Sunday, April 20, 2008

Turn Off the TV Week . . .

Tomorrow, April 21, starts National Turn-Off-The-Television week, and I'm scared.

Am I up for the challenge? How will I get along without Matt Lauer in the morning, Brian Williams as a dinner date, or – well, maybe it won't be so bad.

But wait – the Pennsylvania primary is Tuesday – how will I get along without Tim Russert? How will I know what's going on?

Once when our kids were small we put our television away for about six months. Captain Kangaroo was the program I missed most; he was the reason I was able to shower each morning. I trusted him with my children!

After six months we allowed the television back into the living room, but with severe restrictions which, over time, we relaxed.

Looking back, though, I'm glad we tried giving up television. Our kids responded well. They complained, of course, but how could they not? Once they'd vented, they found lots of other things to do. Ask questions. Play games. Read books. Get into things.

Over the past few months, we've watched less and less television. The writer's strike was part of it, but a bigger part of it was just weariness with the sameness of news broadcasts (and the in-depth reporting of things we were interested in on our local NPR stations.) We were bored with the crime/forensics/legal/medical dramas that make up so much of television, and we quit watching most “comedy” shows a long time ago, when we realized we were not amused, just embarrassed by them.

So what will we really miss? Probably our local public television stations. We have basic cable so they are our source for the nature, history, and local programming we enjoy. The Jane Austen series is over, and “Carrier” doesn't begin til next Sunday.

I know – The Weather Channel!

How about you – do you dare take the television challenge?

Let me know, and I'll keep you posted about how it's going.

No comments: