Personally, our family has a television. We don’t think it’s evil. Together, we enjoy watching movies, quality TV shows, and occasionally the news. But it’s not on by default, and it’s definitely not our main method of entertainment. For the past three years living overseas, we haven’t received a TV signal, so our television set was reserved solely for watching DVDs. Now that we’re back in the U.S., we get a minimal amount of channels (just your basic networks and public broadcasting), and it’s on about an hour per day, on average. This isn’t meant to sound holier-than-thou, as though anything less than that makes someone a bad parent. I’m simply saying that we’ve discovered that it’s honestly not that hard to not depend on television as though it’s the shrine of the living room. In the household where I grew up, TV was on by default, and I admittedly watched quite a bit (though I still somehow managed to read a ton and come out rather non-addicted to TV). Soon after I moved out of my parents’, I noticed how much I loved the sound of… nothing. That the blare of television didn’t have to constantly be on. I knew I wanted that as the default in my own home. My husband and I are content with the balance we’ve found in our family; that we use the TV as a tool in our home for both entertainment and education, but it’s not an idol or an addiction. Yet we know it can easily fall prey to the role of major time-sucker and energy waster. It’s important to remind ourselves continually why it’s a great idea to not always watch TV.And that there are plenty of other things to do. Here are my favorite reasons.
1. Watching TV correlates with poor health, weight gain, and low energy levels.
Photo by Caryn Werner
It’s no secret — being a couch potato contributes to a lot of our current culture’s weight gain and poor health. I was surprised by some of the statistics I unearthed when I did research on this for my upcoming book. According to the U.S. Center for Disease...