I Don’t Need No Sinkin’ TV

Brent Pittman —  01/25/2012

We don’t have cable or own a television. Not a flatscreen and not even a large old box T.V. Our iMac serves as our TV of sorts. Yes, we’re odd since 99% of you own at least one television and 66% of you have 3+.

What?! Then how do you watch _______? Whatever show you placed in the blank, I probably don’t know what’s happening.

For some of you, it may be un-American to not know who got kicked off the latest reality show Well, I don’t know and frankly I don’t care.[Confession: I do watch Parenthood  and cooking shows on Hulu with my wife.]

Shocking Facts about TV (click here for study)

  • Average American watches 4 hours of TV a day.
  • 49% say they watch too much TV
  • Kids will see 200,000 violent acts on TV by the age of 18.

Our Life without Cable and a Traditional TV

  • We save money on cable. I estimate $360 a year if cable is $30 a month (low estimate)
  • We can arrange our furniture more creatively since the TV doesn’t dictate where the couch should be.
  • I can read more books. I plan to read at least 15 this year. See what I read in 2011.
  • I’m able to write more on this blog, guest blog, and do some corporate writing on the side.
  • We consume and spend less money. The less I know about new products and foods, the less I want them. The average person will see 2 million ads in their lifetime! Sure- I’m marketed to online, but I can control it more by blocking ads and other fancy techie ways.
  • I do miss having cable for college football season (War Eagle!), but I’ll catch a few games online on ESPN3 or CBS sports.
  • I am healthier. For every 2 hours of TV watched (on average per day), the risk of heart disease increases 15% and Type 2 Diabetes increases 20% (article)
  • I am wealthier. In the book The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (Affiliate link) it finds that for every hour of TV watched, yearly spending increases $200. Wow!
  • More importantly it helps me focus on my family and faith.
  • It helps me__________. (help me fill in the blank in the comments).
Want to learn more about being TV Turnoff Resources? click here

Action: Reduce your TV consumption, or better yet put it in the closet for 1 month and see if life changes. If I’m wrong, then you can go back to life on the couch. 

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • Ben Montgomery

    Good stuff, Brent!
    Not only is there the influence of all the ads, but there’s also the incredibly distorted perspective on life that the shows themselves soak us in – hour after hour, year after year. After a while it’s almost impossible to realize how deeply we’ve been affected, and we have less and less motivation to resist.
    With TV, less is more. Much less is much more! But, yeah, I do watch some. 🙂

    • Ben,
      So true. The way that TV depicts reality can become our reality. Just try watching the news all day and try to stay positive.

      • Ben Montgomery

        Ha ha! I don’t try that any more! 🙂

  • Hey Brent, those stats are pretty right on. We have two televisions in our house. The thing is, we hardly watch any. Most weekdays we don’t watch any at all and if we do, it’s for less than an hour. I bet that if we got rid of them, we’d hardly miss it.

    I do enjoy movie nights with the kids, though 🙂

    • There is alway $1.00 Redbox movies. I still gotta catch Moneyball.