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Lent Update: No TV…ever? March 31, 2011

Posted by mjhoward in Spiritual Formation, TV.
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5 comments

I’ve been without TV for 3 weeks now.  I’ve discovered that when TV is not an option, I just don’t miss it.  Even when Ted is away on business trips, when I would usually turn on the TV just to have another voice in the house, I find comfort in the silence of reading a book.

This discovery has caused me to have a serious conversation with Ted about giving up TV all together.  Ted really only watches TV when a Cowboy game is on, but I, in my pre-Lenten life, would come home, turn on the tube and not really do much of anything else.  With no TV, the world has opened up to me.  That conversation forced me to ask this question of myself:  is watching TV preventing me from doing something useful, purposeful, and for the glory of God?  I’m afraid to say, that the answer has been yes.

My world really has changed for the better without TV.  Because I don’t watch TV, I have time to blog.  I am no longer a consumer but a creator.  Because I don’t watch TV, I pray more often.  I have the time to think of others and what I should be doing for them.  Because I don’t watch TV, I’ve finished 6 books!  Because I don’t watch TV, I don’t look at the TiVo and see what shows “must” be watched, like an entertainment to-do list.  Because I don’t watch TV, I didn’t renew my subscription to Entertainment Weekly magazine.  Because I don’t watch TV, Ted and I are able to talk for hours on end.

Yes, there are some downsides to not watching TV: I won’t talk or even know about the latest catchphrases (“I want to go to there” will date my last TV viewing); I won’t have an easy conversation starter (I suppose I’ll have to talk about something more real — eeks!); I’ll miss some really interesting shows and good writing (If a new version of Lost ever emerges or when Downton Abbey returns to PBS); I’ll really miss watching my version of sports (So You Think You Can Dance); and I really want to know what happens to Angela and Hodgins on Bones!

But are these parts of watching TV worth it?

6 weeks of no TV is easy, but can I really go a lifetime?  I don’t know, nor do I know if I really want to cut myself off completely.  Maybe I’ll know when Easter rolls around.

Have you ever given up something for Lent that you considered giving up forever?

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