A Year with No TV – The Ciccarellis

We’ve been TV-less now for one year plus two and a half months. It seems like we should be saying that at a meeting standing in front of a group of people declaring the subtraction of an addiction because truly that is what we felt like TV had become in our lives. An addiction.

When we first moved to Seattle last summer we made the conscious choice to go cable-less for a few months just as an experiment (and truthfully because we were going to be moving into a new apartment in just a couple months and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of changing our cable over). It felt like we could get a whole lot more accomplished if we weren’t tied down each night to our “favorite” shows, which multiplied in number each month. Plus, with the addition of DVR we were watching at least 2 hours of cable TV each night! Our excuse was, “well, there aren’t any commercials so we’re watching less than we normally would,” when in reality we watched more because we taped more. Enough was enough so when we moved we canceled it all, packed up the TV and brought it along just for movies.

A couple months into our experiment we realized we really did have more time! Time to grow our business, eat long meals together at the table, time playing with our cats and being with family, and a chance to practice our hobbies. A couple months turned into 6 and when we finally got settled last January and unpacked all the boxes we realized that we had survived this long without watching TV, why not keep it up for the entire year?

We’re not going to say it has been all peaches and good times. We’ve found a few drawbacks. If there’s a soccer game Erik wants to catch, we now have to go to a pub to see it. And we’ve also decided there are 2 shows we have to watch, with or without TV. We see New Girl and Modern Family streamed on Hulu just a week after their air date. We went from 10-12 shows we watched regularly down to 2. Depending on which study you read the average American watches between 3.5-7 hours of TV each day! Before we started this experiment we also read that if you even cut out 1 hour of TV each day and spend it doing something else you love such as reading you could potentially read 6 books (average reading rate of 300 pages per 5 hours) each month!

Our experiment continues and as of now we have no plan to order cable anytime soon. In fact, since moving into our new apartment last month (we do a lot of moving obviously) we haven’t unpacked the DVD’s or even plugged in the TV yet. Hmmm…maybe next move. Are we writing this to brag? Definitely not. We kept wanting to find more hours in our day and spend time together doing things we loved. Now we do just that (even if we occasionally miss The Ellen Show).

Have any other time-saving tips or things you’ve changed in your life that surprisingly worked to give you time back?

Tell us about it! ~Erik & Marissa

James Milstid - My hat is off to you! I seldom watch TV; when I do, I feel like I’m wasting time. I do watch the Seahawks, but that’s about it. Unfortunately, the Internet is the new TV for me… it sucks more time that TV ever did!

Ben Schmiege - Glad to hear it is going well. Nice to hear your perspective. Our 2.5 yr experiment is going strong as well.

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