I have something to confess. I used to be an absolute TV addict. It didn't matter if there was anything I wanted to watch or not, I'd plop my ass down in front of the idiot box and listen to my brain cells wink out of existence as I watched various reality shows. I at least partially blame this sort of behavior on my upbringing. Watching TV has always just sort of been my default activity. Maybe my being an only child has something to do with it, I don't know, but I was getting increasingly agitated with myself for watching TV.
A while back I proposed that we move our TV from the living room down into the basement. My intention then was to create some sort of "man cave" setup, but shortly after we made the change, our 42" plasma died. Actually now that I think about it, this was a major turning point in my relationship with television. We spent about $1000 on this TV a couple of years ago, and my wife and I discussed buying a new one when this one bit the dust, but I just couldn't bring myself to really justify the expense. We still had a 20" CRT, so that's now being used primarily by the kids to watch PBS, Nickelodeon, Noggin, and Disney.
Over the weekend, I took the final step towards really liberating my family from TV. I called the cable company and cancelled our service. My wife had been asking me to do it for months now actually, and I finally did it. There's no turning back now!
I'm not saying I don't watch any TV anymore, but these days there are lots of options out there on the Internet or DVDs to watch what you want, when you want. My wife and I only have a few shows that we attempt to watch regularly, and they're basically all network shows that we can watch on our laptop on some website like Hulu or the various network TV web sites. And of course, depending on how ethical you are, BitTorrent is still around to help you acquire things through arguably illegal means... We also signed up for Netflix recently, and their new "watch instantly online" feature is pretty cool, especially for kid movies and stuff like that.
The moral of the story here is watch less TV. It'll do you good. Lately I've been reading more books, helping out more around the house, snuggling with my wife and kids, and playing guitar (this is my new "vice", which I'll discuss more in a later post). My kids will have a tough adjustment period probably, but I don't want them to fall into the same rut that I did, and it's too easy for me to let the TV be the babysitter too. This should be good for all of us. Either that or we'll all go crazy. We'll see how this pans out.