but we found that we did not miss the TV much at all. I admit that I did watch a few of the latest episodes of two or three shows online through my computer, when the season for them started but, to be honest, I nearly fell asleep during some of them. Since it has been back on I noticed that the TV commercials are even more bothersome to me than before we had the break—I am not sure I can get to the point that I will just ignore them again or that I should. I realized having the service back that I too often left the room while my daughter was still watching not knowing which commercials came on during my absence that I would rather she not see.

There are educational shows and documentaries that we may miss, but there again I can find so much online (and a friend suggested an alternative that may work better for us). Basically, it just all comes down to the bottom line: I just cannot justify paying a $60 a month bill for TV service when we so rarely watch it and it has so much more on it that I rather not have in my home. So, yesterday after receiving the bill, I called our TV service company and explained that I had no complaints and I was not going to a competitor, I just do not want TV in my home any longer. I was offered a greater discount on our monthly bill and even two months free. I wavered for a moment, because I have a very difficult time passing up a good bargain, but I said I appreciate them trying so hard to keep me as a customer, however I could not justify keeping the service when we are so disgusted by what we see on TV that we do not watch more than a couple of hours a week.

As for the alternative I mentioned before, we have been considering NetFlix. I was particularly interested in it when I found out that we can stream it through to our TV using a Wii console. We were offered a Wii by my husband's mother saying she had gotten for her husband and now had no use for it. We all liked playing it, but were not sure if she really would not use it. If the offer still stands, we might bring it home with us next time we go there. Anyway, it seems that Netflix is far more affordable and would work well with our lifestyle, but we are in no hurry to get it. We have several movies and TV series on DVD—the Princess likes the Waltons and so she got the some more seasons of it for Christmas.

~ Thank you, my Lord, for us being in agreement about having no TV service and help us live our lives well instead of watching others live theirs. ~

2 comments:

  1. We actually went through this over three years ago. My husband was saved while I was pregnant with our first child, he had been what he calls a "false convert" for years, but was also struggling with an addiction to pornography and alcohol. We had satellite, and my husband was really struggling with all the temptation there. He wanted so much to turn from his lusts, that he couldn't watch many commercials. So, we decided that this would be the perfect time to get rid of our service. I was tempted for a while at first with continued good deals being offered to us, but by grace kept firm. I wouldn't say that Christians can't have cable in their homes, but I do think it's something we should all seriously consider as far as the effects it has on us and our families.
    There were some great side effects, too. My daughter just turned three, and isn't obsessed with certain kids shows or has to have the latest and greatest advertised things. She only asked for one thing for her birthday, and didn't request anything in particular at Christmas. We also are in control of what she watches, when she watches it, and how much she watches. We have videos, but she often asks for them to be on, only to get involved elsewhere after the first few minutes. My husband and I read, talk, and just interact with eachother and our daughter a lot more, too.
    We did netflix for a few months, but for me anyway, I felt like I had to watch the movie and get it back to them quickly to get the next one and get the most out of out membership (I'm cheap like that). It actually became burdensome for us, but I know others who use it and like it.
    May God continue to grow you in His grace and knowledge, and may He continue to use and bless your family for His glory! Love in Christ!

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  2. Thank you, Sarah, for the encouragement and for sharing with such transparency. It sounds like you have a good husband and father. One of the things that my husband reminds other men is that those young women they look at could one day be their daughter with men looking at her. It has changed the perspective for several of them.

    My daughter still does not know about Saturday morning cartoons, nor have we watched the typical networks for children like Disney, so we did not have that "I have to have" this or that due to the commercials. She does not know what is "cool" beyond her own ideas of what she just likes, although now that she is playing with other children in the neighborhood, she is getting a small dose of peer pressure. Fortunately, my daughter has strong opinions not easily swayed at this time.

    I hope it continues to go well with you and your family and that you will continue to comment on my blog. I like comments!

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.