The Big Addiction

I am of a generation that can't remember a time before there was TV. 

I remember watching the black and white TV "console" as a child.

The thrill of color TV.


Cable boxes, remote controls, 65" projection TVs, flat screens, plasma....

There has always been a TV around. 

I admire those of you (whose blogs I read) that have given up the "boob-tube" and while I can walk away from it from time to time, it's always there, calling my name, "turn me on, what's going on in the world"?

SM and I have a large flat screen TV that we paid the earth for back when it first came out.  (These kinds of TVs are a dime a dozen now.)

WE have had DirecTV for 10+ years.  I like their service,, LOVE, LOVE... the DVR function.

Over the past year or so we've watched the DirecTV bill inch slowly higher.  We call to complain and they give us 20 bucks off here and there.

Yesterday I got the bill...$97.  Are you kidding me?  (I guess we need to call and complain again.)

We have a package called "Choice Plus" which gives us a gazillion channels and (of course) nothing is on.

Except for March Madness.  (SM loves college football and basketball.)  Don't mess with the man's B-Ball.

I remember when "basic cable" cost $30 bucks a month. 

I went into work today and quizzed the staff.  Didn't seem to matter who the provider was, everybody was paying between $65 and $95.  For BASIC services.

When you break it down $97 is about $3.23 per day.  We maybe watch 2 hours in the am and 3-4 hours in the pm. 

More on weekends, and in the winter. 

Less on weekdays and in the summer. 

On average though, I expect most people pay somewhere between $800 and $1200 a year for basic TV.  More if you watch pay per view movies or subscribe to premium channels.

I've tried to analyze my feelings about this.  Today for example, I blew out of the house this morning without really even watching anything.  Came home tonight, and read a few chapters of a book and got online to blog.  So very little TV for me today.  Did I miss it?  Not really.  It's a habit.  Like a child sucking her thumb, it brings me comfort.  A habit so ingrained that I'm not sure I can give it up.

Two weeks ago, the TV was barely turned off all weekend with the tsunami news.  I was completely absorbed.  Remember 9-11?  Same thing.  I couldn't away...I was there experiencing everything, no way was I going to walk away.

So how to let go?  Or if I can't let go, can I make it less appealing?

SM and I have discussed the fact that with nicer weather on it's way, we're unlikely to spend much time in front of the TV.  Happens every year.  Nice weather hits, we're outside.  Perhaps now is the time to start our withdrawal.

So yesterday I called Direct TV and stripped us down to a "unadvertised" package of about 100 channels.  I'm keeping the HD and DVR functions for now.  Slap some tax on it and guess what?

I'm still paying $70 for DirecTV. 

What I'd really like to do is go on a TV diet.  I'd love to break this addiction. 

We read about "free online TV" but I really haven't explored that avenue much.  SM isn't into movies so NetFlix is a waste. 

Curious how I can't imagine life without a TV. 

I hear some people feel that way about their cell phones, texting and facebook.  Even blogs.  Would I be crushed if I stopped blogging tomorrow? 

I get cranky when we're having computer glitches and I can't get online.

Will I substitute one addiction for another?  That's usually the way it goes when you deny yourself.

Funny the only time we're free from our addictions is when we're on a vacation somewhere.  Do you notice that?  No phones, no computers and if you're in a hotel usually lousy TV anyway.  There's too much to see and do, lets go!

Why isn't my day to day life like that?  Am I so bored with my life that I need TV / Internet to entertain me?

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