Taking a Break From Television

Several years ago a very special family from the church of my first ministry position made the seminal decision to remove every television set from their home. They stored each of their five television sets—one per family member—in the attic for one year.

Two of their three children were in high school at that time. When I learned of this decision, I responded with the typical student minister question: “Your parents have decided to do what?!” I agreed with the kids, the idea sounded absurd. “What are you going to do?” I asked.

The first few days, they tell me, were brutal. Soon thereafter, not a single family member missed any of their television viewing. By the year’s end many in the church could see how this family was much closer than what they had been before in times past. The father equated the upshot to a spiritual revival. The kids later confided that it was a great decision.

I was reminded of this special family the other day when I turned off the television in my study. I made the decision approximately 10 days ago. I cannot say what prompted me to do it. I am still not sure why I am following through on this decision. And, I cannot tell you how long my strike from television will last.

To be exact, this is an ethereal experience. I really like the benefits derived from this decision. Here are a few benefits:

  • I have more disposable time.
  • I read more.
  • I have more disposable time.
  • My concentration has improved.
  • I no longer waste time watching mindless, insipid sitcoms.
  • I have more disposable time.
  • I get more done.
  • I have more disposable time.
  • I am less distressed in the evening.
  • I have more disposable time.
  • Believe it or not, it seems I even sleep better.
  • Did I tell you I have more disposable time?

I have not determined how long this break from the tube will last. I really have not considered when I will return to watching television. It would be much too rash for me to put a drop dead date on this habit. I am sure CBS’s March Madness will beckon me back, maybe not. There is also The Masters in April that will beg my attention. Who knows? I do know, however, that I am enjoying the extra time I have each evening.

Do yourself a favor this week, and take a break from the television. Then, let me know what the experience is like.


3 Responses to “Taking a Break From Television”

  1. 1 fason
    March 5, 2008 at 11:06 am

    gosh, if you only had more disposable time…

  2. March 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Fason, 10,000 thank yous for the reminder. I do have considerable more disposable time without television in my life.

  3. 3 Lisa Gray
    March 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I went through most of my college years without watching television. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never been that big of a TV fan. Eric and I rarely watched TV for the first year of our marriage. It was our friends who pulled us into the TV loop, always talking about what shows they watched. We got “hooked” on a few shows last year, but since the writers’ strike, have mostly eliminated TV again. We do flip to Fox 6 for the occasional weather/traffic update, and while I’m cooking dinner, I might catch a glimpse of Wheel of Fortune, but that’s really about all we watch. I’m still trying to figure out how the average family has time to watch 28 hours of TV each week!

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