Thursday, May 22, 2008

The sound of silence

Ahh. Do you hear it? That's the sound of silence. It's been 6 months since we cancelled our dish/cable subscription.  Six months of quiet, relaxing evenings. Six months without mindless chatter in the background. Six months without commercials telling us we're not good enough, pretty enough, or happy enough. So have we missed it? Um, that would be a no.

Over the last few years, Dave and I have been working not only on reducing our consumption, but also on eliminating or reducing bills (a little money in the old retirement account might be useful one of these days). Last December, after tossing the idea back and forth for several months, we finally had enough of TV. Is there really anything on anyway? Well, is there enough on to justify spending $55-60 a month? We decided, no. Besides, there are so many other viewing  options:
  • We both have laptops with DVD players in them so we can rent or borrow movies when we feel like watching something (you can even rent full seasons of TV shows through Netflix, Blockbuster, or the local library system)
  • If you visit the network websites you can watch most of your weekly shows on-line for free. 
  • iTunes has tons of shows available for download by episode or for the season (you have to pay for them, but at least then you actually own them).
  • iTunes also has lots of podcasts (some just audio, but others video) that include the national nightly news
  • Go to the movies
Or, in those previosly TV-filled hours, we now play games, do puzzles, read books, take walks, play with our three "kids," snuggle, talk to friends and family, meditate, sit on the porch and wave at neighbors...  

What I love most about the change is not that we are saving more than $600 a year, it's that we've created "white space" in our lives - beautiful, peaceful, unmarked, open blocks of time with no pressure, no demands, no worry, no noise, no violence, and no commentary. That sound of silence is a very beautiful thing.


sharli said...

We got rid of our cable over a year ago and haven't missed it once! There are so many other fun things to do rather than sitting on the couch watching TV.

Heather @ SGF said...

Dave and I were talking this morning about what it's like to be around TV now. It seems so loud, obnoxious and completely distracting. I'm so glad we made the change!

Melissa said...

I'm soooo jealous. I've been trying to convince my SO for almost a year now that we should get rid of tv, with no luck - I'll keep nagging though :)

Green Bean said...

I'm jealous too! I try try try to get my husband to cut cable. He has cut back and we've started playing scrabble and such after the kids go to bed. I almost never watch TV but it is distracting to have on and I generally don't like my kids to watch it.

Theresa said...

I love the spaces in between things too. Life just gets too full otherwise. We'll be turning our dish off for the summer again this year, maybe one day we'll do it for good!

Heather @ SGF said...

You know, I thought it would be a problem for us because for Dave, coming home and turning on the TV was how he used to destress in the evenings. I had lived without TV before though so I knew I would love it.

It turns out, Dave loves the quiet just as much as I do and when he wants to watch a show, he just pops his headphones into his computer and watches whatever he likes.

We were at my grandparents house a couple weeks ago, where the tv is ALWAYS on. There was a point at which it was just the two of us in the living room and he turned the sound completely off. We've grown so accostomed to the quiet, we wouldn't have it any other way.