Sunday, November 22, 2009

Want to save $$ - ditch the TV

When I tell people that we don't have tv, people look at me like I am from a different plant. The next thing they ask me is, "WHY???". So here it is, why we don't have tv.

Now I need to make it clear that we own a tv that works. We just don't have ANY programming. That's right, no public tv, no cable. We do Netflix for $13.99/mo. It also has streaming video on the computer, so my kids love that.

Now, it would only cost us about $10 per month to add cable to our phone and Internet package. Less than Netflix and we would have a bazillion movie channels at our fingertips. But we save a TON of money by not exposing our kids to the ads on tv.

I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, but there is a ton of money spent on television advertising targeting American children. None of those ads are ever seen by our kids. They don't know what toys they are SUPPOSED to want. They are content with thrift store, garage sale, and hand me down toys. They even understand now that you pay a lot of money for the packaging of a new toy, and they are appalled.

They like to wander down the aisles of the toy section at Target, but they comment on how expensive everything is - especially when they can get it for free or next to free. They do not whine to me to buy them any toys at the store.

Now, there is another dimension to this, it is education. This is actually one of the first reasons we got rid of tv. When my DH was getting his PhD at Stanford, we had the opportunity to talk to a lot of the undergraduates there. We asked them what their parents did to help them get to Stanford. Most of them said, "We didn't have tv."

I would immediately say, "What did you do?" Their response, "We played instruments, we talked, we did family activities, we did our homework, we played when we were little, we joined clubs when we were older. We became so busy, that we didn't have time for it anyway."

Now this, in combination with some really gross programming on public tv during prime time, was enough to convince me to get rid of it. We didn't want there to be an easy access to our kids from the outside world. Because let's face it, if our kids are in front of the tv, most parents are doing other things. This leaves the kids watching programming that in uncensored, and I am not okay with that. With movies, I can have a little more control.

I need to end this and go join my family. They are in the music room, DH on the guitar, DD1 on the piano, and the other two DDs singing. Can't miss out on that!

No comments:

Post a Comment