Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Earn a Million Dollars by Not Watching TV!

According to a recent article by Jeffrey Strain on, watching television will cost you over $1 million in your lifetime.

Interestingly, the same article referenced a study that concluded it would take about $1 million for Americans to give up television.

The original study was actually concerned with pervasive opinions about race in America. It concluded that those in the majority have a significant disconnect with those in the minority.

I would argue that anyone who requires $1 million to turn off the TV also has a serious disconnect problem.

A storm in 1992 took our our cable. It was a blessed wake-up call to the staggering amount of time I was wasting watching television, and the equally staggering amount of dreck I was willing to put into my head.

We haven't had a TV since.

Our "TV" is an early 1980's console model that belonged to my Grandfather. It has 13 channels, and tubes. The screen has a ding in the center of the glass from an unfortunate run-in with a drill bit that fell out of my hands while I was putting up a curtain rod.

The TV is connected to the DVD player. It's a glorified movie screen -- and, with the aforementioned "ding," not a great one. In closeups, the ding generally manifests as a sizeable blemish on the leading actor's nose.

Ironically, we actually have cable. It's how we get our high speed internet access. But it's not hooked up to the TV. If I don't have time to watch the movies I want to, how would I ever find the time to watch TV?

In this day of high-speed lives, with people complaining about a chronic lack of time, kids growing up in daycare, a society that is increasingly inured to violence, and millions of dollars a year spent on health concerns brought about by a sedentary lifestyle, I find it amazing that TV even exists.

Imagine how much space would be opened up if no room in the house was arranged toward the Television Shrine!

When I tell people that we don't have a TV, they often don't believe me. More times than I can count, I've been asked, "Then what do you watch?" without the least trace of irony.

Frankly, it would take a lot more than a measly million for me to bring a TV back into my home!