First of all ... this is Aaron. I think this is only my second or third time to write a post on this blog. I've been saving up all my thoughts, and now I'm going to dump them into one long post.
I'm really only talking about one thing ... TV.
Let's get rid of it.
For two weeks.
Hopefully a few of you are still reading - those of you who didn't immediately click on the first available link and then delete this blog from your RSS reader swearing never to return.
We were sitting at the table the other night eating dinner, and I could see an old music book on our piano. The book is from the early 1900's. I bought it at an auction. The cover was open and on the first page there was an inscription written in wonderful old calligraphy.
When I pointed it out to Heather we both commented on how much smarter it seems that people used to be. I guess calligraphy just seems smart.
As we discussed our current level of stupidity, I commented that I believe it is due, in large part, to our televisions.
I mean think about it ... How has television dumbed us down?
Think about these statistics:
- The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV per day.
- 99% of American households have at least one TV. 67% have 3 or more.
- 66% of Americans regularly watch TV while eating dinner.
- Americans rented 6 million movies last year, but only checked out 3 million library books.
That's 250 billion hours that we could have been doing something else.
Instead we sat in front of a box in our living rooms or bedrooms and allowed ourselves to be passively entertained.
To be told what's cool ... what's acceptable ... what's important.
After I made my little speech about how I believe television is making us stupid and lazy, my wife asked, "Then why haven't you gotten rid of that thing? Do you just want us to be stupid?"
Well, there's a couple of reasons.
First of all, I like TV. I enjoy lounging on my couch laughing at Dwight Schrute every bit as much as the next guy. I enjoy watching those silly Japanese people try to make it through the Ninja Warrior obstacle course - all the while secretly nursing my belief that I could make it much farther than that idiot who just fell off the Spider Wall. I like to see Dr. House pull some miraculous diagnosis out of his rear at the last second and berate those around him for not being as smart as he is.
Secondly, I know that my family likes TV, and I was pretty afraid of the collective reaction to any announcement that we would no longer be enjoying the steam of entertainment that flows from the 150 channels in my living room.
I'm kind of a wimp.
But we're going to do it.
We're turning off our TV for 2 weeks starting this Monday.
And the whole point of this post is to ask you to do it too.
Join us for 2 weeks with no TV.
No video games.
We're going to read books and play games and sing songs and go outside and enjoy each other's company.
We want to see what life in our house will be like over the next 2 weeks with absolutely no television.
We'll blog about the process, and we invite you to do the same.
We'll share what we learn. We'll share the ideas we come up with for how to spend the time we once spent watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. We'll share the times that end up being hardest ... the times when we really miss the TV (I already know that Saturday mornings will be rough with no television for our kids to watch while we sleep in.)
But it should be a good learning experience for us.
So let's do it.
Our TV's will go off when we go to bed this Sunday night and they won't come back on until Monday, April 7. (Maybe even longer if we decide we really like this new life.)
We can do it.
You can do it.