Television and babies/kids/whatever

We don’t really watch tv. Why not? Well for me personally:

I was involved with a dude who had this enormous Manstrocity Entertainment Center. It took up our entire living room wall. It was filled with movies, and in the middle sat a gigantic screen. That screen was on for the duration of our relationship (which sucked anyways but that’s another story). He coerced me into getting a DVR, which I promptly became addicted to. I recorded shows I otherwise never would’ve watched. Every spare moment I had ended up being time I plopped in front of the television and spaced out. This was all way pre-baby, pre-Gabe, a lifetime ago it seems.

When that relationship finally ended, the Manstrocity left and I got rid of the DVR. Without cable, and only the internet to entertain me, I became an internet junkie. Six pack of Stella, cigarettes and my laptop, I would be content for DAYS (of course I had work in between) but this was back before Facebook, only Myspace and illegal downloading of music (who me?) kept me enthused. Ahhh it was good times.

Fast forward to meeting Gabe, and our party days. We spent hours listening to music in front of my computer, talking and throwing back beers. He felt the same way I did about tv, only his vices were The Simpsons and Family Guy. He liked those shows. I still watched Lost and some episodes of random things online when I found myself bored with the internet.

So when we moved in together, with my big box television set, we purchased some rabbit ears in order to get College Football games during the fall. It’s either that, or Jeopardy that entertains us now, but even so- we rarely turn on the boob tube. And people think we’re crazy. What do we do instead? I still spend time on the internet. I also spend a lot of face time with my kid. I really don’t like the idea of him watching television at all- but I”m not a nazi about it, and I have put in a Baby Einstein video once or twice– though those videos make me feel like I should’ve eaten mushrooms or something. Weird stuff! And for the most part I noticed that the DVDs I own (got as a gift from people who don’t know us well) just show toys…playing with themselves. I’m not sure I’d be entertained by this as a kid/baby. I am pretty sure I’d rather play with the toys myself if I were a kid…?

Anyways, I’m not a crazy person. I know he watches tv at the sitters and is mesmerized by it. He’s only 6 months old, so he hasn’t started asking for the things he sees on commercials, or (thank god) started quoting Dora or anything. And I’m not so opposed to television that I think kids don’t learn SOMEthing from it. I don’t know, it just seems unnecessary.

So I’ve read all sorts of things about how bad it is. I’ve read conflicting evidence about television and obesity, ADHD, all sorts of awful things. Just like MOST stories/articles, etc on that stuff I believe there are a lot of variables that go into making a kid nuts, fat and hyperactive. Maybe tv is one of them, maybe not. I just know that tv made me fat and boring. It made me way too interested in other people’s lives instead of my own. So we don’t watch it. Yes we get bored. Yes we supplement with episodes of things online and yes I watch Lost when I get the chance. But tv isn’t ever going to be a fixture in our lives. That’s the goal anyways.

So I started reading this book, “Into the Minds of Babes” thinking that I’d get some good support for my No TV theory…but so far it’s not telling me a whole lot that I didn’t already assume. What DOES kind of bug me is the whole marketing-to-kids by businesses…which I’ve read more about in “Buy Buy Baby” and it just disgusts me.

So I don’t know- I’m not a crazy person, I know he’ll watch tv and we’ll probably have DVDs we eventually rely on so I can get in the shower or make dinner without having to entertain the kid. But for now we still have it off most of the time, and it’s not FOR him, it’s just our choice. Whenever we do turn it on, we’re often amazed by the idiots on there anyways. We encounter enough idiots in real life that we choose not to watch them on tv. We’re not hippies, we’re not even partially crunchy granola types. We just don’t pay for cable, nothing that interesting is on, so we don’t watch. And people (even family members) think we’re crazy because of it.

So meh, whatever. Tv, SchmeeVee.

*EDIT* I should also mention that I don’t really judge people who watch television, nor do I think that people who have kids and watch tv neglect their children by getting less face time. It’s just a personal preference of ours’, that’s all.


2 thoughts on “Television and babies/kids/whatever

  1. Yeah, we’re on the same page … Although the manstrocities are tempting, and so sleek, I don’t see how everyone can afford them. I guess that’s how high a priority our society places on television.

  2. You should see our entertainment center set-up. It’s obscene. The thing is, we NEVER use it! In fact, I think yesterday was the instance of actually having the TV on for more than about 30 minutes since we were playing a video game. We normally just sit in front of our computers and listen to audio books and PBS specials while I work on my embroidery. I feel like I’m 80.

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