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Why TV?

Lucky Strike

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A week ago, I celebrated my first television-free year (in the sense that I haven't had one in the house for a year.

I still can't get over how much more work I've been able to do, and how much my social life has improved. Bear in mind that I've always enjoyed watching TV to some degree, and that I'm not really interested in watching sports. News, articles and general information and entertainment I get from the net, in a far more ehmmm...bespoke way: I get the information I'm looking for, rather than adverts and the TV programmes that fall into the category where you watch them "as long as the TV is on in any case". I suspected a problem with catching up on general news (CNN/BBC World in particular), but this has not turned out to be a problem. The only problem is the discussions about the more inane reality and "talent" shows that seem to be generally constitutes "people's" small-talk.

This not in any way a Luddite rant against television - I'm just curious if anyone else has the same experience. I own two mobile phones, a laptop, I have a very good broadband connection, and my flatmate's 500-strong DVD library.

Also, I'm curious about TiVo, which still hasn't properly reached Europe. Does this really work for filtering away anything but the stuff you actually want to see, or do you just end up spending the same amount of time in front of the box?
 

j

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I try never to watch TV if possible, though I slip sometimes (often on lazy weekend afternoons). I won't get rid of my TV though, since I use it to watch movies.

Luckily for me, the shows have been getting worse and worse since I used to watch TV all the time. Either that or my brain has been regrowing since then...
 

JBZ

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Prior to the internet, there was no device that had the capability of delivering information as quickly and in as far reaching a manner as television. With the advent of the internet, the necessity of television to obtain updated information has fallen by the wayside. That said, I'd never give up my television at this point. I like watching sports and there is some quality programming amongst the crap (mostly on HBO).
 

whoopee

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Sports is the biggie. Most of the tv shows I like are reruns and on DVD. But I could not live without the thrill of finding another great documentary or old movie I'd never have sought out myself, on Nat Geo, PBS, TMC, Discovery, Logo, etc.
 

j

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Speaking of cable and internet, I am considering cancelling my cable tv/internet entirely and going to a cellular modem solution. I could use the portability, and assuming I could use it at home too, it would actually be cheaper for pretty similar bandwidth.
 

tangerine

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I have never owned a television and rarely lived with one. There have been very few times that I have wished there was one in my place of residence (a friend's show being on public access being one example.) Of course, I am culturally illiterate, especially regarding "reality TV" and most sitcom references, but I am used to dealing with it.

I used to be very snobbish about this but now I only brag about it when invited.
 

Lucky Strike

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Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
... probably see less than half an hour of TV per year cumulatively from various sources.

How do you manage to avoid it to that degree? Particularly in supposedly TV-obsessed Japan?

I can only assume that this regime demands some active measures.
 

sam

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I haven't watched TV in almost 7 years (I'm 25). I agree with your sentiment though: I think it's an input with very little output. Read a book, take a walk, converse with a stranger; do something that'll make you use your imagination.
 

GQgeek

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Well it's been 2-3 months since I cancelled my internet and cable. I've had the occasional relapse which involves watching a string of dvds or staying late at work to browse the net, but on the whole my productivity is much higher now. Btw, Tivo doesn't help the problem of spending too much time infront of the tv, it compounds it. Before I cancelled my cable, I'd come home and there'd be 4 episodes of seinfeld queued-up for me to watch ;p

Instead of watching tv, i spend a lot more time studying at the library and when I get home I'll read myself to sleep with a history book.
 

ken

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I really don't watch t.v., but there's always been one where I live. I also don't watch movies or loiter on the internet that much. I'm a full-time student, have a full-time job, play an intercollegiate sport, have regular shows lined up for my hip hop project, record local bands' demos, and spend a lot of time trying to get laid. If I watched t.v, I wouldn't have time for drinking.
 

DocHolliday

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I watch very little TV. But there are certain shows I watch regularly -- Good Eats, the Colbert Report -- and others I watch periodically -- House and Boston Legal.

If it weren't for a handful of programs, I could scrap cable altogether. And there are times when I think of the clothes I could buy with the money I would save...
 

globetrotter

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from about 13 till about 25 or so I didn't have a tv. got along just fine. now I use Tivo, and I never watch live tv. there are a half dozen shows I watch, and the tivo tapes them, and I watch them, without comercials, when ever I have the time. I used to watch a lot of news, now I rarely watch more than a few minutes a week.
 

oman

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i remember a quote about how tv was the equivalent of spraypainting your third eye black

dunno where i heard it though
 

Mike

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Now, I may be biased as I graduated last year with a degree in film and video studies and worked as an intern and then freelanced as a TV and Radio advertising producer, but I never totally understood the hatred of television. I can understand people hating mindless stuff like many of the pointless sitcoms and reality shows, but there is a plethora of quality programing out there now, among them being House, 24, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Veronica Mars, The Sopranos, not to mention the offerings of The History Channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. While its easy to single out crap such as Joey, Rodney, The OC and American Idol, there is a lot that television has to offer, quality-wise. Of course, that is my opinion, I may be wrong.

And ken, I do a lot of drinking while watching TV and movies.
 

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