Years ago I had my first duplex alone. I had no TV, no livingroom furniture, and I loved the quiet. My mom purchased a TV for me and a couch made its way into the space. I have NOT been overly happy with the intrusions since.
When I returned to graduate school I cut off the cable and dish. I had a TV with no ability to get programming of any sort. It was a very GOOD thing. We did not miss the garbage on the tube and with the internet there was no reason to miss the TV news shows.
The family spent evenings enjoying conversation and old familiar good quality movies. That was really nice.
Currently the TV is on too much. We use a DVD player and watch science fiction series in the evenings together off of DVD. This is nice.
The Little Tiger enjoys Dinosaur Train and Curious George and The Cat In the Hat Knows All about That. We watch some days and others, like today, the TV sits dark and silent– a good thing.
Reading becomes much more entertaining when the imagination is exercised in play rather than left moldy and inactive through dull, mindless, comedies or mindlessly violent action shows.
There is more conversation when you can stop the DVD to discuss some point.
Then there is the computer and other new media. So much input possible, so many places to post, and so much time that can be sucked down the ethernet without anything to show for it.
Be selective. Ask if a particular blog or forum is providing something good in an objective sense or do you simply feel you might miss something if you got off the computer?
I’m evaluating the groups I have joined on facebook and recently dropped one of them. It was a pointless distraction and provided nothing of positive good to my life. There is a lot like that on facebook. I long since got rid of ALL the apps and the games. Nothing of value there.
Another consideration. I go to coffee shops to visit with human beings and I do not take the computer with me. I have only so much social energy. I do not want to waste it by being with friends in a public place and then ignoring them in part so I can type inanities on an internet site that cannot actually serve the function of real world flesh and blood we are having coffee together friends. For coffee at home, have you considered ordering some Mystic Monk coffee and helping this blog earn something?
I write and blog so the computer is an ongoing tool. It is not a replacement for family or for the time I spend thinking about what to write next and the time I spend researching for writing. My vocation to write means I must be extra careful to avoid letting the new media suck away time that should be preserved for the persons in my life.
It is too easy to fail to use the new media as a tool and to fall into the “I MUST participate” mode. Computers and cell phones are no more essential than the TV and should be relegated to their proper place. YOU control them by choosing how much time to give them and when to stop.
Turn it off, enjoy the silence. There is value in the silence too.