I am amused when I glance through the various magazines a friend recycles to me. Reading about the antics of various “stars” and their tv shows…drama and all. Or if I am in a group of people and they are commenting on the new series they are watching, debates on tv, etc…I offer no opinions whatsoever. I have virtually no idea who they are for the most part. Why? Basically because I don’t own a tv anymore.
When my daughter started 9th grade, My Space was popular and she’d been telling me all summer about her friends who were on My Space and would show me some of their sites. We had several conversations then about the dangers of having those sites at that age (there were so many warnings sent home from the school about it). She assured me she wasn’t doing it and I emphasized that if I ever found out that she had gotten an account, the television would be history.
School started. One day I had a free day at home and was on the computer(she and I shared one at that time). I had to go on the “history” for a website I wanted to check back on and noticed “My Space”. Thinking she’d been looking at a classmate’s site, I clicked on it. My blood pressure shot up. It was her site.
My neighbor at that point came running over and knocked on the door. “What’s wrong?” “Why do you ask that?” “I heard you screaming.” “I didn’t scream.” “Oh yes you did…I was scared something really bad had happened.” I took a deep breath and assured her all was well and thanked her for coming over.
After she left, I got up from my chair and was literally shaking…I knew I had to calm myself down and sat with a cup of tea. Giving my daughter the benefit of a doubt, I asked her that night if she had a My Space account. She was quiet and then a small voice said, “yes. I’m sorry Mommy.” I responded with, “so, what happens now?” “I take my account off.” “and…” “no more tv”.
There are times in a parent’s life that it is excruciating to follow through our warnings. My husband was not pleased at all…but since I was the one who paid the rising price of the cable each month, I didn’t give him the option to complain.
Was this easy? Oh my, no. The first 3 months were absolutely awful with the withdrawal symptoms. Both husband and daughter would vary from cranky to downright nasty/miserable…especially at dinner time. We were used to watching television during dinner…something I personally hated and wanted desperately to have that loving family scenario of eating at the kitchen table, having meaningful conversations and laughter. I could have (and have done) with my daughter alone but never the 3 of us.
Not having television forced all of us to do other activities and it wasn’t until my daughter was a Senior in High School that she remarked one day, “You know what, Mom? I never thought I’d say this, but getting rid of the television was one of the best things you ever did. I was so mad at you for a while but it forced me to do other things with my time. Thank you.”
She has a tv of her own now in her apartment and she says her room mates watch far more than she does…she prefers to read or go outside with her dog. My husband uses the computer and also has a radio plus CDs. I go to my various clients and marvel at the size/number of tvs some of them have. One client has 3 tvs on the living room wall, one in the kitchen, one in his bedroom and there is one in the family room. He wanted one in the bathroom but his wife shot that idea down. Another client has theirs on all the time I’m there…with the various judge shows, news programs and other shows. I come home with a raging headache on those days.
I have had people tell me I can turn on the tv for “background noise”…being hearing impaired, “background noise” is disturbing noise.
I relish my somewhat quiet home…but I realize it’s not for everyone.
til next time…Eva