Our TV broke. So I canceled the cable. Here’s how it’s been going around here.
Day 1: I caught the kids trying to watch cartoons around the giant black hole in the middle of the screen. They were watching the edges of the show!
Hmmm. Maybe we are too addicted to TV. Maybe no TV will be good for us.
Day 2: I canceled the cable. Why pay for it? It makes me sad because we have two episodes of Game of Thrones yet to watch. Hubs started reading the book tonight.
Day 3: We were out of the house, mostly, so I didn’t notice no TV so much. However, I was out at night and when I got home, the kitchen chores were done. Usually, I get home and the TV is on, hubs is watching, the kids haven’t finished because Dad is distracted and/or they are watching too.
Day 4: Husband was sick, and I know he just wanted to veg in front of the TV. Hard to read when you are doped up on cold medicine and have a headache. He settled for facebooking from his phone and we went to bed early.
Day 5: Saturday. Normally I sleep really late and the kids usually watch a movie or something. Husband usually works on Saturdays- he works hard, 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Today, the kids all played together all morning. Loudly. No sleeping in.
They are playing Minecraft in real life, because they can’t get on the computer. I’ll take it, but I wish they weren’t so darn noisy.
Day 6: Husband’s first day off since the TV got broken. Guess what we went and bought? We got a new Smart TV that comes prewired for Hulu and Amazon Prime. It also picks up digital channels, so we get several stations sans antenna or cable. And, it comes linked to Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo! Although, really, do I need social media to follow me to my TV set?
Ironically, the new TV is bigger than the old one. Still no computer or Kindle Fire for the kids.
Day 7: Memorial Day. We discovered we get a few digital channels- PBS, the local news. There’s nothing on. (Funny, we said that so often when paying out the wazoo for cable, too!) Finally figured out how to get Amazon Prime Instant Videos to work.
The new TV makes shows look weird. It has motion blur and is 120 Hz, which makes it look like live acting, or like soap operas. Watching the latest Star Trek on BluRay on this TV was amazing, but watching the original Star Trek series was just…odd. Also, HD is not kind to Flo on the Progressive commercials. Not kind at all.
Day 8: Kids watched a marathon of Malcolm in the Middle on Amazon while I was running around doing errands. Exactly what I didn’t want. It’s too easy to click to watch next episode when you have the full season available.
Hmmm. I like having the TV available for movies and whatnot, but at the same time it’s a curse. It’s too easy to slip back into our TV centric ways.
I may have shot myself in the foot on this. I ordered Husband The Lord of the Rings, Extended Edition on Blu-Ray as a birthday gift.
Day 9: Replacement Kindle arrived, and kids immediately began fighting over it. Had to lay down the law. New rule: Kindle turns are a privilege. First kid to get their school work done gets one. Child who is the kindest to others gets one. You can earn one by doing chores that aren’t part of the normal line up.
The daughter who had trouble getting her chores done if the TV was on now is having trouble getting her chores done because she’s reading a book.
Day 10: Found some cool YouTubes to show the kids, and as they were all fighting to crowd around my laptop, I realized that our new TV has a hot button just for YouTube. That will be nice.
(FWIW, we watched 10 Horrible Deep Sea Creatures, followed by Science channel videos on Goblin Sharks. We’re making our own shark week.)
Now I need to face the hard issues. TV isn’t bad or good- it’s a tool. Certainly mindless viewing isn’t helpful, but a lot of our family bonding and, yes, shared family culture comes from TV and videos. Sitting around and laughing at stupid Swedish Chef videos on YouTube, in my opinion, actually does bring us just a little closer.
Meanwhile, no one gets to watch anything until their bedrooms are cleaned- and at the rate they are going we might never watch TV or videos again.