Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Benefits of Disconnecting Cable Become Appearant

She told the baker what to write on
her birthday cake.
Daughter #4 just recently had her sixth birthday. Nearly a month prior to her big day, Wifey and I began asking her what items she would like as gifts.

The usual answer became "I'm not sure" and after a while, Wifey and I decided just to get her what WE thought she needed (imagine that!).  Among her gifts were a new school backpack, a new dress and shoes for church, a modest mp3 player ($14 from Amazon, no ridiculously overpriced iPods here) and a new line of Legos made just for girls.

It wasn't until Wifey relayed a recent conversation to me that she had with one of her friends that I saw the big picture.  My daughter didn't know what to ask for because she wasn't being bombarded with carefully crafted commercials hawking the latest, greatest must-have toy of the week.

You see, we opted to disconnect our cable tv over three years ago. We don't even have the bunny ears required to get three local channels. We simply don't need it AND don't miss it one bit. The constant barrage of junk television shows with misguided teen plots and negation of family values will not be polluting my kids.

In fact, almost a year after we turned it off, I took a few of my older girls with me to work one night.  I had been called into a hospital to perform an emergency ultrasound which typically takes less than one hour.  My girls tagged along with plans to watch the tv at work and enjoy the free soda pop in our cafeteria.
Upon returning from my examination, my eldest daughter informed me that not only were the same sitcoms on the Disney Channel on year later...but the EXACT SAME EPISODES were playing.  In other words, one year after we tuned out commercialized television, the networks were still re-running the same old junk.
My girls were amazed and laughed at the fact that, in their minds, they had missed NOTHING by having to live without cable television. 

So I had my thoughts reconfirmed this month as to the validity of turning off the cable networks many years ago.  My children don't ask for the latest widget and are happy with gifts from the heart.
Wifey even teased #4 that she was only getting one birthday present. Unbeknownst to her, all her gifts had been wrapped up inside one large box, giving the appearance of one gift. Do you know what she said when she was told she only got one gift?

Not one...single...word. No whining, no crying about multiple gifts at past birthdays or birthdays of siblings. She was content with the notion of one single gift. Can I attribute that to a lack of tv? Probably not, but it sure helps keep her little mind from being distracted by worthless drivel.

I am so proud of her and the little girl she is becoming.  I love her so much. She makes Fatherhood such a joy.


  1. I couldn't agree more, OJD. We cut our satellite TV about three years ago too. We keep up with the world news just fine without it, probably a lot better since we can choose our news sources and don't put up with all the propaganda/commercials. I don't miss the $80/month bill for satellite out in the boonies either!

  2. My daughters watch some crap once and a while on ABC Family. Two different shows same platline to me. I enjoy Hawaii 50, NCIS 1&2 CSI but that's is about it. Some good shows on NATGEO Alsaka State Troopers etc.

  3. She's precious OJD!...Happy Birthday Little Jeep!

  4. I would like you to pass on to her my "happy birthday" wish. BTW, there are a couple of channels that are very worth while, like RFDTV, RuralTV, National Georgrapic, etc. I just love RFDTV, with all its gospel, bluegrass, and country music. There are worth while programs on TV but you have to search for them.

  5. We've been two years without cable and we don't miss it one bit either. It's amazing when you realize just how much the tv was used just for "background noise". And we sure don't miss that monthly bill!

  6. I get everyone's comments minutes after you post them. They come to me on my Droid phone. Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out a quick way to reply using the Droid. So, I come back here and do it the long way.

    @Hoss Our bill was around $70-80 a month too. The only thing we really liked was the Discovery Channel and I forget the name but there was a medical channel we liked too.

    @Rob There are some shows we like to watch. We use Hulu or NetFlix or sometimes Amazon. Even YouTube has movies for free. Like when our friend JOhn (who won last season) was on The Biggest Loser, we watched it for free on Hulu. There is SOME decent stuff out there...but not much. For me, I don't typically watch stuff unless it is educational in some way (documentary, historical, medical, etc).

    @Mamma Bear Thanks! She IS pretty great (as she tells us). I think that's a line from the movie Mall Cop.

    @ Dizzy I've never heard of RFDTV nor RuralTV but will def look for them now. We like NatGeo and Discovery for sure.

    @Annabelle Funny thing is Wifey HAS to have background noise on at bedtime to go to sleep. For the first ten years of our marriage, we went to bed with the tv on in our bedroom (is that TMI, LOL?) Anyway, without cable, now we pop in a dvd or turn on NetFlix and slumber off with something playing as background noise. Old habits are hard to stop.

  7. Yes, I built a 8 bow tie antenna from a video on YouTube with coat hangers Works great. I even get Daystar which is locally broadcast.

    We love that extra $100 a month, Daystar came only with premium cable package.

  8. Hi OJD,
    heard you on the 'Wranglerstar Radio';
    Love that she was gifted LEGO! In my world LEGO is the best childrens toy and I had a ton of LEGO my self as a child. The company is owned by a wonderful danish family - wildly rich but very, very modest - both the family and the company have ultra high morals and ethics. Great buy!
    Best wishes on your family farm-project

    Peder, Copenhagen East, Denmark


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