Life without TV

You're on TV by EdwinekIn February 2006, when Tehmina and I moved to Salisbury, we made another big decision: as well as the big move, we would ditch our television too.

It didn’t take long to get used to life without it. The most common question people seem to ask me is “what do you do instead?”. It’s an easy one to answer, but in many ways, quite sad to have to answer it – do some people honestly have no life beyond TV? The trouble is, I know the answer to that one too…

So what do I do instead of watch TV? How do I keep up with the world?

Firstly, there’s the radio. BBC Radio 4 wakes me up with the Today Show, which covers the latest news and current affairs. I continue to listen to it while I’m getting ready for work, so get the gist of the major issues of the day. If there’s something I want to follow up, I can visit the BBC News website, or WikiNews if I want a different slant. I can hit Technorati to see what the blogosphere is saying about the big stories, if I fancy a citizen journalist perspective. If I’m really feeling like it (and it’s quite rare) I can watch the BBC’s streaming news and weather through the BBC Broadband portal.

So what about the evenings? Well, I’m an avid book collector. I read. I listen to music. I surf the net. I listen to the radio. I listen to podcasts. I watch internet TV channels through the Democracy player. I blog. I go out to the pub or for a walk. I cook. I make music. I podcast. There’s lots to do, and TV was just becoming a distraction!

This evening, for example, Tehm and I were discovering unsigned bands on the Podsafe Music Network, then we watched an enhanced podcast about calligraphy and the Iranian poet Hafez, from the British Museum lecture series (iTunes link). Who needs MTV or the History Channel?!

Have you got rid of your TV too? Do you think you could?


11 Responses to Life without TV

  1. Leif Isaksen 30 September, 2006 at 10:18 am #

    I was without a TV for the past year and it was great. Loads more time for computer games… 😉

  2. Tom 30 September, 2006 at 10:21 am #

    Leif – that’s a ‘was’ as in past tense – do you have one now?

  3. Leonie 2 October, 2006 at 3:49 pm #

    Ian and I have survived perfectly well without a tv in the past for a number of years and didn’t really miss it, although we do currently have one. Ian even managed three years in Germany without a radio! Now that I couldn’t do…

  4. Tom 2 October, 2006 at 7:07 pm #

    Life without TV is one thing – but life without radio..? I couldn’t do it!

  5. Ed Kohler 18 October, 2006 at 6:35 pm #

    I have a TV-less household too, and enjoy it very much. Life is more interesting without the same-old TV shows to watch every night.

    Since you’re a Democracy Player user, you may find this interview with one of the company’s co-founders interesting. In fact, it can be subscribed to through Democracy.

  6. Lisa 12 August, 2007 at 12:28 am #

    We’re in the process of getting rid of ours too & have had two TV free weeks & have loved it!
    Some people think we’re mad, others say they wish they could do it!

  7. Robin 19 September, 2007 at 8:54 pm #

    I just got rid of mine yesterday. I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms but, strangely i’ve got to admit i feel GREAT!

  8. Kyle 3 March, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    I almost never watch television, and the only time I do is when someone has turned it on beforehand and is watching it. Despite the 12 televisions in my household, I rarely watch TV. the only reasons I there are 12, is because A: I kinda collect them, and B: I use them when I host LAN parties. other than that, half are on display, and the other half are used whenever anyone else watches them.

    Now radio, that would be harder to get used to not having. And the Internet? Couldn’t even begin to cope.

  9. Jim Goddard 17 March, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I live without both TV and radio. It’s quite easy when you get used to it. Once you have neither of them in the house, you quickly adjust. I wouldn’t go back to having either of them now even if I was paid to do so. The silence and space to think are too valuable. Guests who come to stay find it strange at first but after a couple of days a lot of them comment on how relaxing they find it.


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