Convictions and Culture

100 Days of No TV: Answering WHY & The Guidelines

We are about 300 miles into our journey for the next week. Planning and preparing for this vacation made this week pretty busy and I haven’t had the time to write as I would have liked. But I do want to make sure I address my plan for 100 days of no TV now. When we return from our trip is when we plan to begin our fast.

100 days of no TV will take me from June 1st to September 8th. To break it down, that’s 30 days in June, 31 days in July, 31 days in August. The 100th day will land on September 8th, so 8 days in September.

I figured I could take a TV break for 30 days and that would be a sufficient enough experience. However, I’m not looking for sufficient. I am looking for transformative. A 3-month break could have worked too (June-August), but saying it’s 100 days is more dramatic and memorable. Plus, after 3 full months, what’s one more week!?

Choosing the summer months was intentional, in case you were wondering. I figured it would help us detox to be able to enjoy the outdoors more freely and easily than we can in the winter. Hopefully, it will be a little more natural to watch less TV in the summertime.

I chose June 1st for the start of summer but also because I knew we had this longer car trip/family vacation planned for the end of May. We got this cute little portable DVD player for Christmas solely for the intention of going on longer trips with our kids in the car. As of right now, we’ve made it all morning (7:30-12:30) without the use of the DVD player. We read some books, we played with our doodle pads, sticker books, magnet boards etc… and then had lunch in the car too. Within about 5 minutes of putting the first show on, the younger 2 kids were asleep! So right now the second show is on and it’s definitely a “quiet” hour/rest time while the shows are on at present.

I know it’s possible to go long distances without the use of electronics, and so it would have been okay if we had started our plan already. However, since we’ve not done a long car trip like this with our kids since they were babies we just wanted to experience what it was like to have the added pleasure of shows while we drive. We’ve never had a TV in our car before and we don’t even have Ipads so the kids are not really used to any screen time in the car. This is a special treat to them, and we didn’t want to have too many unrealistic expectations for our time in the car.

So, June 1st it is!

Here are my rules and guidelines for our 100 days without TV

Here are the no brainers anyway:

No TV means no TV. No use of our smart TV in our living room: no Netflix, no Amazon Prime, no YouTube, etc… we don’t have any channels so that’s not an issue for us anyway at the present. In fact, I will be physically removing the TV from the room. Not sure where I will put it yet, either in our guest room or in the basement. We’ll have to figure that out, making sure it’s somewhere safe but also somewhere we won’t be tempted to continue using it.

Other rules:

I like to watch things on YouTube, and sometimes will use YouTube for the kids too. I don’t use YouTube Kids I just use the regular YouTube and type in what I am looking for. This TV break for the kids will include YouTube for them because they can watch just as many shows on there as they can on Netflix.

Exceptions:

YouTube: I will be making a few personal exceptions. I will allow myself to watch 2 YouTubers but no more. I want to make sure I stay current with my sister’s Vlogs and I’ll allow myself to utilize YouTube if I need to learn how to do something for a specific purpose.
Other Exceptions: I’ve been looking forward to the airing of the new series Little Women on Masterpiece (the link takes you to PBS where you can watch online). I’m a big fan of the 1992 film version of the story, it’s been one of my favorite movies of all time. So, yeah… I will break my rule for this show. But I don’t want to just watch it purely for pleasure and forsake the purpose of taking a break from TV. So, to make the most of this situation I will be trying to watch the show with friends or other people so that we can have meaningful discussions afterward about the show. I want to talk about things like: what did I learn, what did I gain or lose from this episode, what did I like or dislike and why, how does watching this show and watching this story impact me personally or spiritually, is there an impact at all, what does this show say or teach about the world or humanity? Etc… What we watch, DOES influence us, and sometimes we don’t take the time to really ponder that. So, this is the one show I will watch this summer but I don’t just watch I plan to really engage with it in a way I don’t normally take the time to do. Having some accountability partners in this will really help and make it even more impactful.

Hopefully, I’ve addressed the why for you by now and gone over the guidelines. In my next post, I will be talking about the end goals and what I hope to gain from this experience. If you have any questions for me, please write me in the comments below. Thanks for being apart of this journey with me!

P.S. if you want to watch Little Women, go to PBS.org and watch Episodes 1-3. Watch the expiration date of the episodes! Episode 1 expires on 5/27!

#100DaysofNoTV post 1: 100 Days of NO TV

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