More than anything, a simple life is about choosing carefully how you spend your time and resources. Decisions on what to buy, what to wear, what to eat, how to decorate, how to spend your evenings are all weighed against how much stuff you want in your life. It can seem overwhelming, but far more overwhelming is not choosing and letting external forces make your decisions for you.
This is the main reason we’ve decided to live without television. We desperately want to make our own decisions, and TV prevents us from doing that.
We do own a TV, but we do not pay for any kind of services: no cable, no satellite, no DVR; just an empty box that we occasionally play games on. Oh, and I weigh myself on it, since we don’t own a scale.
Honestly, it spends most of its time blankly staring at our living room while we ignore it, and eventually, when we have a bigger space, it will be relegated to a tiny room in the basement that, with any luck, will be the least used room in the house.
This is not to say that we never watch shows; we do rely on hulu and downloads so we can watch TV shows on our computer, but what is gone is the mindless flipping through channels, the advertisements that scream at us 24 hours a day, and, most importantly, the fact that what we watch is in the hands of some unknown stranger who decides what we look at and when we look at it.
Every time we watch a show, we must go out of our way to find it, purposefully play it, with no commercials and no commitment. If we don’t like it, we turn it off and move on, knowing that we aren’t paying for it to keep running even when we aren’t watching it.
I know many people already live like this, and the television is being relegated to a second-class citizen in our computer-oriented world, but there is still a surprising amount of aimless channel flipping, especially among kids.
If you haven’t already, I would urge you to consider going without a TV. After a little while, you won’t even miss it, I promise. You will be surprised how quickly you forget it and move on to simpler, more meaningful activities.