Three and a half years ago my family and I moved into a new home. While selecting paint colors and sleeping assignments, we also made the decision to not place a television in any of the main rooms of our home. This was a deliberate choice on our part because my husband and I both thought of this move as a turning point in our life and a paradigm shift in our lifestyle.
Who would have thought that such a decision would cause such an outcry from our friends and family. Yes, you are reading that correctly. People who do not even live in our house were upset that we were not placing a television as the centerpiece of our home. The responses varied from the comical, “What will all of your furniture face towards?” to the shocking, “I would rather lose my house than loose my T.V. and cable!” I was utterly flabbergasted by what I was hearing.
When did we get to this point in our culture when people cannot imagine living their life without the constant hum of a television in the background? Now I am not that old, only thirty-one for that matter, but I remember going to my grandparents’ house and walking around outside and looking at all of my grandfather’s flower beds and his enormous vegetable garden. I can call to mind sitting at the dining room table with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins playing cards after a big family meal. I recollect playing for hours in the playroom with my sister, not once thinking of the television, but instead being fully engrossed in the imaginary world we created with our dolls. So why then do people look at me cross-eyed when I say that I don’t have a television in my family room?
Now this is not to say that my children have never spent a moment of their lives in from of a television. We have Friday night movie nights in our basement each weekend. We make homemade pizza, pop popcorn and veg out for a couple of hours, watching our favorite princess movie. This week my girls had their first cold of the winter (Not bad, seeing as it is March!) and they spent some time snuggled up watching PBS shows that we have on DVD. But my point is this: Our lives do not revolve around an electrical box that sits on a shelf or is mounted to the wall.
During the day we find ourselves busy with projects and learning, and our evenings are filled with games and reading. And the reading is what we love oh so much! There is truly nothing I love more than to burrow under a hand-made quilt with my girls and venture to a far off land filled with energy and adventure! These are the times that memories are created. These are the times when much is learned. These are the times when I am so glad that my furniture all faces toward a bookshelf, instead of a television.