A few years ago I was in a period of nearly constant relocation, and during one of those moves I became heartily sick of the whole process and just never got around to setting up my television. I discovered that I really didn’t miss it, so during the next move I simply donated it to Goodwill along with a mountain of other junk. Now I can easily imagine a future in which I never own a TV again.
Don’t get me wrong. I still watch shows, but I do so on my laptop. When I’m bored I’ll go pull something off Hulu or Youtube. I’m not completely commercial free. But I avoid series. I don’t want that kind of commitment.
I have to say it’s been nice not having a heartless screen staring back at me in the bedroom or living room. It’s liberating to watch shows when I want to, and have no cable bills. It’s nice not planning my life around various series or specials or events. It’s delightful to be more discerning as to my sources of news. And I have one less thing to dust. I feel strangely liberated.
When I tell people I don’t have a TV they look at me as if I have two heads. Some random telemarketer called me up to try and sell me a cable TV package, and when I told him I don’t do television, he didn’t believe me. He couldn’t grasp the concept at all. I strongly suspect no one had ever said that to him before. He probably thought I was lying to get him out of my hair. (Which is not something I’m averse to. Whatever works. It’s just that this time it happened to be the truth.)
Television has become such a big part of our lives that we find it hard to imagine living without one, but it really is a relatively recent phenomenon. There was life before it, and there will be life after it. These “things” that we use to clutter up our lives are highly unnecessary.
Having said that, if you try to get between me and my laptop, you’ll pull back a bloody stump.