Why I Don’t (and Won’t) Own a TV

When people visit my home, the first thing they notice is that there is no television in the living room. Usually it’s a laid back “so where’s your television?” but more often than not it’s an incredulous exclamation, “you don’t have a television?!”


My tv-less living room

I used to, long, long ago, when I thought it was something everyone should own. Something to watch movies on from the library. And I’ve lived in four different houses that were cable-ready but never once called the cable company to set it up (too expensive). My uncle once complained to me about his cable bill; I told him, “so stop getting it.” He looked at me in disbelief and said, “you’re so funny!”

But when the government switched from analog to digital a few years ago and said that we’d have to purchase a converter (which may or may not work), I said forget it. I’m not doing it. So out went the television on the porch on Freecycle.

Truth is, I’ve never liked television. It’s noisy. It’s flashy. It’s too fast. It takes up space. It gets dusty. I want a calm, zen atmosphere in my home. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a home where the television was always on. Me? I preferred to be outside. Or reading. Or listening to music. Or writing. Or…you see how much time not watching tv frees up?

I once read a book called Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander but, in my case, it was really preaching to the choir.

In fact, did you know that, in the UK you’re required to pay a television licence fee to watch television? Can you imagine the probable riotous uproar if such a thing were required here?!

So what do I watch movies on? My laptop, when I feel like it and that’s usually only in the coldest, darkest days of winter.

~Maria, who bought a house with both a built-in microwave oven & a dishwasher, but uses the microwave as a cupboard and stores pots and pans in the dishwasher.*

*Microwave ovens scare me and I do not own enough dishes to run a dishwasher.


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23 responses to “Why I Don’t (and Won’t) Own a TV

  1. I don’t watch TV these days. The only time I put them on is when I’m alone and want the break that deadly silence in the house.. Come to think of it, TVs are really dusty !

  2. Mel

    I ALMOST won the battle of the “no TV in the living room”… at least for a few months. But soon lost that luxury after the TV had to be removed from the bedroom (where it was much less needed). *sigh*

    PS: we don’t have a microwave either. :)

  3. Alex Maruca

    Awesome post! We also refuse to buy a television and watch DVD’s on our computer when we get the media itch.

  4. I have cable for the first time in years and there are times when I am ready to re-think it and owning a tv. It takes up more of my time than I would have anticipated, and I agree…it DOES collect alot of dust.

  5. So when the end of the world comes, you’ll be the last to know ! ;-)

  6. aishanoor

    But then… How do you keep up with the news?

  7. “In fact, did you know that, in the UK you’re required to pay a television licence fee to watch television? ”

    Oh, don’t remind me. >.< And you must pay that regardless of whether you own a TV or not–watching live TV on a mobile device, games console or computer? PAY UP. Stupid, money-grabbing government. Anyway, well done for not buying into societal pressures and buying the dusty old box. I use my laptop to watch things later if at all, and if things are too quiet I put on the radio. Simple.

  8. Todd Alcot did a great spoken word (poem) back in the 90’s that personifies “what the TV wants from us.” Pretty funny but also very real and sort of disturbing. http://www.toddalcott.com/television.html

  9. Great! we are much alike when it comes to television..! I don’t have a television too and I don’t plan to buy one. :)

  10. Yeah, I agree. I think it is better for us to get information from other resorces such as internet, twitter, newspaper etc.

  11. Matt Knox

    Thats great, I love your living area.

  12. I don’t do a television in my bedroom because I agree, it needs that zen feeling. Without that sort of peace in my bedroom, I feel like I lose a space to write, read, love, think, everything.

    Sometimes, the roar of the tv can be quite annoying. However, I do enjoy watching it.

  13. Pat

    Ours is in the basement–you have to want to watch. BTW, I love your living room–it invites relaxation.

  14. indieandcoffe

    Reblogged this on Indie & Coffee and commented:
    No mínimo curiso! HAHAHA Principalmente no Brasil, não consigo pensar em uma casa sem tv, mesmo que seu papel não seja mais tão importante. É um texto curto que compensa a leitura.

  15. jgv777

    I agree with what you’re sayin! I don’t and won’t own a tv myself. Haven’t had one since I moved out of my moms house when I was 18 – I am 27 now! The whole idea of television programming is not something I wish to be a part of. Great post and nice living room!

  16. Julie

    Thank you for setting an excellent example! I can’t believe it’s been four years since I wrote a blog post advocating “Tubesless Living.” Read it here:

  17. Pingback: My Year in Books 2013 | Eleventh Stack

  18. watermelonfingers

    I know i’m 4 years late in leaving a comment. I came across this article whilst browsing why other people are so ignorant and intolerant to other peoples lifestyle choices.

    I don’t own a tv, i had a fancy tv sat in my living room and i barely watched it.

    It amazes how much the human race depend on a tv and social media. When i said i deleted my Facebook account i was met with a bizarre response as if I wasn’t normal for not wanting to read peoples endless illeterate updates on my news feed. Much the same as I don’t see the attraction of staring at a screen watching mind numbing series, reality shows or celebrity chefs patronising the viewers on how to eat properly.
    I have a busy life, I run my own business from home, go to the gym every other day, have a love for music and stay in the countryside I have lots to do. It’s just sad to see how much people rely on technology and scoff at others who choose to be different.

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