Monday, December 23, 2013

I have no idea what is on television these days - and I am happy about it

I can hear myself now: "When I was little, television shows only came on during a certain time, so you had to make sure you were home in time to watch it. There was no way to pause the program either, so you had to time your bathroom breaks and snack runs during the commercials."

My son will look at me incredulously and I will feel old. I wonder if he will believe me if I continue with my "TV in the past" stories and tell him about about getting up to turn the knob on the actual television set because there was no remote control.

And yet, I know that I will one day say this to my child, shortly after we have some sort of argument over the amount of television he watches. I try to limit his exposure to television, but it's hard. But I know we are not struggling alone - the latest studies show that Americans are still watching too much TV.

Neilsen's latest numbers show that people are watching less television per day than they did a year ago. However, these numbers fail to take in account on-demand television.

Happily, our house is designed so that the television lives in the bonus room, far away from the main living area. Out of sight; out of mind. We are a family without cable television. My husband and I use Hulu and Netflix to watch the few shows that we like (or have time for). We let our son watch Sesame Street (also available through those services.) Once a year, we try watching live television. This year we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It was awful (not the parade, the experience.) There were so many commercials, and there were large chunks of the parade that I wanted to skip over (it made me miss our Tivo). My son didn't understand what commercials were at all and why they were interrupting the parade (which I am smugly happy about.)

Do you put limits on the amount of television your family watches? Tell me about them in the comments.


  1. My husband and I watch a lot of TV..our life's incomplete without it. Our daughter luckily is not fond of it. She's happy watching nursery rhymes, Barneys etc.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Anshu. Here's my question for you: Do you watch your daughter's shows with her?