The Eldridge Family

10 Reasons We Got Rid Of the Family TV

December 5, 2018
Brett
Lifestyle, Family, Health, TV
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TV Costs You More Than $$ Dollars

Recently my wife and I were talking about our family, and what we want for our family into the future. We talked about lots of things, but one thing really got us thinking... Does a TV improve our life? Or would our life be better without a TV?

We talked about the pros and cons of having a television, and we actually couldn't think of any good reasons to have one, but there were plenty of reasons not to have a TV. So we made a decision that we once would never had even considered, and a decision that most people probably just couldn't imagine. We got rid of TV's from our life. You can follow our story:

Post 1: Our Life with No TV: Day 1 Approaching
TV Unit with No TV

Here are our top 10 reasons for getting rid of the TV

Wasting Time

This is a really obvious one. Research shows that on average, people spend 238 minutes a day watching TV. This is crazy. Imagine what you could achieve if all of a sudden your day had an extra 238 minutes in it. Some people are going to say that this is relaxing time and it's important, but in reality, it’s not important and it actually isn’t relaxing. It is just easy.

Health

You may think the only health risk from watching television is getting fat from sitting. Wrong. Here are some of the health effects of watching television:

Type 2 Diabetes: This is probably the most obvious because you are just sitting there doing nothing. But you are also at risk of falling for all the unhealthy products being advertised which will also increase your risk. Remember, you wont see ads for carrots and broccoli on the TV.

Depression: Research has shown that watching TV makes us feel isolated and is linked to depression. It is an anti-social activity and it should not be viewed as harmless.

Bad for Baby Making: You might think the link here is that people who watch tv have less sex, but actually, there have been studies that found men who watch more than 20 hours per week of TV had 44% less sperm!!! What the! If you are trying to have a baby, ditch the remote.

Loss of Sleep: Watching TV makes it harder to unwind and cuts into your precious sleep time. Not only should we all stop watching TV before bed time, we have to make sure we don't use our devices before bed and should even consider removing them from our bedrooms.

Effects On Our Children

This is a big one. As a parent, you always want to do the right thing by your kids. All of the research shows that TV does more harm to your kids than good, so it is a no brainer that the TV has to go.

Birth to 2 yrs of Age: Zero Screen Time Recommended by all medical organisations including the Government Department of Health.

Our boys are currently only 16 months and 4 months old. So they both fall under the age group of 0-2 years. There is a lot of evidence stating there are harmful effects on kids under 2 who watch TV. Sighting: "Negative effects on children's language development, reading skills, and short term memory".

So whilst it might be easy to entertain kids with a TV, it is harmful. Going forward, I am willing to put in the extra effort to entertain the kids to ensure their best health.
Effects of TV on Children

Family Relationships

All of my life, I have had a TV in the living room and most of the time I am sharing that room with family. I don't think I have awesome family relationships, and I 100% think those relationships need to improve. They are not going to improve if we aren't interacting! If we are just sitting near each other looking at a plastic and glass box, we really aren't interacting and building better relationships.

One of my recent personal goals is to work on these family relationships, and I think getting rid of the TV was a great step! We can now talk, play games, laugh, share stories and just have personal, meaningful interactions.

Reconnecting with Each Other

My wife and I have a great relationship, nothing to complain about at all (From my side anyway). But that doesn't mean it couldn't improve. Getting rid of the TV, allows us to learn more and more about each other. We have been together for around 12 years, and I thought we knew everything about each other. But given the new additional time we have, I found out a lot more about my wife. It has been a wonderful experience.

Lost Creativity

If you are consuming media, you aren't creating. Creativity isn't just for developing kids, we all need to be creative.

Here is an interesting article on the benefits of being creative. You will notice, in the section on 'How To Boost Creativity', TV doesn't get a mention. Creativity is great for many reasons, but the most important reasons to us are stress reduction and to promote thinking and problem solving.

Avoiding Advertising

Television advertising encourages you to feel bad so you will buy the product to feel good. You may not even think you are being affected by ads, but you are. And don't think the ads are just the block of dedicated ads in the middle of your TV program, they are all the way through your programs too. The advertising companies are finely tuned and spend millions to make sure you are getting their message.

Removing this advertising from our life makes us feel better about ourselves and certainly will stop us being influenced to buy products we don't need.

More Fun Times

TV isn't fun. Well, thats my opinion anyway. Getting rid of the TV increases the fun in our lives as we were forced to find alternative ways to spend out time, and most of the time is spent having fun with our family.

Lots of games: Cards, board games, and just playing with our kids and their toys.

The fun level has increased, and our kids really are benefiting. Looking back at my childhood, I remember playing games with my parents, and I really did wish it happened more often. As kids we all loved it.

It's Not Relaxing

Most people think TV is relaxing, and that's their argument defending TV. But I disagree. I will say that it's easy. You don't have to think, you just get home from work, get into comfy clothes and hit the button on the remote. Easy.

This interesting article: Is TV a good way to rest your brain, says "TV leaves the brain in a sort of limbo state of rest - neurons are still firing but the mind is not actually engaged - taking in a boatload of information but not processing it, so the brain isn't fully relaxed, but it's not being exercised either". They also say "Meditation, light exercise, or even lying quietly are all well-known effective ways to relax the mind - alpha waves become present seconds after we close our eyes and our brain is freed from visual stimulus."

So if you are looking to relax, don't take the easy option that isn't really doing it's job. Go for a walk, meditate, find a real stress relieving alternative.

Saving Money

This actually isn't a reason why we got rid of the TV, but it certainly is a benefit of not having a TV. No more Netflix subscription, no more STAN, no more spending money on buying the biggest and best TV's, and no more electricity costs associated with running the power sucking screens. This all adds up, and will actually save us a lot of money. Bonus!

What To Do Instead of Watch TV

Looking at our list of the top 10 reasons we got rid of the TV's in our life, you probably have an idea of all the activities you could do without a TV. It’s a long list, and a fun list. They just take a little more effort than pushing a button on a remote, but the little extra effort will really benefit your life.

Here Are Some Things We Now Do Instead of Watching TV

Play with the kids and their toys.
Talk to each other.
Swim in our pool more.
Cook more.
Work on hobbies.
Gardening.
Go for a slow relaxing walk.
Listen to music more.
Read more books, and read the kids more books.

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