Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Roald Dahl's Television Poem

Carole Joy Seid read this poem at the seminar last Saturday. My home did not have TV from when I was about 4 years old until about 6th grade. My parents also forbid me to watch Dukes of Hazard when I went over to my friend's house. Sometimes I still feel out of it when I talk to people and I didn't watch TV during those years. Ram's family had a TV, but during much of Ram's childhood, his mom kept it in the closet for use during special news times etc.

When we moved here 7 years ago, the Dish Network guy came to our house to install it. He was surprised that we owned ONE "small" TV. He said he usually installed 3 TVs as an average in one home and usually one of those was very large. We have friends that had a similar story about a surprised cable installer and they owned 2 TVs.

After a couple years of Dish Network, we got tired of paying the high price, so we disconnected it. Soon they called and wanted to know which satellite or cable we had transferred to. They were expecting to give us a deal and hoping that we transfer back. I will never forget the lady that called and her questions, she just couldn't fathom that we would completely give up TV. We were able to get one station out of Sioux Falls not too bad if the weather was good. If the weather was good we still watched the news. This was before TV went digital.

A few years after that the phone company installed fiber optics in our town. For $10/month we could get about 12 TV stations. We decided that was worth it to us for just $10/month. About a year after we started TV through the phone company, they raised the price to $12/month. We knew they would just keep raising prices. In February 2009, we disconnected TV through the phone company. We had "cheap" TV compared to cable and we are still saving a ton of money each year we don't have TV.

I'll admit there have been a few times that I really wished we had TV-during the Olympics, for the Super Bowl, and when Butler was doing so well in basketball. Ram teased me that I was a TV addict during those times. We still watched the Super Bowl commercials on the internet. I survived without watching TV the other times. Plus there were still many good TV shows in the 80s and TV today just doesn't compare so I feel like I miss even less.

We could watch a lot more TV on the internet for free and/or get a Netflix subscription. But we haven't. I am so busy that now that we've been without TV for a little more than a year, I can't imagine when I would find time to sit down and watch TV on the internet or Netflix. I don't read as much news as Ram does on the internet, but I still know more news now than I did when we had TV-just from the small amount of news and blogs that I read daily.

We haven't given away our VCR or our DVD player and we own quite a few movies. Many days the Lambs watch a movie during rest time. Ram and I occasionally sit down and watch a movie together. But we have many unopened movies that we have never got around to watching.

The only "problem" with no TV has been when our Lambs are offered stickers at the doctor they usually don't know who the characters on the stickers are. Since they rarely watched TV before we gave it up, that wouldn't be solved by getting TV. I've been surprised the characters that they did know from reading books too!

I just wanted to share that our family is basically a second generation no TV family. No TV is not right for every family. But it has worked well for our family. I can't see in the future that we will get TV again. As the end of the poem says, Thank you mom and dad for no TV for most of my childhood. Thank you for baking with me and playing board and card games with me and for encouraging me to play outside and for reading with me. I expect that our Lambs will grow up to say thank you for no TV too.

No comments: