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Could Your Family Survive Without TV?

By Whit Honea |

When we cut the cord on live TV it was much easier than we could ever have imagined. We stopped cold turkey, and while there were some lingerings as to what sort of shenanigans we may be missing on White Collar and Psych, the idea of TV as a thing to do quickly dissipated. Saving $100 a month helped.

The real test, we thought, would be the boys. They had grown soft and lazy between couch cushions and Wonder Pets, and we braced ourselves for their revolt.

It never came.

We have been without live TV for 10 months, and they have only once, yes, once, made a stink about not seeing a show — a pretty mild stink at that, nothing some potpourri couldn’t cover.

It wasn’t that we went without connections to pop culture and the outside world. We got by on family nights hovered around slowly streaming Netflix and movies rented from a vending machine at the local market. Between Hulu Plus and a PBS app I was able to stay up on Modern Family and Downton Abbey, so I could contribute to the latest water cooler talk, where the water cooler equals Twitter.

If anything, it made the programs we did watch, and the time spent watching them, all the more important. It felt like time well spent. A family night of small screen entertainment was planned and picked by conversation and purpose, not random default.

All of that will change today between noon and four. That’s when the satellite people are coming to screw their metal plate, if not directly into our heads, then onto the roof immediately above them. It’s a requirement of my other gig, and my wife is pretty excited about it.

My feelings are mixed.

I am looking forward to the new Avatar series though.

What TV shows would your family miss?


Whit Honea can be found writing about whatever he feels like at his personal site Honea Express (Honea sounds like pony) and DadCentric. If you’re really bored you can follow him on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people). He still isn’t getting a microwave.

Also from Whit:

What’s the Best Age to Visit Disneyland?

Dad Killed by 4-Year-Old Over Video Game

Are You Ready for Mother’s Day?

8 Underrated Sports for Kids


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About Whit Honea


Whit Honea

Whit Honea is an award-winning writer living in the greater Los Angeles area with his wife, two boys, and too many pets. His personal blog, Honea Express, is updated quarterly (give or take.) Read bio and latest posts → Read Whit Honea's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Could Your Family Survive Without TV?

  1. Greg Barbera says:

    My boys couldn’t live with The Regular Show and Adventure Time. Maybe MadTV. But I’m about to embark on an internet-only TV experience in a few weeks when I move because paying for 98 cable channels seems like a solid waste of money. My oldest might gripe about not getting his ESPN but he’s got an iTouch…

  2. whithonea says:

    I’ll tell ya, Greg, once we got through the detox it was actually pretty awesome. If our internet connection was better (we have the best we can get in our area, but it’s awful), we would have stuck it out. Saving money + saving hours watching crap just because it’s on = winning!

  3. Brian says:

    My wife had “her shows” that it would be difficult for her to give up. Sure she’d just end up watching them online, which is sort of the same. Grey’s. All those NCIS shows. We all try to catch Big Bang. But for the most part, we too sit before the TV when we want to. I own movies, we rent movies, and we stream Netflix, where one can still just watch random stuff for the hell of it . . .

  4. Simon says:

    DirecTV allows you to suspend your service for up to 6 months or something. At the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year, other than the odd DVD or Xbox game, the TV sat dark for the summer, until the NFL kicked off in September. Arguably the best 2+ months of the year, and our viewing habits were forever changed as we spend more time streaming Netflix than watching live tv. I will be doing this again this year (Go Kings!) and hopefully will eliminate the cable bill all together next year.

  5. Roby says:

    Is “Psyche” a “Psych” that spin off?

    1. whithonea says:

      @Roby — Yes. Yes it is.

  6. Beta Dad says:

    We went cold turkey 12 years ago; but with all the programming available online, we’re slowly starting to become TV people again. It’s true what you say though: having to go to the trouble of discussing and selecting makes you at least *feel* a little less passive.

  7. the muskrat says:

    I didn’t have cable when I was single (or even internet, other than NetZero) and didn’t really want it when we got married and had children, but the Mrs seemed to think we should have it, since it wasn’t very expensive to get the basic package once we’d already signed up for high speed internet at her insistence (she was blogging before I was, mind you). It’s nice to let the children turn on PBS Saturday morning when I don’t want to get up with them at 6:30am, but part of me would rather just see it go away again (except during college football season).

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