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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nixing the TV(again)

For several years we were TV free and happy. We had a TV, but no cable or satellite, which in this neck of the woods means no TV programming what so ever. We did use our TV to watch DVDs and VHS tapes, but that was it. We were more than content. Why then did we ever turn on the satellite programming again? Why??

I don't know, but I wish I wouldn't have! This stupid TV creates far more problems than it solves. Actually it solves nothing other than turning my kids into mindless zombies, or worse yet greedy, wanting, consumerists.

This TV interferes with school time, family time, meal time and so much more. I call one of my children in particular down for school, and he is in near hysterics over missing his show. He wants dinner taken in his room to avoid missing his program(NOT!) Even fun time with friends is scheduled around his programming.

I take full responsibility for letting this get this out of hand. It's my fault, plain and simple. But in taking responsibility, I am also taking responsibility to get rid of the thing.

We will keep the devices, and once again go back to carefully selected DVDs, but the satellite programming is outta here! TODAY!!

Now, if I could just get brave and get rid of that XBOX again!!

A few years ago we gave the thing away due to the kids fighting over it. Those were among the happiest years of mine and Dad's lives!! Then this past Christmas we caved in and let my brother buy them a new one! BIG MISTAKE!!

They don't really fight over it or anything like that, it is just their lives revolve around this thing. Same child actually that has a hard time dealing with the TV has an equally hard time with this device.

Not only that, but when I listen to my child talk with his friends, or even overhear other conversations taking place among other children, all the talk revolves around video games! Either what is "hot" in the gaming world today or what level they are on or what secrets they found, etc... I find this sad and a little worrisome to be honest.

I once heard a teen friend on the phone with his girl friend and for over an hour what do you suppose they talked of? You got it, video games! They talk about their adventures in these games, like they are really living them. Parents, be careful what kind of games your kids are playing!

TV, video games, the Internet, they can all be good things. But without proper limits and guidance they can become our worse enemies.

In many households today, if families are fortunate enough to all be home at the same time, they may physically be there, but they are mentally and emotionally somewhere else. Teen son is most likely on MySpace online, mom may be online as well, the kids are playing Xbox or watching the tube, while dad plays solitaire on the computer. SAD!!!! And if I am to be honest, I must admit, I just described a typical evening in my home!!

Technology is a great thing! I LOVE the Internet, but it can also be a dangerous thing. Be careful how you use your time! I really feel the Internet has taken away most sense of community in our lives these days. Many friendships among women and teens these days take place on forums on the Internet. Few "real life" friendships are being formed. How many of us really know our neighbors? What happened to neighborhood potlucks or barbeque's?

What happened to the neighborhood kids playing stick-ball in the street? It just doesn't happen anymore. Kids get together today to play and it is to play video games or get on MySpace together. If the smart parents put their foot down and say "no" (gasp) to technology for a day, what then do these kids do? They TALK about the games! No one goes out to play anymore. I fear many if not most kids don't know HOW to play anymore.

I am not totally against these games, and the Internet and even TV, but there does need to be limits set for our children and in some cases even ourselves. Kids need to learn how to "play." They need to learn the joy of building a fort, or taking a nature walk, or reading a good book. All simple things, all potentially profound things, yet no one takes the time to do them anymore.

As for me and my house; the TV is gone as of today, and we are certainly going to re-evaluate our usage of other technology.

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