Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unplugged

I've been without TV for more than a month.

I know.

I can't believe it myself.

I check my pulse daily to make sure it's not growing weaker from lack of HGTV "House Hunters" marathons or random Lifetime movies.

It's not.  So far.

Perhaps knowing the end of my disconnect is in sight, I will make it.

In the meantime, I have learned a lot about my TV habits from not having TV.  Sounds backwards, but trust me on this.

First, I should explain to (or remind) you why I am without TV.  I moved for a new job in mid-February, and I'm living in temporary housing until I buy a house.  My temporary housing is relatively cheap and has great internet connection (which I don't have to pay for), but no cable or satellite service.  Since I knew I'd only be in this temporary housing for two months (they're giving me the boot on April 30), I decided it would be silly to sign up for cable service or invest in a converter box (although that was tempting). No.  I decided I could make it.  And I have.  And I will.

Now, back to the things I've learned about my TV habits...

1.  I watch many of my shows for social benefits.  I'm not saying I watch a show just because all my friends are watching it.  If that were true, I'd have started watching "The Office," "House" or "Gossip Girl" by now.  And I don't watch any of those.  What I mean by "social benefits" is that I enjoy watching shows while "talking" via twitter or IM to other people who are watching it. This mostly applies to reality shows, such as "The Bachelor" and "The Biggest Loser."  I'm currently on a twitter and facebook fast to avoid finding out who Brad Womack chose on "The Bachelor" last night.  I won't get to watch it until tonight, and I want to be at least a little surprised, so I'm not going near any place which might spoil the ending for me.  I'll have to do the same with "The Biggest Loser."

2.  I watch a lot of things out of sheer boredom.  Now that I have to watch my shows online, I'm much more efficient with my free time.  I don't think it's just because I'm watching them with "limited commercial interruption" either.  Basically, I watch my shows and then I shut down hulu or whatever other site I'm watching the show on.  Then I go read or workout or write on my next novel.  When I have a TV remote and hundreds of channels to surf through, I'm guaranteed to do just that, stopping on anything that sounds vaguely interesting.  This is how I get sucked into a show I'd otherwise ignore and often stay glued to the TV later than I should.

3.  I rely on TV for a lot of my current events.  I always thought I was more of an online or print media girl, but I'm realizing that's not true.  Without TV, I didn't hear about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan until I read about it on a message board.  I didn't see images until they'd been uploaded to youtube or online news sources.  I have yet to see an actual Charlie Sheen interview.  I don't think I'm missing much though because the highlights have been making the rounds on the interwebz.  But still.  I think I might have been the only person in the U.S. who didn't actually SEE Charlie saying these crazy things.

4.  I'm a slave to my DVR.  This is no surprise.  But I'm quickly realizing I have to remember which shows I watch on which nights so I can find them online.  With my satellite service and DVR, it would automatically record the program for me each week.  I haven't forgotten about any shows yet...that I'm aware of.  But I am slightly afraid I'll forget which day they're actually on since I'm watching them on a 24-hour delay.


As I said before, I won't be without TV much longer.  If all goes well, I'll be closing on my house on April 15.  You better believe, my friends at DirecTV will be among my first visitors.  Especially since baseball season will be in full swing by then (no pun intended).  I'm hoping I can hold on to the lessons I learned about my TV habits and perhaps use them to improve the way I use TV.

2 comments:

  1. You got the house?! Do tell!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's not officially mine yet. We've agreed on a price, but I still have to go through the inspection and a few other formalities. It's close though.

    ReplyDelete

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