Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cut Back on the Television

For around three years now, our house has been without cable. Instead, we have an antenna that my husband made up in our attic, and that's what we use for our television viewing. I've often thought that since giving up cable I've been less likely to buy stuff we don't need - I'm one of those people who can't help but pay attention when the tv is on, no matter what else is going on. When we're over at friends, it's well know that if they want to share a secret they should just turn the television on and I'm completely zoned out! Though I always secretly thought that watching less television let me be a little more green (less electricity, less buying of stuff), I just finished reading an article showing that it could make me a happier person as well! Check out this article called Unhappy people watch TV.

I don't see us ever living completely without television, but I think our lives have been improved by having a few less channels to choose from. In general, all the shows we really want to watch are available over-the-air (who wants to live in a world without Mantracker?), but we're less likely to sit and flip through the channels randomly until we find a rerun that kills an hour. Statistics Canada has information about how much television Canadians watch here. The average for an adult female in Ontario is 24.7 hours a week or just over 3.5 hours a day. I know that when I'm visiting family with cable, I often spend at least that much time watching television, at the expense of quality conversation. On the other hand, when I'm at my house, I often end up watching less than an hour a day; instead I'm outside going for a walk with my husband, visiting friends, or reading a good book (or blog post). Would you want to go without cable? Without tv at all? How would your life be impacted? Next time you're flipping through the channels, if you don't see something that you really want to watch, try shutting the tv off and going for a walk, or catching up on your email correspondence, or reading up on that new whatever you've been wanting to read about.

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