In 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?