Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pulling the Plug

Kim Watters here. Now that I’ve got your attention, it’s not quite the dire situation the title reflects. Well, for my kids yes, but in the big scheme of things—no.

Earlier this month we cut the satellite TV. Yes, you read that correctly. We pulled the plug on over 300+ channels, most of which we never watched anyway, because our family spent way too much time in front of the boob tube. So now we have public channels only, just as we had when I was a kid. Cruel I know but in a cost cutting economy, we had to make some choices. DirecTV was one of them. I want to encourage my kids to be more active and use their minds creatively instead of vegetating out in front of the TV. Of course, they can still see some of their favorite episodes on the computer, but we’ve limited their time there as well.

Has it worked? I think so, but only time will tell. Without the myriad of choices of some somewhat inappropriate shows that don’t exactly mirror the values I’m trying to instill in my kids, they are finding other things to do. Reading, which makes my heart beat faster since I’m a writer, is one of them. Dusting off the old toys sitting in the closet is another. They’re even more helpful around the house, though I suspect it’s more from boredom or them hoping by being underfoot, we’ll change our minds and bring the satellite back. Not going to happen anytime soon, but I do like getting the dishes done faster.

As for myself, I miss Monday Night Football and the Discovery Channel, and the Cooking and the History channel. It’s funny how you miss things when they’re gone, but not for long. I survived my childhood, I can survive this. My TBR pile is growing smaller and the money saved will buy a lot more books to add to my dwindling pile.

That said, what have you done without lately? How has it hurt or helped you? Curious minds want to know.

*Photo by Salvatore Vuono


  1. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up Sprout, but then, Caillou and the Berenstain Bears do promote values so I have a few years. I'm probably the one who could live without television. I don't get to watch LOL

  2. I think what you've done is great, Kim! I really worry about children today watching too much TV (and much of it is inappropriate anyway *sigh*). ~ I've been limited with my spending the past few months due to the fact that I'm still not driving since my spinal surgeries in the summer. So, when my oldest daughter drives me on errands I have to pretty much "stick to my list" and get the shopping done before my legs/back give out,LOL. I am finding that I really am spending less than I'd be if I was driving right now and able to stay in the stores/shops as long as I wanted(we live VERY close to a Target, Books-a-Million, Sams, and countless other great stores!). ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  3. Kim, I think what you did is great. It is easy to get into a rut of watching too much TV. I hope they start reading books.

  4. Kim, I think my kids would riot! I can just see it now. :) Of course, if they still had the computer for Facebook and the Xbox for games, I guess they'd survive. I'd probably have the hardest time of anyone, but like you said, I could probably catch Castle online. :)

    You'll have to let us know a few months down the road how it's going. I bet it'll be great.

    Patti Jo, it's so good to see you again!! I hope your're almost totally healed.

  5. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Sorry I haven't checked in sooner, I've been buried at work. Sigh. LOL right back at you Pam. Patti, thanks for your support. I'm glad you're recovering from your surgery. Hope you get back to shopping soon. Margaret. Yes, I'm fortunate that both my kids are readers. They do seem to be reading a little more and haven't realiezd they can pull up stuff on the net yet. Missy, we didn't give them a chance to protest. I will keep everyone posted right after the holidays:)

  6. We cut back on our satellite and really don't miss the extra channels. We are still debating cutting the whole thing. We will probably cut out another level. Less withdrawal that way :-)

    Peace, Julie

  7. Hey Kim, kudos for you and your hubby for making that decision. We've talked about it but honetly, I'm the one addicted to TV. I record the shows we all like so we can watch them together. Now that the kids are getting older we can watch show that appeal to all of us. I don't have time anymore to watch movies. Even the teleivision show sometimes are watched in short incriments.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Julie and Terri. It really wasn't as hard as expected--for me anyway. :)

  9. Timely post, Kim. We've been talking about cutting the cable, too because there is more now on TV that we find inappropriate than good to watch. I remember shows, like our books, where characters struggled but in the end a lesson was learned or a good thing happened and we weren't assaulted with offensive language and commercials.... We already limit what our daughter can watch and how much time she spends on computer and Ipod--unless it's Christian music.
    But I would miss my football games...


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