No Television

19:30 Thu 10 Aug 2006. Updated: 20:38 27 Jun 2013
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Several months ago, I posted about unplugging the cable feed from my television to see if that would help me watch less of it. It did, to the extent that I stopped watching television entirely. I just didn’t have enough of a desire to do so, and the few minutes of effort required to plug the cable feed back in was enough to put me off.

Soon afterwards I decided that I really didn’t need to pay my cable company $50/month for a service I wasn’t using at all, and I cancelled the service. So I haven’t watched any television at home since April, and almost none elsewhere, either. It’s around in bars and so on, and when it is there it’s hard for me to ignore it, but I don’t have much of a desire to resume the service.

Sporting events have been the hardest. Anything else on that I want to watch I know I’ll probably enjoy more on DVD (e.g. Lost). Sports, on the other hand, makes most sense live. Baseball season has started again, and the NBA Finals were apparently excellent this year (I really thought that Miami would lose that series, showing what little I know). Then there were the two Nadal–Federer Grand Slam finals, both of which I really would have liked to watch. Especially the French Open. And then there’s the World Cup. I didn’t watch a single match. Which I do regret a little, because I’m sure there was a lot of good football there.

I think it’s better that I don’t have cable. (Which means I don’t have any television at all, since my place doesn’t get an aerial signal.) I clearly don’t miss the sports that much—or I would have made the effort to go watch them elsewhere—and in return I get a lot of time I would otherwise waste. When I do watch things, they’re things (usually on DVD) that I want to watch, as opposed to things I’m watching through inertia.

It’s probably not unconnected to the amount of reading I’m doing, either. Between escapist television and escapist reading, I think I prefer the reading.

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