The joyful truth

Today I’m going to tell you something shocking. Are your ready for it? I have no TV. That’s right, I have no television. I don’t think this is any big deal, and it’s a choice I made for myself. I didn’t want to have one. I have a portable DVD player to watch rented movies on, and that’s all I need.

People get upset when I tell them this. They offer me extra televisions they have around the house. They tell me that they don’t know how I am surviving this trauma. Their eyes are full of pity. I think it’s funny. I moved into an apartment building a while back and was getting tons of cable ads, so I called the cable company and asked them to stop sending them, since I don’t have a television. One day I got a heavy-handed knock on my door. It was the cable company. They explained that they were in the neighborhood, and would be happy to install my cable. When I explained that I did not own a television, they told me about the sales down at the local department store. I told them, politely, to go home.

I love my life without the big electronic picture box. I don’t miss the programs, and I don’t feel left out when everyone is chatting about the latest episode of whatever is popular. There are a few shows I’ve started to watch, like Six Feet Under, but those are an occasional treat on DVD. When I watch TV now, it’s special. If I want to watch a baseball game I go out to a bar and watch with the other fans. It’s more fun that way, and I have no big black cube to dust. I don’t see the downside.

Living without a television has freed up a lot of time in my life. I no longer get sucked into marathons of The West Wing or Monk. I don’t watch the nightly news, and I find that very relaxing. I can check into National Public Radio or Newsweek when I want to catch up on the world, but I find my life to be better without the daily briefing on the events. I elect politicians to keep current with that information. It’s so much nicer to let them do their jobs. Presumably they have televisions. I’m glad that I don’t have to.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

80. Turn the TV off for a day, or a week. How was it?

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