Several weeks ago Josh, one of the guys from Simply Youth Ministries podcast, and his family (wife and kids) gave up TV and Xbox for 1 year! I wondered why this bold move by a guy my age that is really into his Xbox games and didn’t give any indications of having scruples against TV. Here is some of the post from his blog More Than Dodgeball:
FAMILY – We wanted to create more family time
The biggest reason was the simple fact that the television and Xbox 360 was taking too much time away from our family. The recently-invented family weekly bucket list has been a really fantastic addition to our lives, pushing us to be creative and have fun as a family. We still watch the occasional DVD but also build volcanoes, make paper airplanes and have great conversation at tea parties.
Kuddos to you. I think about what my response to life is, as a dad. My wife and I often ask each other what we think is so special about us that we don’t expect our kids (1 and 3) to be any different than adolescents we see daily. I think we need to think about a family idea bucket. It is part of being intentional about the future. We (I) need to think hard about the future and plan, rather than fly by the seat of my pants.
OUTDOORS – We were concerned our kids never went outdoors
OK, so it isn?t quite that bad ? but even living in California with a little paved backyard we want our kids outside and playing. We actually use the bikes now, and go swimming a ton. The trails behind our house actually are getting some use and we visit the park way more often. For a kid who grew up in the freedom of the Midwest, I?ve certainly become an inside guy.
Ah, and with the internet and computers life inside for me is alluring, but I do like being outside. I love construction work, and beign in the dirt and animals. Anybody want to help me make a chicken pen or fence for some goats. Wait, I need to think about how I involve the family/children in these activities.
COST – We could get TV for free from the internet
To be honest, I don?t miss TV as we formerly knew it. We can save some money by watching whatever shows we do want to follow on network websites and Hulu. Now that the computer is hooked up (HDMI) to the TV, we can even still watch it on the main screen and it looks solid. Paying for cable will soon be a thing of the past, I would imagine. Shows are free, and typically have little/no commercials.
I have nothing to say here…see my comment in response to Standards further down. I think I have some more scruples against TV so…
PROJECTS – This is the year of the book
I?m excited to be working on some writing projects right now – some with friends and some on my own. Not sure where that will all lead, but I certainly have more time now at nights instead of vegging in front of the TV.
Hmm, who doesn’t have projects to complete and without a TV what is my excuse? Well motivation maybe. Seniors get senioritis but what if your not a senior? Well lets call it what it is procrastination!
STANDARDS – Often times we watched stuff we either a) shouldn?t have or b) didn?t remotely care about
This isn?t the biggest reason on the list – but it did matter to us when we made the decision. Basically, we either wasted too much time watching nothing, or we watched stuff with little redeeming value. With on-demand TV, we can be much more selective and intentional about what we watch.
Here is where I get excited. How much of what people watch whether it is TV, YouTube GodTube or plain DVDs is just stuff we shouldn’t have? Probably 48% of it. Then the other ‘stuff we don’t remotely care about’ makes up the other 50%. Do the math and does the last 2% really matter in the end? I don’t want anyone to write me off as kooky I’ve seen my share of time-wasting youtubes, I have watch an amusing DVD (a-muse means not-thinking), but neither does it make it right or wrong.
My hats off to you Josh for standing strong heads and shoulders above the average christian and actually thinking about what really makes a difference in the lives of people (especially those little people we call our children)!