In the last few weeks I’ve found myself answering a question that, nine months ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d be answering.

Before my mum has a meltdown over my not telling her that a) I got pregnant, and b) had a child (I didn’t, and I haven’t), I’ll disclose that for nearly a year now, I’ve lived TV-free.

“You what?!” is generally the shocked response I’m met with.

“I don’t watch television,” I reply. And I begin my explanation hoping the person opposite me hasn’t already written me off as some wanker-yuppy who thinks they’re too good for popular culture. (I think ...

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  • Reply November 7, 2012


    Back in the 1990s, I quit television for several years. My life certainly didn’t fall apart – it got better! These days, with TV again, I record what I want to watch, and watch it when I want. Very rarely do I watch something as it goes to air.

    What to do instead of watching the TV? Walk, read, talk, cook, bake, sew, crochet, go to movies, theatre, restaurants.

    Hmmm, which gives a better quality of life?

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    Ha! Easy. I’ve got the Internet turned off at home at the moment. That’s a change in lifestyle.

    I think I’ll keep going though. I’m getting my concentration back.

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    Yes, I agree with Alex – turning off from the internet/facebook etc etc etc would be the hard thing for most people. The tv is really very marginal to our lives now, but what do you do if you have kids? We’ve got a 7yo and she would be quite livid if she couldn’t watch wildlife shows like ‘Deadly 60′ on the ABC (she only really watches the ABC, as I don’t like the commercials on the other channels – last night she wanted to stay up to watch Annabel Crabb doing the swing-state US election special).

    I don’t think that tv is necessarily harmful, if it is restricted to reasonable shows and not too many of them!

    Does that make us one of those wanker-yuppy … er um… sorry….’hipster’ families….? ;-)

  • Reply November 7, 2012

    Hayley Gleeson

    Turning off the internet would literally be turning off my income – my work revolves around being online!

    But I do agree that monitoring how much time we spend with media is important. I think it pays to be aware of how, and how much of what we consume makes us feel.

    It’s so easy to fall into habits and grow comfortable doing what we know. As someone who’s highly resistant to change, I think doing stuff like this is important.

    Keep shaking stuff up and observing how you react. You learn a lot about yourself when you push yourself away from your own comfort zone.

    @Lydia: I LOVE that your daughter wanted to stay up for the election coverage!

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    Enjoyed that article Hayley! I have almost given up on televison myself, mainly due to limited time, but suspect in many ways that both the time and activity have been replaced by another monitor???? But I do still use the TV to watch DVDs.

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    I LOVE TV and am just a TV serial nut… but can’t really be bothered watching just whatever’s on. I will correct one thing in this article though :-P Liz Lemon would never applaud anyone giving up TV, she is the biggest TV lover in the world! I think Liz Lemon contemplating the thought of living without TV would probably put her in a state of shock and panic haha!

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    My grandmother got one of the first TVs in the coutry but didn’t watch so we ended up with it. So my earliest years were with TV. When we moved 9 years ago we left the TV behind and said we would get a new one if we wanted it. We now occasionaly watch DVDson the computer. It is so good to have a living room without a box. When I’m staying with people who have TV, I feel that I’m being screamed at. Rarely do I feel out of the loop though – long live the internet.

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    I turned it off a couple of years ago. Never got the set top box. Much quieter – no ads – no everyday drama to to cluck about – peace.

    Replaced lately by an ereader but up till then with conversation, long walks and books. My husband and I got to know each other again while watching the sun go down. If bored I can always skype the grandkids or play scrabble with a friend on my ipad.


  • Reply November 7, 2012


    I only just realised that I still have the TV on behind me as I am reading this…

  • Reply November 7, 2012


    Ooh, I am seriously tempted by this idea! My parents made the whole household give up TV when my sister and I each did year 12, and thinking back, it was great – after a few weeks to get used to it.

    I just constantly have the TV on, even as I’m writing this. Hmm, something to consider.

  • Reply November 9, 2012


    I inadvertantly gave up TV about a year ago. Can’t remember why initially, but one day realised that I didn’t miss it all-prior to that I watched most evenings and until late. I just decided that most things were missable and even missing the good shows, I thought . . . I’ll get over it. Now do more reading, family interaction and listen to music in the evenings instead. ( I was never a day viewer) Even the kids have forgotten all about it and only want to watch a movie now and then. I have three teenagers. Poor TV just sits there gathering dust and supporting the stereo, which does get hammered! No wish to go back to old ways, life is better now.

  • Reply November 9, 2012


    People interested in this should check out a book by Susan Maushart; The Winter of Our Discconect. She and her family gave up not just TV but all technology.

  • Reply November 9, 2012


    I think you are on to something here….but checkout “Redfern Now” on ABC…

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Robin Storey

    Our TV rarely goes on – Friday nights during footy season (for my partner) and that’s it. I work part-time and most of my spare time is spent writing fiction, which is my passion. If I allowed myself to watch TV I’d never get any writing done. And when I’m not writing I’m reading. I don’t feel as if I’m missing out an anything, even at work when everyone is talking about Big Brother or Masterchef (neither of which I’ve ever seen). It does mean I’m often a bit behind in world affairs as I don’t read a lot of newspapers either, but what the hell! I can’t be an expert on everything!

  • Reply November 12, 2012


    Maybe I can learn from this that I should propose a 30 trial first not just suggest throwing it out all together! What fun reading so many books but most excitedly rearranging the lounge room furniture.

  • Reply November 19, 2012

    Thomas Brookes

    I disconnected the TV from the Antenna over 5 years ago. I can still watch DVD movies.

    Why did I do this?.

    I was watching my favourite TV show two and a half men. It is funny witty, well written and I had been watching it for donkeys years. All of a sudden that night, I realised I was laughing at a show about a sexist pig, who spends the entire show putting down and bullying his brother….

    No wonder we have a dysfunctional society… if that is the most popular show on TV.

    That was it, I got a pair of side cutters and cut the antenna lead.

    My partner and I have got used to doing other things… like talking to each other, reading…… I even now have my own researched opinion about things, instead of repeating the propaganda peddled by media TV.

    I now find TV, when I am at friends houses to be quite annoying how pervasive it is… but isnt that the idea…..

  • Reply January 23, 2013


    [...] Turning Off the TV… For Good [...]

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