Remember that heavy, cumbersome piece of electronics with the giant black screen that used to sit on that long, dust-covered table in our living room? Yeah, we don’t miss it. Not even a little.
I would be lying if I said my husband and I didn’t have an annual exchange that goes something like this:
Husband: It sure would be nice to watch “Fellowship of the Ring” on a big screen again.
Me: Yeah, it would.
Husband: Want to go to Barnes and Noble?
While the decision to finally get rid of our boob tube six years ago felt momentous at the time, it seems so trivial now. I could almost forget we ever had one, because the benefits of it being gone far outweigh the fellowship of any hobbit.
1. We Actually Live in Our Living Room
Instead of sitting shoulder to shoulder on a couch, watching pretend life unfold on a digital screen, my husband and I sit face to face in our living room and make real memories with real people. Sometimes we talk or play a game; sometimes we sip wine and snuggle our pet bunny; sometimes we throw pillows then make up. Whatever we do, our living room—not the television—is the place where the juicy plot unfolds.
2. Hollywood and Television Networks Are Overbearing Houseguests
It is so freeing not to have thousands of screenwriters and newscasters and talk show hosts elbowing their way into my conscience every minute of every day. I don’t need Shonda Rhimes to tell me what to think about life, death, love, abortion, same-sex marriage, or the price of gasoline. Turns out, I’m pretty good at thinking through those issues on my own.
3. No Cable Bill
I repeat, no cable bill. This translates to more money for chocolate, coffee, and sushi.
4. Our Couches Look More Cozy Arranged around a Coffee Table
There is something so inviting about a living room that has couches facing other couches. It’s as if the house wants its guests to go back to a civilized time when people actually talked. To each other.
5. We Spend Thursday Nights with Our Own Friends, Not Meredith Grey’s Friends
This was a game-changer for us. Once we turned our furniture inward instead of outward, we suddenly felt the urge to fill those cushioned seats with people we love. Game nights, book groups, and wine tastings are so much more fulfilling than mock surgeries.
6. ‘If Music Be the Food of Love…’
That big space on the wall where a flat screen used to be? Yeah, we filled it with a piano. Total upgrade.
7. We Relax More
Vegging before a television may be tempting after a particularly rough day in the marketplace, but vegging is also remarkably un-restorative to the mind and body. Our health is better served by exercising, talking about our stresses, dealing with the difficult things in life, and truly resting. Television is a distraction from all of those things which would help us the most.
8. We Get More Work Done
I’m a writer, and my husband is a pastor. Both jobs require a lot of self-motivation and self-discipline to meet word counts and deadlines. The absence of a television ups our odds of doing just that.
9. I’m Actively Recovering
I’m a story addict. Serial shows are my nemesis, because they rarely ever resolve in a way that is satisfying. This means I (and every other television viewer) must keep watching and watching and watching a program to get an emotional payoff. This is death to my literary spirit. The best solution? Getting rid of the television and picking up a book, instead.
10. We Can Still Watch Epic Movies
…and nature documentaries and Christmas musicals and whatever else we want in a pinch. Laptops are handy that way. The screens may not be as big, but, to be honest, we don’t really care so much anymore. The quality of the resolution of our real life is much more important.