When I tell people that I don't have a television, it kind of freaks them out and then they do one of two things: they either give me a withering "you're an intellectual snob who thinks she's too good for television" look OR they give me the side-eye as though I may perhaps be the Unabomber, but with pink hair.
Neither of those is accurate.
I used to have a television. There were some shows I really loved (NCIS, you know I'm talking about you!) but I noticed -- again and again and again -- that I would be sitting on the couch on Sunday afternoons, flipping through one hundred plus channels, and not finding anything that remotely resembled something I wanted to watch. If you want to call that intellectual elitism, go on ahead, but I dare you to tell me that you haven't experienced the exact same thing more than once.
It got me to thinking: why am I paying for cable if I don't actually enjoy watching television? Why shell out cash for something you don't really use or want?
I stopped. Then, because I can watch DVDs on my computer, I just got rid of the tv altogether. It was just easier.
Here's how often I miss it:
Here's how often people tell me that I should miss it, that I need to buy a tv, that I'm opting out of popular culture: at least four times a week.
It's very odd.
Listen, if you're a person who loves tv, you should totally own a tv. Perhaps a really large, fancy one. Whatever makes you happy. Have at it. Go nuts.
If you would rather NOT use your time and resources on televised entertainment, you don't have to. It doesn't make you weird or freakish. It might be unusual, but there's nothing wrong with doing what works for you.
I don't tell people with televisions to chuck their TVs if having a tv makes them happy, but they keep telling me I need to have one even though having a TV does not make me happy, which makes me wonder if there is something about choosing not to have a TV that is transgressive; if I'm not Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and everyone else is, does that make an active statement about what I think about pop culture and mass entertainment -- does it seem like a rejection and a judgement about what other people enjoy?
I think it must, because people get so weirded out, which in turn weirds ME out.
But not enough that I'll buy a TV.