Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Walking Away from "Screen Time"
When Brandon and I got married we decided that to help cut costs we were going to cut out cable. The decision was really two-fold, however, because we'd also read a lot about the benefits of eliminating/reducing your T.V. time during your early years of marriage.
I'm not going to lie - I was a little nervous. Not that I watched a plethora of T.V. before, but I definitely had a few shows I followed religiously and was convinced I would miss horribly. But I had a bad habit of zoning out in front of the T.V. after work so I figured it was a good idea. Plus, we had a Netflix account so I knew I would still have some outlet! :)
The truth - after 6 months without cable I don't miss it at all.
Brandon and I don't have any shows we follow and we are doing just fine. Our nights and weekends are filled with building relationships, cooking and baking (me), working (Brandon), reading, doing chores and running errands, exercising, crafting (me again), and enjoying music. We do watch around 45 minutes around 9:30/10 p.m. of either a documentary, Ken Burns "The War" (Brandon's favorite), or an old T.V. series we've borrowed from the library (or Sherlock/Downton Abbey if it's on!). Brandon still thinks this is too much so we are working on cutting back further. Occasionally on the weekends we will watch a movie that we get from the library or Netflix.
Along with realizing that I don't really miss T.V., I've also been really confronted by the amount of JUNK I was watching. Not necessarily anything inappropriate (although I think was can all agree on the overwhelming amount of popular shows on right now that are...) but more so time wasters. Now this is where BRandon and I would differ. He tends to lean more in the direction of feeling like almost all time spent watching T.V. is wasteful, whereas I don't think there is any problem watching a limited amount in relaxation. Sometimes I just don't want to read, cook, talk, etc. I just need to veg.
Recently I listened to a discussion on the radio between two men. One man was telling the other how he had just finished "binge watching" a show on Netflix (something like 3 seasons in 4 days). The man he was talking to lamented that it was too bad he "got on board" so late - he'd missed all the good water cooler conversations that'd gone on as the show aired.
Do you see anything wrong here? The first man (who has a wife, 3 young kids, and a full time career) was choosing to spend his free time watching hours upon hours of a show promoting drug use, disrespect, and promiscuity, while the second man was only disappointed that the first had really missed on "bonding" with others over the show.
If pop-culture bonding is now defined as hours of screen time and mindless discussion of fictitious characters, I think I'll stick to the old fashioned way and spend my weekends taking walks with my husband and building friendships by caring about what goes on in my friends real lives.