Getting rid of my TV has been one of the greatest things I've done for myself.
Now, I should to say for the record that I didn't give up TV the way people give up drugs or porn addiction (e.g. in 12 steps). There was no purposed health benefit or some public message I wanted to make in the boycott of mass visual communication and commercial marketing. I work with an ad agency for crying out loud.
I just got rid of my piece of shit roundscreen TV when I moved last year, intending to get a nice new one, but never did. Besides, A.) Because I travel so much I get plenty of hotel and "mom's house" TV B.) The Internet, and C.) My friends with cable want nothing more than for me to come over and hijack their remotes so that I can flip back and forth between reruns of The Golden Girls and Cheaters.
Here are a few things that happen when you don't have a television:
1. When I do finally watch TV, I am agog. Everything is amazingly awful because I haven't had a chance to be pulled in by some flimsy yet narcotic narrative. Plus programming turns over like hot cakes these days, and each time, the reality TV fodder is that much worse. There is actually a fucking show called "Dating in the Dark."
What this show demonstrates to me is that ABC couldn't get clearance on blind soft-core porn because Disney is blind.
2. The commercials actually seem novel. Since I'm not subject to watching the same commercials over and over, a lot of them are still sort of entertaining, or at least easy to shit on. Like the Windows 7 commercial with the American in Germany doing tongue-ups on a wood floor. [I cannot WAIT till ten years from now when Tosh 5.0 cans some laughter making the obvious cunnilingus joke.]
3. Local news looks like nothing more than Youtube virals.
"Local man gets arm trapped in radiator. Cuts it off with the nearest sharp object: a toenail clipping."
"Irate Hanson fans throw chairs at the Southside Seaport when forced to wait ten minutes for them to appear on stage."
"President Obama's Labor Day Speech. What the half-literate man we cornered in front of the subway station has to say about it, next."
4. I've discovered incredible physical and mental health benefits in this absence of television and think everyone should re-consider their relationship to mass media and commercial marketing. It's evil.
5. Netflix/Hulu/DVD addiction.