Today was the day that our televisions were supposed to make the big switch from analog to digital broadcasting. Actually, some cities are still going forward with the change to “avoid the headache” waiting will cause.
I gotta tell you, I haven’t sweated the digital switch at all. Honestly, I forgot it was coming up! I’ve decided to completely avoid worrying about digital cable dishes or antennae, vouchers and the like.
How might I do this, you ask? Easy peasy. We don’t watch TV. Sure, we have those monsters in our house. But they’re not hooked up to any cable line. Because frankly, once they’re hooked, it’s a lifetime addiction.
That’s not to say my kids are technological imbeciles. My 13-year-old stepdaughter got to catch up on all the seasons of Lost under parental guidance. She loads up her IPod whenever necessary. And she and her friends can catch up on YouTube episodes and fart jokes when the boys are asleep. My 3-year-old son gets to pick out DVDs from the library and is a master at popping in audio books on his CD player. And my 11-month old is an expert breastfeeder as I type away on the computer, like right now.
But I worry that any kid could become a television zombie, so they don’t get that chance. I want children who know what the outdoors look like. Jamie wrote about the wonderfully green book Last Child in the Woods, which pushes parent to actually get those kiddos outside. Our kids are well-versed in environmental issues, but how often do they actually interact with their environment?
With all the indoor media distractions, who wants to do that?!
I know, it sounds harsh. No TV? How will I ever live without 30 Rock? Well, see, I don’t live without TV shows. I simply wait for them to come out on DVD and Netflix ’em.
But this way, we’re ensuring that many a winter day and summer evening are spent enjoying our backyard and the dozens of acres of farmland that surround our country island.
If I want my children to have respect for the earth, shouldn’t they see it once in a while?
Image: Jessie Lee on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Crimson Wife says
We haven’t had live TV for 5 of the last 6 years and I rarely miss it.
Glad to see someone else is doing the same thing! We’ve been commercial free for about 8 months now!! And we love it! Like you we netflix & youtube and I think its so much more efficient. Great way to avoid the commercialism with the kids and for myself too. Funny though my Dad keeps calling me amish & my mom hates babysitting here, even though we have a ton of dvds, she’s just so used to the remote & flipping through channels. I’ve got a teen & a baby and I think the baby will be far better off
Cate Nelson says
I don’t mean to sound like a control freak, but this way, we DO have more control over what our children watch. Our 13yo girl misses TV, but my little guys, luckily, don’t know what they are missing.
Plus, choosing as a family what to watch is more positive for everyone!