When we spent a year in Korea, some of you know we coined it our "year without TV." This didn't start out as an intentional decision. Our TV is not so very new, and we were allowed a small weight limit for our move (we were unaccompanied for you military folks). We decided our TV wasn't worth it's weight in entertainment, and we figured we would upgrade to a flat screen while we were closer to the land where all things electronic are born. Patrick got to Korea a few weeks before Adeline and I arrived to find us an apartment, buy a car, and receive our shipment of goods. He didn't have a TV during those weeks, so he downloaded episodes of LOST and an occasional movie. When we arrived, I was busy setting up our home. After a few weeks, we realized we didn't really miss our TV all that much. I started blogging, and that gave me a whole new outlet for any spare time....can I get an amen?!? I caught up on LOST during the weeks that Patrick worked nights. We downloaded movies or episodes of LOST and The Office (to watch when WE wanted to watch them).
I've been asked to post about this experience and write about what our family is currently doing as far as TV usage. I must say, I REALLY thought I would miss TV more than I did. When it wasn't an option to turn it on, I eventually stopped thinking about it. I should mention that we were never huge TV watchers, but I went through seasons where I would turn it on most evenings (when Patrick was studying every night or working crazy long hours during residency). I think in general we watched less TV than the average family, but those hours still add up! I found I was much more efficient without the distraction of the TV. Even when I thought I only turned it on for background noise, it really did take me longer to get things done. In that year, I read more than ever before, started blogging, and made some serious scrapbooking progress. Patrick and I spent more time playing games and talking. I also found that I was less tired.
Now we are home. We have been reunited with our not so very new TV. We decided we didn't want to pay for cable. Patrick bought some special disc thing (um...yeah, he's the techy one here) so we can get several channels through our computer. We almost never watch it. When we do, it is to watch something specific. We don't turn it on just to "see what's on." That being said, Adeline starts out most mornings watching a movie. Donut Man, Cedermont Kids, and the occasional Veggie Tales. She has learned songs and stories about Jesus from these movies. They give me a few minutes to check my email, read blogs, or take a shower. She likes it. I like it. It works. If I may share one more opinion, I think we do our kids a serious disservice by having a screen in front of them in the car (if the journey is less than, say, two hours). It is not healthy to have constant over stimulation, while using little to no imagination. Now, what do you think? How much time do you spend watching TV? How about your kids? Is TV time the same as time on the Wii or playing video games? What about computer time (ouch, now we're getting personal!)? Take my survey on the sidebar. I won't know who says what (in case you are a closet TV addict).