Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Life Without TV

***This post is an answer to something in the comments section of yesterday's post, What Will We Do With It? Please read that first, in order to understand this response. ***

<<<<Just a question for you women without sounding silly or naieve. I'd like to get an idea of your day without tv. I know this sounds ridiculous. But I come from a family of non-Christians and was raised on radio and tv. I guess I'd like to know what your day is filled with doing? When your husbands come home from work, how do they relax? What do you do together when they come home at night? A couple more questions come to mind. The internet has alot of the same things as TV does, how do you filter all of that? We have a presidential election coming up. How do you research the candidates? The computer? The Library? Do you even involve yourself with voting?>>>>

Let me begin by assuring you that you do not sound silly or naive. You sound like a person who has lived so long one way that you cannot imagine life another way. You sound like a person who has been indoctrinated by 'the world' to hate silence. You are expressing the typical Western mindset of our day. I too, was raised in an ungodly home with all forms of media blaring morning, noon and night. I remember summer vacation from public school being a blur of HBO and MTV. I also remember wondering how I would ever live without them. You, my dear, are not alone.

Next, I do not believe you really want to know about my day ~ it is filled to capacity with homeschooling seven children, running a farm, cooking from scratch, etc., and I am at a point where I now wonder how people have time to watch television. I am on the other side of the spectrum from where you are now (and where I once was). I believe that what you are truly wondering about is what in the world YOUR day would be like without television/radio/etc. So I will attempt to answer from that perspective.

The first two questions are quick and easy to answer:

Internet is a tool that we have weighed and found to be enough of a benefit to our family that we allow it here. Not by default, "because everyone has one", but because we believe it to deliver a net gain (and not all technology does). Our computer is a servant for us to use, we are not at it's mercy.

  • Our computer is double-filtered with Norton and BSafe filtering software, therefore, opportunities for evil uses of our computer have been greatly diminished.

  • All adults in our family know how to examine the history files of internet use, and further, Bsafe keeps a back-up record of the same.

  • Time limits, strictly adhered to, are a help if amount of time spent online is a concern. Accountability is also a helpful tool. .

  • We have our home page set to Blank, instead of AOL, MSN, or any other "news" sites.

  • Our children do not go online alone. Ever. Period. We are sitting with them at the computer screen at any time they are online.

  • We do not allow the internet to be a "boredom buster". We don't go there just because there isn't anything else to do.

Regarding elections...I always vote. I have never missed an election, and our children go to the polls with us each year. In our home, you may not complain about anything that you do nothing about. Since I love to fuss about politics, I have to vote to retain my room to "discuss" such matters. That said, I do not trust politicians. I believe that even the "good" ones put a spin on their image, and therefore what they say about themselves and their positions cannot be taken at face value. "When we see a political figure on TV, we are not seeing the person as he necessarily is; we are seeing, rather, the image someone has decided we should see" (from How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer). So, I go to a slightly more objective source to research candidates: their voting record. Here is a site where one can look up voting records, but there are many others.

Without television or radio, you will be bored. Flat out, you will experience monotony-filled days of emptiness. You will long for Egypt the media like your very life depends on going back to it. I believe this emptiness would be a great gift to you. "Out of the boredom, the suffering, the barrenness, and the silence would grow a vine called focus. Our thoughts would begin to modulate more in the direction of a few central themes. We would stop thinking about where we left the hairspray, what time the Superbowl starts, or whether we have enough Parmesan cheese for spaghetti. We would start thinking more and more about Truth, about life and death, about existence, and about God", (from The Overload Syndrome by Richard Swenson, M.D.) The media causes a dilution of anything of importance because of so much extraneous information, and distraction via an unrelenting flood of interruptions to our thoughts. My belief is that without the constant bombardment from the media, we can finally get a moment in edgewise to think a coherent thought, to listen, then hear from our Father, and to have a time margin to allow us to respond in obedience. Again, Richard Swenson said, "Essential to spiritual thinking is the ability to focus".

You mentioned, <<<<We have gone down to basic cable channels. I am happy we did, but I have teetered with the thought of getting rid of it altogether. It's no wonder I'm so sad sometimes. The news channels are filled with disgusting portrayals of war, shootings and other issues of this world and majority of prime time is very sexual, has gossip and everything that God doesn't want for our minds. >>>>. May I humbly exhort you, that if this is something Father is laying on your heart, that you obey Him? Understanding follows obedience. Do what He is telling you first, then you will understand why. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" James 4:17. Trust Him.

Have you ever been stuck home without electricity ~ maybe because of a snowstorm? What did you do then? Without the media, folks do what they did in the days before TV. They read, studied God's Word, worked, talked with their loved ones (how much of that goes on with the TV on?), women did handwork sewing, visited with family or neighbors, and went to bed early and slept soundly without soundbites running over and over in their heads. There are plenty of things you will find to do once you get past the initial delirium tremens! You may even feel as if you have gotten your life back. Allow the Lord to fill this time of yours as He deems best.

One more thing regarding what to do with your time without TV, and what your husband could do to relax. There is a reason that, when discovering that we have seven children, folks ask us, "Don't you have a TV?"


  1. Enjoyed your post--love the Egypt remark :)


  2. oldpathsfamilyfarmJune 1, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    Robin ~ What a thrill to see you here! I have been so blessed (and continue to be) by your books! We have both Heart of Wisdom AND A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays, and have devoured them!  I sure would like to sit at your feet sometime...but I guess that's why I have the books!

    Thanks for coming by!


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