Why I Don’t Have a Television

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When Keri and I were married, over 10 years ago, we made the decision not to own a television. Since then, we’ve considered it a couple of times, but each time we’ve decided to continue on without a TV.   (We do however watch a movie on DVD every few months, and we’ve now watched through all the seasons of LOST online together.)

Sometimes, people ask me why we don’t own a TV. Occasionally, I have a moderately good answer to that question, but today Keri sent me John Piper’s written response to that question.  Here’s an excerpt that I thought was especially good.  First, he discusses the sexuality of television media, and then he says this:

“But leave sex aside (as if that were possible for fifteen minutes on TV). It’s the unremitting triviality that makes television so deadly. What we desperately need is help to enlarge our capacities to be moved by the immeasurable glories of Christ. Television takes us almost constantly in the opposite direction, lowering, shrinking, and deadening our capacities for worshiping Christ.”

Wow, that’s good stuff!  What do I allow my mind to be exposed to that helps me focus on Christ?  What do I allow to deaden my capacity?

I’d highly recommend you read the whole thing.  It’s a very humble and insightful response.

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I Don’t Own a Television

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Many of you know that for the eight years Keri and I have been married, we haven’t owned a television. Yes, that’s right, we’re strange. We’ve never seen an episode of Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, or American Idol. It started off as an experiment, and it’s ended up as a lifestyle.

We made the decision not to own a television for a couple of reasons:

1) We saw that it could be a major distraction to meaningful conversation. At least for me, I can find myself tuning into what’s happening on the television rather than keeping my mind focused on a discussion.

2) We feel that media can make a major impact on the way we think and process information, so we want to be discerning about the type of media we subject our minds to.

Now, before I continue any further, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression of Keri and me. We’re not monks or anything. We do have two computers and broadband internet in our home (along with electricity and running water), and we don’t look down on people who like to watch television.

So here are the questions I want to open up for discussion:

–What effect do you think media (including TV, internet, music, magazines, etc.) has on people’s lives? How have you felt this impact in your life?

–What safeguards or boundaries have you set to keep media in check?

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