The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Ditch your TV!

Smash your tvI've been chatting over email with a reader who shares many of my same dreams and tribulations about the journey toward simplicity.  She asked me if I could give her any advice, and the first thing I said was to throw out the television.

I know that advocating ditching the TV sounds a bit Amish.  The Amish have been on my mind lately, partly because I'm fascinated with them and partly because Joey recently pointed me to two fascinating articles, one about Amish technology and one about Amish cell phone use.  The articles note that Amish don't reject new tchnology out of hand.  They give it a spin, let a few folks try it out to see how it impacts their family and community life, then ditch new technology which adversely impacts them.

Mark and I weren't really able to take that approach with television since we'd both had the tube since childhood.  Instead, we tried the reverse --- ditching the TV when we moved to the farm and monitoring the results....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How do you watch Netflix without a TV? Or do you just not have cable? Or do you not have an antenna?

We were thinking we'd just have basic TV (no cable) along with Netflix and maybe a digital recorder so we can fast forward thru the commercials. I HATE being told to buy crap!

But maybe just to help "break us in" we'd go without TV period for the first couple of months. Like you, we plan on waiting until we move to really throw out the TV. I don't watch much at all, but my wife is an addict. And she likes the worst kinds of shows > "Reality" TV and the new 90210. To be fair tho, I'm addicted to Lost and Heroes.


Comment by Everett Fri May 22 11:04:49 2009

We were very lucky to have the TV decision made for us. We live down in a dip between a lot of hills where there is absolutely no broadcast TV reception of any kind (or radio for that matter.) Now we could have cable TV, but at the time we didn't even have a phone line and cable wasn't an option. I guess we could have gone for the dish, but that sounded expensive. It's much easier to break the TV addiction when there's no other option!

We watch netflix on our computer. Mark has a flatscreen monitor which is about the size of a medium TV screen.

Good luck making the switch! Be prepared for a cranky wife for a while. :-)

Comment by anna Fri May 22 14:02:34 2009
Oh, I should add that Mark really likes Heroes too. He watches it through Netflix's on demand service --- I think the shows come out within days of them being shown on TV, and there are no commercials.
Comment by anna Fri May 22 14:03:52 2009

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