Author Topic: Is this a case for 'the line'?  (Read 6822 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bms2000

  • Guest
Is this a case for 'the line'?
« on: October 29, 2007, 12:51:44 PM »
Trying to find a good response (both in person and online) to the following situation.

Background: We don't currently own a TV. No cable. DH and I sometimes watch PBS at night by using a tuner attached to the computer monitor. Kids are allowed 1 DVD per week, after church on Sundays, provided chores are done and church behavior was acceptable. Exceptions are made for people home sick or extended bouts of bad weather. But no commercial TV at all (pretty much for any of us).

So I have had many conversations that go like this:

Other person: Did you see show x?
Me: No, we don't really watch TV
Other person: How are your kids with that?
Me: Fine, because they never really have watched TV

In many cases (particularly on line, but sometimes in person as well) Other Person then decides that I am being a snob, that I am making a comment on their parenting, that I am being judgemental, that my children will be too sheltered, that they will 'go crazy' in high school from being so restricted, etc. etc. etc. "What an Interesting Assumption" seems a perfect response.

What I don't understand is: why the reaction? I mean if I say "We don't ski" or even "We're not big football fans" people take it in stride. But for some reason the statement "We don't watch TV" is akin to saying "We are cannibalistic satan worshippers who are trying to lure you into their cult". Very wierd.

MyFamily

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4604
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 01:37:29 PM »
Because of the studies out there that say too much tv leads to X (there are so many and it is hard to believe which ones are accurate and which ones aren't).  So, by admitting we (and I don't have one either) don't have a tv, it is as if we are telling the parents who are insecure about their decision to let their children watch tv that they are wrong because of whatever study was recently released about litmiting tv viewing.  Which is silly.  We don't have a tv because of our parenting decisions, you don't have a tv because of your parenting decisions, and they do have a tv because of their parenting decisions.  It just comes down to insecurity. 


"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol

bms2000

  • Guest
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 01:52:10 PM »
Because of the studies out there that say too much tv leads to X (there are so many and it is hard to believe which ones are accurate and which ones aren't).  So, by admitting we (and I don't have one either) don't have a tv, it is as if we are telling the parents who are insecure about their decision to let their children watch tv that they are wrong because of whatever study was recently released about litmiting tv viewing.  Which is silly.  We don't have a tv because of our parenting decisions, you don't have a tv because of your parenting decisions, and they do have a tv because of their parenting decisions.  It just comes down to insecurity. 

Part of what scares me about a lot of TV is the power it seems to have over otherwise rational adults. If I bought only organic food, or dressed my kid only in cotton clothing, or breastfed them until they were 10, I would get less grief heaped on me.

I could even understand the reaction if I was saying "We read the studies that show that kids who watch TV grow up to be drug using murderers with ADD and 5 children by the age of 17..." and so on. But I literally say nothing more than "We don't watch TV" and give the reason "It's just not a part of our lifestyle" and watch the arrows fly.  Very, very odd. I can't think of anything, perhaps with the exception of politics, that gets such a strong reaction (either positive or negative) from people as the media.

Flora Louise

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3193
  • Nothing like champagne for a champagne occasion.
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 01:55:14 PM »
Have you read the book "Entertaining Ourselves to Death"?  Take it out of the library and give it a quick read through. You'll feel better about your decision.
Just because you're disappointed in me doesn't mean I did anything wrong.

bms2000

  • Guest
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 02:03:30 PM »
I tend to love books like that  ;D
And I definitely feel fine with the decision. It was not even particularly conscious. The TV broke, and we decided that since we only turned it on about once a week, if that, that there was no reason to get a new one. We actually at one point had two TVs, both of which were seriously dusty, neither of which we had paid for (moving friends had given them to us). We ditched one to put in more bookshelves and stuck the other one in a closet so it didn't take up space in the living room.

Glad to know there are other TV free freaks out there! Come on over some time - we'll play scrabble  ;)

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28731
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 04:32:02 PM »
Well, I might be more inclined to criticise your decision if there were anything worth watching on TV>:D

So, you're missing ... um, the news, sports, and zillions of reality shows, each one trying to reach a lower level of taste and intelligence than the last.

I think if it weren't for the weather channel and Friday night anime, I'd probably get rid of mine.

(ETA: Oh, and must not forget our new Turner Movie Channel. That gives me one more reason to keep the TV that outranks "Serves as nice stand for the potted orchid".)
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

goblue2539

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3343
  • Caffeine makes the world go 'round.
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 04:32:36 PM »
If I wasn't so addicted to CSI, I could probably ditch mine too. ;) 

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15430
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 04:17:10 PM »
I have a tv, but mostly for watching movies.  I have recently made the wrenching decision (for me) that I just can't justify the expense of cable/satellite right now.  It's awful.

I do think it's interesting that people get so...reactive about whether or not someone has a television.  I wonder sometimes if the amount of television I watched as a child has anything to do with the way I am now, but ultimately, I'm old enough to fix any problems that may have resulted.

Plus, there are so many other things one can do without a television.  Like waste time on the internet!  And Netflix has a wonderful selection of...just about everything (I just signed up for myself, and was amazed at the sheer volume of movies and television shows - and they still don't have What Not to Wear on DVD *sigh*).


green ferns

  • Guest
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 05:10:56 PM »
Disclaimer: I love TV. Absolutely love it. (Not all of it, but I could waste a lot of time in front of it, believe me! Which is why I don't have cable. )

And I am just amazed and appalled by the reactions the OP is getting to not having a TV! Goodness! I had no idea some people were so attached to them. It's not like breathing, for heaven's sake!

Anyway. Surprise over. I guess this is just good practice for "the line," then..  ;)

I'mnotinsane

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2379
  • My mother had me tested
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2007, 12:29:24 PM »
Bravo for you.  I hope to cut down on tv watching when I have children.  I hate most new television.  But I do have it on in the background most of the time I am at home.  Heck, I've got the History channel on right now and I have no idea when they stopped talking about Jonestown and sequed into Charles Manson. 

You do not have to feed into anyone's insecurities.  However, if you want to cut out the debates, just stop at "No." (I didn't see it).  Don't follow with "We don't watch much tv."  Americans so often lie about their TV watching and enjoy it so much themselves that they cannot believe that anyone can live without it.

 In fact, I worked with a woman who used to claim that she didn't watch TV when I would ask her about a particular show or episode.  But she knew every current show on the Cartoon Network and some other "kids" channels.  She used to watch them with her son, but by the way she spoke about the shows with another co-worker (who was childless) showed she enjoyed them and did not just watch them because of her son. 

Sirius

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9990
  • Stars in my eyes!
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 01:06:44 AM »
We stopped watching commercial TV after the dish fell off the trailer and broke.  This was in 2003, and we really haven't missed it.  I wish I could watch the new Dr. Who, but I'm waiting for those episodes to come out on DVD, since we do have a TV, but we just use it for watching videos and DVDs.

Ulla dances in a silly way

  • Super Secret Level 5 Ninja Wizard
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1452
  • Only a little off.
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 01:39:22 AM »
Part of going on the defensive might be because of previous experiences with people who do not watch TV. I know I've run into more than my fair share of evangelizing anti-TVers. Of course, I've also ran into many people who do not watch TV and don't really care if you do or not.

That said, it is entirely ridiculous and rude to jump someone about their TV choices. OP, I think this is a perfect situation to use "the line."

-Ulla

AshleyAnne

  • Guest
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 01:05:54 PM »
I know what you mean...every time someone says, "Did you see X?" and I say, "No I don't own a TV"
They act like they feel sorry for me...lol...I have had more then one person offer me TV's for free on the spot! I think that alot of people can't imagine life without TV so they just don't get how you can live without it.

I think it is a perfect case for "the line".
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 01:07:34 PM by AshleyAnne »

Mr. Fed

  • Guest
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 09:46:12 PM »
I have no problem with people who don't own a TV in general.

Just as there is a small subset of humanity that is obnoxious, there is a small subset of non-TV-owning humanity that is obnoxious about it.  It's not just matter of fact "I don't own a TV."  It's draw-up-mortally-offended "OH!  We don't OWN a TELEVISION," with a tone that suggests that you should run back home to continue watching your professional wrestling and pixilated girls-gone-wild ads away from the adults, who are about to engage in a discussion about which antiquarian bookstore is best to purchase Marcel Proust's La Recherche du Temps Perdu in Urdu or possibly Swahili, as it is just too accessible in the original French and that ruins the learning experience, don't you know.

So when you mention (appropriately and without tone) that you don't have a TV, and the person you are talking to winces, it may be someone who has encountered one of THOSE people and is bracing for The Speech. ;)

IndianInlaw

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8887
Re: Is this a case for 'the line'?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 06:35:22 AM »
Other Person:  "Did you see Suchandsuch last night?"

Bms2000: "No, we didn't."
 

Less is more.