Life Without Television
When my family’s only television set went to the repair shop the other day, my parents, my sister, and I thought we would have a terrible week. How could we get through the long evenings is such a quiet house? What would it be like without all the shows to keep us company? We soon realized, though, that living without television for a while was a stroke of good fortune, It became easy for each of us to enjoy some activities alone, to complete some postponed chores, and to spend rewarding time with each other and friends.
First of all, with no television to compete for our time, we found plenty of hours for personal interests.
We all read more that week than we had read during the six months before. We went to the library to get some books. Dad and mom picked out Old Yellow for us while we got Where the Red Fern Grows and Robinson Crusoe. Everyone enjoined them so much that by the end of the week almost all of us had read every book twice. We each enjoyed some hobbies we had ignored for ages. I went outside to work on my tree house with dad. Mom was knitting a scarf and my sister worked on her scrapbooking.
In addition my sister and I both stopped procrastinating with our homework. For the first time in a long time we both had our homework done and ready to go the next day. Second, we did chores that had been hanging over our heads for too long. There were many jobs around the house that had needed attention for some time. My sister had piles of clothing all over the room that she finally took the time to clean up. Mom went and cleaned all the floors around the house Dad and I fixed some doors and my bedroom lock. We also had a chance to do some long-postponed shopping.
We went to Wal-Mart and bought school supplies, shavers, shampoo, clothing and many other small items that we needed around the house. After we got home from shopping each of us also caught up with e-mail and did paperwork that was long overdue. Finally, and probably most important, we spent time with each other. Instead of just being in the same room together while we stared at a screen, we actually talked for many pleasant hours. We laughed long and hard as dad was telling some of his sweet childhood stories. We also talked a lot about school and everyday things.
Moreover, for the first time in years, my family played some games together. For hours on end we played monopoly until everyone had at least won once. Then dad and I went to play some chess, while mom and my sister played some checkers, and because we didn’t have to worry about missing this or that show, we had some family friends over on a couple of evenings and spent an enjoyable time with them. Dad started up the fire pit and set up some lawn chairs, and we all sat around the fire playing musical instruments, roasting marshmallows, and telling jokes.
Everyone seemed to have such a wonderful time on those evenings. Once our television returned, we were not prepared to put it in the attic. But we had a sense of how it can take over our lives if we are not careful. We are now more selective. We turn on the set for our favorite shows, certain sports events, and the news, but we don’t leave it running all evening. As a result, we find we can enjoy television and still have time left over for other activities and interest.