Life Without a TV

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Have I ever mentioned on here that we got rid of our tv before moving to Okinawa? We thought, why not? Let's explore and enjoy the island, and focus on our marriage during all of our free time. It's easily one of the best decisions we've ever made. I thought it would be fun to share our thoughts after being nearly three years in...

*We read the news, or listen to podcasts.We love movies but we're really picky now about what we watch. Cam got us a nice projector when we moved here.. it's compact and stays ontop of his nightstand. We left the wall across from our bed open so it acts like a huge movie screen. All we have to do is plug it into our mac and voila! No big clunky tv but we can still cuddle up and have movie nights. It's fun and we get to control what we watch. No more air-brushed Victoria Secret's ads in our face every other commercial.

*It has been a breath of fresh air. Omitting a good deal of Hollywood (one of the strangest and most bizarre places on the planet in my opinion!) from our home has been so good for our souls.  If I sound like a Grandma, I'm great with that :)

*Talking, books & music took the place of our tv. And then John Shea took the place of most everything!

*It's aesthetically pleasing. Our couches face the East China Sea and we've arranged every part of our little home to be centered around the gorgeous view above. When we moved in, we realized how out of place a tv would look in this apartment. It's once in a lifetime that we get to live here, so we wanted to make the most of it in every way.

Am I saying it's wrong to own or watch tv? Heck no! I worked in tv news, and also think there's some amazing shows out there, though they may be few and far between. I've watched every episode of Downton Abbey atleast ten times each.. We may buy another one wherever we go next so that John can watch his little shows and movies -- and occasionally give me a break! Real life. However, not having one for a few years has been refreshing... so much so we've also talked about maybe never going back.  
I'm curious to know what you all think :)

46 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I find that once we had our daughter I watch a lot less TV. I actually feel guilty having it on when she's awake and rarely do unless it's something like the Superbowl, especially with screen time and all. But I've been curious about a TV-less life and if we could do that, as it's so easy to use it as an excuse to zone out. Thanks for a fresh perspective.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. The few times I've actually longed for a tv again have been for John... to let him curl up on the couch and watch a cute movie or show. He loves it when we're at friends' houses. And selfishly, I sometimes long for even ten minutes to myself! Thanks for your perspective and honesty. It's nice to hear from you! :)

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  2. We haven't had a TV our entire 3.5 years of marriage and my three years before that when I lived with four other girls. It has been epic. We have never missed it (and I too have seen all of downton abbey!!!). It actually makes it nearly impossible for me to watch commercials now because I never see them and I just know that they're trying to convince me of something (now i sound like a conspiracy theorist which i totally am not :)). Anyway, may God continue to shower love on your beautiful little family and kudos to you for no tv. I tried to watch one show this last year online and it turned trashy in the 2nd season-I was so bummed. And I will take the grandma seat with you too :)

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    1. Hahah, your conspiracy theorist comment made me laugh outloud. You're completely right though! Half the time I didn't even realize what I was being convinced of. Like those dang vicsecret commercials. Detrimental to my female mind.
      Thank you so much, Anna. Glad to know I have a Grandma friend :)

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    2. My husband asked me one time about the VS commercials, "Do those ads actually make women feel good about themselves?" So true.

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  3. Oh, and that view...no TV screen could every be as unbelievable as that.

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  4. Love your take on this. I haven't owned a TV since college and it has definitely been a great decision. I am too busy during the week and the weekend to even bother with one! Good riddance to the TV and yay to adventures!

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    1. P.s. I'm so glad to share the beautiful island of Okinawa with other adventure seekers! :D

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  5. This was a really interesting post to read. My husband and I travel as well, and we have tons of free time. We have binge watched every show ever made, and sometimes I feel really guilty about it. Maybe giving the TV a break would be a good plan - at least for a little while. What kind of projector did you get? Is it small enough to pack in a suitcase?

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    1. I'll check for you when I get back home, but yes it is definitely small enough to pack in a suitcase. I could fit it in my purse.

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  6. We are right there with you friend:) In our almost 3 years of marriage we've NEVER owned a tv. It's so wonderful. If we want to watch a movie or show (LOVE DOWNTON!), we use our laptop. But beyond that, we read, talk, pray, and just enjoy each other:) Love that we are so like minded on this dear friend:) xoxo Katie

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    1. So great for our marriage too! Love you friend.

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  7. What a gorgeous view! If you can look at that, who needs a TV? I owned a TV but didn't have cable and didn't watch it except for movies before I married my husband. He's a visual effects artist, so we watch a lot of the shows he works on. But we still try to be pretty picky about what we watch. There are a lot of times I wish we could just get rid of the whole thing entirely!

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    1. We've decided too to never go back to cable. :)

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  8. We had a big screen TV in our dorm/suite (one of my roommates got it when she visited the Ellen DeGeneres show hahaha) and we found that we barely used it because every time we actually needed or wanted to watch TV, we would usually just use HuluPlus or Netflix on our computers. That way, our decision to watch TV was conscious and not mindless, which I think is usually what leads to way too much TV watching and not enough other-fun having!

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  9. My husband and I started having some challenges in our marriage due to Marine Corps life. With him coming and going so much, going through the reintegration process over and over has really hit us hard. We usually turn the TV on at the end of the day to unwind after dinner. This week, we haven't done that. After dinner, we've just been sitting and talking. I never realized how much I lost connecting with my husband because of the TV. It's been an eye opener!

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    1. Life is not always easy in the Marines, most especially on marriages and families... we know... but I am so glad to hear you guys are reconnecting. What a blessing. I'm so happy to hear that!

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  10. My husband & I got rid of our TV about a year ago. It has been so freeing and we have found that we spend our time so much more wisely. We listen to music, read lots of books or just sit and catch up. When friends come over, the TV isn't the focal point; instead, we just sit around talking or go outside and hang out with friends in the yard.
    My husband works in the film business and he is around it so much that he has enjoyed not having a TV. I totally agree it's been a wonderful change for us!

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  11. I couldn't agree with you more! My fiance and I both decided not to have a tv within our separate apartments and we love it! It is such a breath of fresh air and allows us the opportunity to better utilize our time rather than wasting it by staring at mindless television shows. We too watch movies but are very particular about what we allow into our minds, keeping out the toxicity :) Have a blessed day!

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  12. If I lived there with that view, I'd ditch the tv too! :)

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  13. My husband grew up without a tv and I grew up watching very little tv because our parents had us playing outside. But we do have one in our apartment and talk about getting rid of it all the time, though we do use it from time to time I realize how many things get accomplished when it's off! I love that you decided to get rid of the tv! I hope someday we will too. And I love the projector idea....we will have to look in to that one :)

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  14. hahahahha I couldn't get past your Special Report shoutout!! You probably log on to the Online Show too. There is always that "IslandMama85" who is saying funny things like "Ohhhhh Bert!" and "I'll be your huckleberry." Should have known it was you!!!
    ;)
    MISS YOUR FACE and our lunch-time picnics!
    lanneybear

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    1. Hahah that was just for YOU! And now that you saw it I took it out because truthfully we only ever watched SR videos for Charles ;) Love you!!

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  15. Love it! Between all the negative shows/news, it being on all the time and super expensive cable bills....would very much like to throw our tv out the window most days and not look back. Guess like anything else it has it's pros and cons but I think what you are doing is great. And that view is magnificent.

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  16. I don't own a tv as well. I watch my shows on my laptop. I am picky of what I watch as well and I don't have to watch horrible ads in between shows. I find cable too expensive here in Toronto and also I don't watch enough tv to make it worthwhile.

    P.S. If I have that view that you have, I would never want a t.v. ;)

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  17. We didn't have one the first 4 years of our marriage either. :) Well, we did in Chile in our furnished apartment we rented but we didn't watch it...except for the news in an attempt to improve our Spanish...I mean mine. My husband's was great haha. Best decision ever. <3

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  18. I'll join the chorus and say YAY for no TV! We live in Sicily (also a military family) and have *spectacular* views as well, so we're grateful to focus on that just like you are. We also really limit our kids' media; they don't watch any shows, aren't allowed to use our phones (so we try not to use them around them), and only watch YouTube videos when we're cutting their nails (because I CANNOT figure out how to get them to sit still otherwise!).

    Anyway, long comment... but thank you. Such a refreshing perspective!

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    1. I actually saw John reach for my phone for the first time (he puts everything in his mouth right now) and it made me cringe. You are awesome that you can enforce that. I hope I have enough discipline to! Thanks for your perspective, Becca! And SO awesome that you guys are in Sicily!

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  19. That is awesome!!! I would assume anyone can find much better things to do than to watch TV. ;) Especially at a place like Okinawa. (:

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  20. I have a few friends that have given up their TVs. I must say, it's not exactly for me though :) We do have "TV free nights" in our house though! Two nights a week we read books, or go out for a long walk... anything else buy TV. I know it's not much, but it's a start at least :)

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  21. We purposefully do not have a TV in our living room and it makes our time spent with others (and nights just the two of us) so much more meaningful! We actually gave up all technology after 8pm for Lent this year and I'm already amazed at the impact it has made on our marriage. Not having computers/phones/TV at night is a great way to rediscover each other.

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  22. Keep up the good work. I hope you can convince Julie and I to follow in your footsteps! We've taken a big step by ditching cable for a few years.

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  23. So glad you brought this up! I thought about giving up TV for lent but sadly determined that it wasn't realistic. My fiance and I have a few key shows that we watch and discuss, I think I would miss that. I'm not sure how I feel about this long term though. Our DC winter was a long and frigid one. I had way too much TV on. I'm not quite sure what else I should do in my little apartment though. I envy your views so very much!

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  24. We own a TV but don't have any cable. I love life without TV! I'm sure we'll have some version of cable again someday, but I'm really enjoying this time. We really try and limit Brayden's screen time, so we borrow DVDs from the library for him and sometimes our antenna will catch an episode of Daniel Tiger. We download the shows we like to watch and stream movies online. My new struggle is with the iPhone! I have to consciously leave it in the other room or at home to distance myself from it. Do you remember leaving the house without a mobile device?? It seems so unthinkable now to be out and about for a day or even half a day without a phone, but it's so good!

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  25. we have one and i find we turn it on and end up watching more than we meant to! before i know it an evening has passed and we've barely talked, other than about the show! makes we want to get rid of it, especially with our daughter getting older - she isn't allowed any screen time at all (following american academy of pediatrics recommendations of none until 2 years old) - and i want to lead by example! plus, growing up we were barely allowed to watch any and i feel like we played outside way more than any of our friends...

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  26. What a gorgeous photo! I love your honesty and I remember a little while ago (last year?) you posted about violence in films. I don't have cable in my apartment, and I agree that being selective about what I view has been so good. I've even changed what I listen to on the radio. I love the projector idea, too!

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  27. We don't have cable, but we do have Netflix. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss TV- especially HGTV and the cooking channel, but I now have a 4 month old and don't feel that little kids should watch TV. When we do put an occasional show on Netflix, he is glued to the screen. I know it's not unusual, but it freaks me out so I always turn it off or play in a different room with him. If I lived some place as beautiful as you, I definitely wouldn't watch TV at all. Holy smokes, that view!!!

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  28. Good for you! When we moved to Japan we realized Americable stinks and we rely on DVD's most of the time anyway. I've lost all interest in shows and movies back home and I'm really happy about that. There is so much to do here!

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  29. I love that you do this! And are intentional about it. When I've lived by myself, I haven't had a TV, when I've had roommates, usually someone has a TV, but I end up watching very little, if any.

    Also, can you please provide details on your gardening? I know you always post about the flowers you get at the market, but you have quiet a garden yourself. Are all the plants used in your cooking?

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    1. Thank you!! Most of our little potted garden was veggies and herbs but right now all I have left is basil, sage, mint, rosemary and lemons. We were growing lettuce, tomatoes, squash, blackberries and peppers too but I didn't replace them this time around since we're supposed to be moving in two or three months. The rest are all flowers - hibiscus, bougainvillea, roses and camellias. I used to think that you had to wait until living in a real house with property to have a garden but I was wrong - we have absolutely loved our potted garden these years out here! Let me know if you'd like any other info :) and thanks again!
      xoxo Amanda

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  31. I'm very impressed, but I don't know if I could do it! I should watch less TV, but the idea of not having one really doesn't cross my mind. You are in the most gorgeous place on earth and good for you for just enjoying it and connecting with your family.

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  32. That is such an amazing view :) I gave up TV during law school and have gone without it for about five years. I've really enjoyed the change--spending the free time doing things instead of watching others (on the screen) do things has led to a more fulfilling life. As you say, it's also wonderful for the psyche and our finances to cut out the advertising. That's all to say I couldn't agree with you more!

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  33. i love that you made a conscious decision to do this!

    my husband and i just got married last year and though we do have a tv, we decided to forego cable which has basically meant we gave up the tv haha! we just talked about it and financially it just seemed stupid to get cable. we calculated how much it would cost for the year and thought honestly about how often we would watch it since neither of us is huge tv people to begin with and we both work in public accounting so we usually aren't home until around 8 or later. though my husband complains from time to time about not being able to watch the kansas city royals baseball games, i think it is so much better to just go to the game or make plans to meet up at a sports bar and watch with friends!
    plus, i TOTALLY agree that hollywood is a weird weird place. it seems that even the seemingly normal people who go there just get really messed up. it is so sad that we idolize these people and kind of ruin their lives. we don't even give them a chance to be normal because we just immediately put this weight on them that they feel they always need to be in the limelight and start doing crazy things.

    anyways, sort of ranting now but i love that you decided to center your house around the beautiful place you've been blessed to live in and on each other rather than the television!

    xo mk
    goldhattedlover.com

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  34. we don't have tv either! well. i say that but we have *a* tv which is connected to appletv which is tooooo much tv as it is. but we gave up cable... and then we had a handful of channels that we rarely turned on. but they just pulled those free channels so now we have zero channels. but the thing is, when you want to watch something nowadays, you can still find it all too easily! we have been watching episodes of friends together for a good laugh at the end of the day, but all in all doing more reading and playing than tv watching, and i love it! plus. i don't know how much japan charges for cable, but holy cow, when we're looking at our spending, i just cannot currently justify paying so much american dollabills month after month to turn my brain to mushyballs :)

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  35. I grew up without TV, we just had one for movies. In fact, I never had cable until just a few years ago and it was basic and came with the apartment. I can't believe how expensive it is and how much garbage is on there! Now we have Roku which allows us to watch the shows we like on PBS, PBS kids, History, Smithsonian and BBC channels. I do think there are some great history/culture shows and I love movies so it's a good set-up for us. And our 2 year old is obsessed with watching Frozen, of course :-)

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