I enjoy TV. Let me say that up front. I don’t let it rule me. Once I might have given too much time to TV. Interestingly, now that we have a DVR I spend quite a bit less tie watching. Partly because I can spend 25% less time on each show by skipping commercials, but more because I know what I want to watch and record those few shows for viewing after my kids have gone to bed. It isn’t that I don’t want my kids to watch the shows I watch, but because I’d rather spend my evenings with them. I’ve said this to make it clear that I am not trying to convince people to throw their TVs out.
I have had many friends that don’t own a TV. They seem happy. Generally they aren’t against watching TV. If they are over they might watch a show with me. They just don’t own one personally. I talk to them about it and most of them use to own a TV. Some actually still own a TV but have put it away in the attic or something. I am generally pretty straight forward so I usually ask, “why?” I think it is good to have a reason for whatever we do. I thought it would be fun to list reasons why a person wouldn’t have a TV. Some are real reasons I’ve been given, others are things I think might be subtext to the reasons given, and others just seem funny to me. Try and guess.
- My daughter told me “they” were coming so I got rid of the TV.
- The Devil spoke to me through re-runs of M*A*S*H*.
- We never did anything as a family without the TV so I divorced the TV to save my family.
- I did it so you would ask about the show you watched last night and know how much holier I am when you found out I don’t own a TV
- By the way did you tape that show because I’d like to come over and watch it later.
- There is nothing good on TV.
- I have better things to spend my money on.
- God told me to get rid of it.
- I watch all my shows on my computer now.
- The government uses the TV to scan our brains.
- The aliens use the TV to scan our brains.
- The alien controlled government uses the TV to control our brains.
- There is too much garbage on the TV
- My kid saw Barney once and I was afraid to keep the TV after that.
- Why should I pay for a TV when you have that nice big screen?
I think it is bad to let TV own you. I think it is bad to let anything or anyone own you either. We should belong to God alone. If you can’t own a TV without it owning you get rid of it. I think that is what Jesus was getting at when he said, “if your eye offends you pluck it out.” It isn’t that we need to gouge our eye our but we need to get rid of that which controls us and allows sin to take over. If you can’t get online without looking at porn then cut the cord. I don’t expect an alcoholic to go into a liquor store to buy the paper. It doesn’t make sense for a person struggling with porn addiction to spend their time in a place full of porn.
I think it is the same with TV. If it controls you then by all means get rid of it. If you can watch an hour or so a day and spend time with God, your family, and get everything else done then veg out with the tube. Still, if your kid is developing a Barney addiction then you might want to put the TV in the closet till they are out of that phase.