It’s been just about two years since last I owned a television. I love the reaction I get when I say that. It ranges from blank blinking of incomprehension to a kind of fear. I think it’s about the same as the reaction I’d get if I said, “I’ve been eating nothing but algae for the past two years.” To be fair, this is not at all the same as saying that it’s been two years since I’ve watched television. I watch DVD movies on my computer occasionally, I download video podcasts and episodes of TV shows from the iTunes store with some regularity, I watch TV at friend’s homes, in waiting rooms, and in hotel rooms. But I don’t own a TV.
How did this happen? It was an accident, really. I was shopping for a new TV, planning on replacing my tube with a flat LCD TV, ideally one with a built-in DVD player. A friend asked what I was going to do with the tube, and in a flash of inspired and charitable laziness, I declared that he could have it if he carried it out that very day. I live on the third floor. He took it.
So, I continued shopping for a new TV. But things got busy and I was picky and next thing I knew, I had been tubeless for weeks and then months. I didn’t miss it. In fact, I was reading more and sleeping on a better schedule. I felt better.
I’d never been one to say that TV was crap or that there’s nothing on. In fact, I believe that there is some exceptional programming being produced, even on network television. But nothing so great that I can’t live without it just fine.
Two years on, I have no plans to buy one. I can see some TV/PC convergence that might make my choice look less odd to people in the near future, but I’m not so sure that I’d buy the TV card option in my next PC. There’s lots of good stuff on TV, but there’s a lot of good stuff not on TV as well.