Getting divorced from the TV

by Michael Smith

What would you miss?

In Britain the first thing you would miss is paying the nigh on $200 annual license fee without which the viewing of television is a felony.

In addition to that you would miss all the garbage programs.

I have gotten divorced from the TV some ten or more years ago and have not really missed the one-eyed monster god in the corner at all.

Now, with BBC's iPlayer, for instance, we all have the chance to watch some of the interesting – and also, alas, the not so interesting – programs for a week or more afterwards and I must say that I do that at times now.

On the other hand seeing what is on in most cases on the box it is definitely a case of not missing anything.

In general terrestrial television in Britain is a waste of time and, so I have been told by many of my contacts in the USA, for instance, the same appears to be true in America.

While in the USA there is no license fee payable in order to watch TV the programs appear to be equally bas if not worse and therefore I doubt that anyone would seriously miss television, especially not if one can watch some stuff online; interesting stuff I mean.

What you will gain, on the other hand, by divorcing yourself from the TV is a great amount of time that you can spend with and on other much more beneficial things, and even if that be only reading books.

Personally I do not think that I could even fit the TV into my life anymore for I am way too busy with all the things that I am doing as with writing and such, and from what I have heard from others who have gone the same road of divorce from the TV they have made the same experiences.

In addition to that for those that have a family you will find that you suddenly have time for family quality time, time to do things with your children, time to spend with the other half and such.

While, at first, the kids will moan and groan about not having a TV and also think that they are being deprived something that their peers have it should not take too long and they too find that life without the box is so much better and so much more rewarding.

I have heard though of some children's services getting involved in some cases trying to get the parents to have the TV for the children and claiming that it deprives the children, etc. Instances of that have occurred in Europe as well as, as far as I know, the United States.

In Europe where a license fee is required in most countries for the watching of TV and even the listening to radio broadcasts it will take some time to persuade the authorities before they will believe that you do not, in fact, have a TV and use it without a license. It took somewhere in the region of 5 years before the British TV Licensing Authority stopped sending me letters saying that I had to have a license and that they'd we coming around to check as to whether I had a TV. They finally believed though they never actually came to check, but I still get the occasional letter claiming that, in case I now had a TV I would have to get a license and they say they'd be coming to check. Oh well! They are welcome. Not that they will be permitted to come in unless they have a warrant and a police officer with them.

Despite those little inconveniences I think it is more than worth it having gotten rid off that one-eyed god in the corner that demanded worship. Not only am I saving those two hundred bucks, I am not wasting time either; time that could be used in a much m ore productive way.

© M Smith (Veshengro), March 2009