For over 50 years, television has been a strong home appliance in the Western world. But with life increasingly crowded with digital clutter, are televisions still needed?
We spoke to three people who choose to live without a television.
Tess Cassidy, 40
Has a four year old and no TV
When Cassidy and her husband split three years ago, they realized neither of them wanted TV and gave it away. Cassidy says the decision was largely influenced by having a small child.
âIt seemed that not having a television could improve the quality of our domestic and family life rather than decrease it, and it did,â she says.
The only screens in Cassidy’s house are her laptop and smartphone, and while her four-year-old son watches programs on these devices, he sees them as “sacred land” rather than objects he’s free to use. activate at any time.
And as someone who works from home, Cassidy says removing the ability to turn on the television has been great for her productivity. She streams TV shows on her laptop computer but feels liberated by the absence of the “black box that once dominated the living room and on which all the chairs were reclined.”
âWhen I was single, I found out that I would have the television on for company,â she says. “I definitely don’t do this anymore.”
Tamara Pearson, 34
Grew up without a television and chose not to have one
Televisions have not been a part of Pearson’s life since he was five years old. She says the experience transformed her childhood for the better.
âNot having a TV meant I read, draw, play a lot,â she says. âMy mother helped us make a lot of toys from old bottle caps or pegs. I had a friend of about seven who didn’t speak much English, and she would come to my house after school and we would draw flower pages together.
Pearson also attributes the person she is today – a writer and skilled teacher of alternative education – to her childhood without television.
These days, Pearson lives with his partner, and the couple have made a conscious decision not to own a television.
âHonestly, we both find most things really boring,â she says. âHaving said that, I do agree that relaxation is really important and I don’t judge people who need television for it. And I like to watch a drama or a doco or a comedy quite regularly. The thing with streaming – through Netflix or YouTube – is that you get to choose, to a certain extent. “
Tom Sheahan, 28
Grew up with a TV but chose to live without
Sheahan hasn’t lived with a television in the house since he left his parents’ house in 2009. It’s the âcrazyâ commercials and reality TV that turns him off.
âNot having a television means I control how I spend my time,â he says. âI am not a slave to multi-billion dollar trading networks. If there is something I would like to watch, I will watch it on my computer. Sometimes we will use a projector to watch a movie or a big sports game.
As a result of his decision, he became more aware of the imposing nature of televisions.
âOften when I come home to visit my parents, the television is on but no one is watching it. It is like a member of the family. A family member who mostly spouts inane and irrelevant bullshit – albeit a few gems at times. “
Sheahan admits that watching television as a child shaped his sense of humor and worldview – especially the three-hour The simpsons that he watched every Saturday and Sunday morning.
âBut now, thanks to the Internet, I can choose to watch this, and anything, whenever I want,â he says.