Today I had a nice chat with our phone company’s billing department about some questions that I had about our last monthly statement. It all turned out fine, as the issue ended up being a confusing label for a new service we’ve acquired.
At the end of the conversation the billing representative asked me about my television. “What television service provider do you have?” she asked. “We have a number of options that you might be interested in.”
“I don’t have a television,” I replied. “And I haven’t had one for more than a decade.”
The representative gasped.
This is a common response whenever my husband or I tell anyone that we don’t have a television. It is a conscious decision on our part, and as foreign as it might sound, we can easily quench our thirst for information via the radio, the internet, or the library.
Our life together is simple and we like it that way. We have time for people we care about, we have time for our hobbies and for reading, and we have time for each other.
Not having a television means that we often make our own entertainment. We garden, write, ski, hike, fish, bike, run, and play weekly games of Ultimate Frisbee. Our lives are active. Instead of setting aside afternoon time to exercise so that our evenings are free to watch our favorite sitcoms, my husband and I cook slow meals and set aside time for romantic sunset walks along the lake. We spend less and enjoy more, and I can honestly say that I feel better when I am not around a television set.
We sure do appreciate avoiding the blare of commercial breaks every four to five minutes, though in the interest of consumerism we still contribute what we can to U.S. capitalism. Even so, my husband and I frugally value the utility of things more so than their trendiness. I don’t feel pressure to conform to a set style or standard of living, and I appreciate what I have much more than I would if I were constantly being bombarded with messages trying to convince me otherwise.
For what I have I am grateful, and that feeling of contentment is worth more than an infinite number of flat screen tvs.