Could I Go Without TV For A Month?

April 3, 2012

no more tv

Not only am I a workaholic but I also am die-hard frugal.  As I wrap up my graduate degree and launch a new business (which the site isn’t done yet but you can check it out here!) for my social media consulting services I am typically strapped for time, cash and at times, energy.

Admittedly, I watch way too much TV right now.  Netflix Instant is cheap and easy- during the week I find that I turn it on and work into the evenings with my laptop on my bed while a show is on.  Never in my adult life have I consumed this much television, but during a Chicago winter when there’s work to be done, turning on the telly is a welcome respite to a tired mind after a long day.  Additionally, when you work from home it’s comforting to have that white noise to break up a long day of quiet creative work in a home office.

I was pondering how to mix things up a bit when I came across Gala Darling‘s post detailing that she’s going to be nixing television for  a month.  Could I do that? 


TV is my default- it’s easy.  It’s an easy supplement to daily living, but perhaps that’s why I hate it so. I get that I’m busy and working a lot, but really, is TV all I have to decompress with?  I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to ween myself off this newly formed workaholic/tv addict habit I’ve created for myself.  I don’t find television particularly fulfilling but it’s an easy way to decompress and relax after a long day of work and school, but I have to ask- is this all I can come up with?

What scares me most is the fact that I seem to rely on television in the first place... I never used to have time for tv.  In undergrad I was in a ton of clubs and a sorority along with a double major.  I was out and about, traveling, socializing.   As a grad student now, I work from home, do tons of near-pointless homework and I wonder if my old social-butterfly self has resigned herself to being a shut in a pacifier for the shackles of my workload?   Usually I’m strapped on time, the weather is challenging and my home base means I’m 40 minutes from anything good (or hell, fun?) but am I just being lazy?  When and why did this happen?  Something’s gotta change, this is pathetic..but I must ask:

When I graduate, will my behavior change or is this newfound television dependence a symptom of a larger, different problem than just my workload?

I read, walk the dog, chat with friends and I write/blog a LOT.  I still use my creative and social side plus brain power, just in new ways even if my interactions aren’t face to face like they used to be.  I spend a lot more time alone in my home office than in business meetings, but way more brain power and emotional energy to make online interactions personable and my business profitable.

TV is an attempt to mentally veg out, but I need to find ways to relax that don’t cost a lot or require too much energy to plan and implement.  I love to read, but sometimes I’m just mentally tired & my normal proclivity towards business, non-fiction and memoirs just doesn’t excite me after some long days.

While I’m not excited about the thought of going tv-less for the month of April (since it’s crunch time for work and I’m wrapping up my degree), it’s something I might try in the future.  Then again, I hear I’ll soon have my hands on seasons 1-3 of Castle so that might not be a smart move!  Maybe in June, hmmm!

So, what do you do to decompress for cheap that doesn’t involve TV?   Meditate?  Craft?  Bake?  I need ideas.   Do you think you could go a month without TV? (yes, online shows count too!)


13 comments so far.

13 responses to “Could I Go Without TV For A Month?”

  1. Michelle says:

    It would be hard for me. I have so many shows that I love!

  2. Modest Money says:

    For me, I follow too many sports teams to be able to give up tv. Luckily I don't watch very many other shows though. So I can usually limit my tv intake. This month though, playoffs in hockey are starting and then it will be basketball playoffs soon. I'm sure that will make it pretty tough.

  3. I think you could totally do it, especially in this day and age where you can catch up on a TV show that you missed on-line or on DVD. I'm honestly not much of a TV-watcher. Dexter is the only show I've been hooked on for years, and I just grab it whenever it comes out on DVD! I just don't have time to follow anything else, and it's also hard for a TV show to really keep my attention.

  4. I think I could. It's hard to get out a lot with a young family (at least in the adult, social way,) so when I have free time I turn on Pandora. We used to do this pre family and just hang out with friends as the music was playing. I also cook. And write. I used to play music. But my skills are now at about zero.

  5. @beeLIZcee says:

    Hi Shannyn,

    I never comment on blogs but this is something I actually feel strongly about. I'm 24 and haven't had a TV in over 5 years. I went to college in VA during the VA Tech shootings and had quite a few friends there/from there. In order to keep people watching TV they had anchors cold calling families who had lost children in Columbine to ask them how they felt. It disgusted my roommate and I so much we sold our TV the next day and cut off our cable. I haven't missed it since. I watch things occasionally on my laptop but for the most part only movies because my boyfriend wants to. I've found that not having the tv on in the background makes me work faster. I enjoy listening to music instead, Spotify and Pandora are the best. Also instead of our living room being oriented around a TV where everyone sits quietly and watches chairs face each other so it's much more conducive conversation. I never feel out of the loop (and I work in social media) because I read news online and on my phone daily. I know this is an essay but I really think more people should try switching off the tv for a while, it's not as much of necessity as you think.

    Gasp! Finally at the end of my rant!


  6. @beeLIZcee says:

    Sorry about some of the incorrect grammar up there, I'm at work so I was in a rush.

  7. shortroadto says:

    I got rid of Directv and my $80/month bill on Feb. 1. I don't miss it at all. I used to watch all the Gordon Ramsey shows, many sporting events, and a few sitcoms. After the first week, not one moment has gone by where I say, jeez, I wish I had T.V. It was admittedly tough the first week because I was accustomed to watching T.V. Now, I don't care at all.

  8. @mrsbburton says:

    We also got rid of the EXPENSE of TV a few months back and replaced it with a LEAF antenna (which gets a shocking number of channels, all our locals which was what I was watching mostly anyway) and Netflix for $8 a month. This makes TV watching much more targeted and much more frugal. 🙂

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  10. I have no desire to even try! I use the TV to relax during my 2yo's nap time or after she goes to bed at night. I love those moments that I can completely "check out" instead of always being on duty like when she is awake.

    Now…. my daughter going a month without TV is something I should probably consider….

  11. John says:

    We've gone without a standard TV setup for over 3 years. We've only done Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox. It was a challenge to be without cable, but we'll probably never go back to cable! It's easy now! Thanks for the post!

  12. Delya S says:

    That's impossible I can't do it.The tv is part of my life :P. I think I can go without tv only If I would go on a desert island and not even there cause I would have a portable tv with me 😛

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