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Our Journey to Simplicity: Part 19 – TV

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We have so many choices for entertainment in our lives. One of those options is TV. When we were first married, we found out that satellite was the best TV option for us. So we had that for most of our marriage. We finally hit a wall in September 2014 where we decided we would suspend it for 6 months and see what happened. If it was worth it to pay the cancellation fee, we would do that and go on with our lives without satellite. It we couldn’t take it, we would resume services.

The reason the TV was making us crazy was because it was expensive. For all the time we spent watching it and what it cost per month, I don’t even want to know what we were paying by the hour! The other reason was because Adelynn wanted every. single. thing. she saw a commercial for and it got really old to hear her beg. It also became kind of a mindless thing where we would leave it on for too long in the evenings after the girls went to bed and we wouldn’t get anything else done. It was too easy.

I still wasn’t sold that we needed to get rid of it at that point though. Dave actually bribed me. He told me that I could take our satellite TV payment each month and spend it shopping! Because he is a smart man. Score! Most of those 6 trial months I got new clothes. Those were making me pretty happy, and sadly, eased the “pain” of not having TV.

When we first suspended satellite, it was hard. Dave had gotten all of our shows streaming from places like Amazon Prime onto our TV so we could control it with a remote. We also had the basic channels that could be recorded like DVR with an over the air recorder. The hard part was just us previously being spoiled with everything we could want at our fingertips. Now we had the super difficult struggle of going around the internet to find what we wanted. Life was rough.

The good definitely outweighed the bad for us though. Now the girls only had 2 basic kid channels to watch instead of the overload of choices on Disney Jr and Nickelodeon all the time. I think it was much easier for Adelynn to pick shows when she had 2 choices instead of an overwhelming amount. Also, the commercials on these channels were basically educational instead of advertising toys or future shows.

Adelynn found much more joy in the toy aisle at Target as a result. Everything was new and exciting and fun to look at. The commercials just pushed the idea that we need more of everything to be happy. It didn’t take long before we got used to the fact that we would sometimes have to wait on our shows to be available and it would take a few more steps to get to our shows on our TV than before. But also, it is FREE. That’s great and all, but the value of being able to teach our kids on our own that things don’t buy happiness is priceless. Now we have one less influence telling them otherwise.

Overall, this was the perfect decision for us. What do you do regarding entertainment at your house? How do you keep it from guiding your kids?


3 responses »

  1. That is a great point. I feel like every time I watch actual TV with advertisements I find MYSELF wanting everything I see! And most of it I don’t even want. Those marketing people are genius. And it sickens me. Good call. We use netflix from a friend, hulu from a family member and free website shows…WHEN we have time…which is not often.

  2. We have never had cable TV or satellite since we’ve been married. Only the basic over air channels, which we rarely watch (as in only for the Olympics and an occasional show to catch an episode of). For us, when we had a network show we wanted to watch, we’d wait until it became available online (How I Met Your Mother). Now when we watch TV, it is via Amazon Prime (for awhile it was Netflix). The kids get their TV from either PBS kids app, Disney Junior App, or Amazon Prime (by me offering a few show choices). We have discovered the library is a great place to “rent” DVDs. We can get kids TV shows and movies there for free.


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