We Unplugged Our Television Last Night


We made the decision to unplug the television. It’s not something my husband and I had considered before. But it’s done. And it feels so good.

What led up to that decision? Honestly, the idea came to us during the Presidential debate. Was it because of the debate? Not necessarily, but the acrimonious banter helped us see the whole of television in a different light. I can thank the first debate question for that.

A woman from the audience opened with this question:

The last <debate> could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students’ homework, do you feel you’re modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?”

 It’s no surprise that neither candidate answered the question proposed, but it gave me an epiphany.

We really have no control over other people. When we turn on the television we invite whoever is on into our home where they have unlimited ability to influence our children and us. Would I invite insults, fear, slander and conflict over for dinner with my family? Not intentionally. Yet, we sit ourselves in front of the television where that’s all fair game.

Our decision to unplug the TV didn’t begin or end with the Presidential campaign. Last night was just the straw that broke the camels back. All of television has us scratching our heads.

We realized it’s also the news which puts a sensational spin on everything from the weather to celebrity gossip; it’s the commercials with their violent and sexually mature content; and it’s even the “family” sitcoms featuring pseudo realities that shift mainstream society’s perspective on what’s normal and acceptable ways of living.

This presidential election, I’ll be voting on principle, not on rhetoric. And this fall, I will be enjoying the love of my family and friends as we appreciate the joys of life.

We don’t believe in digging our heads in the sand and detaching from reality, but we do believe in taking back our power over the television.

In the interim, we choose to give our family a chance to take in the beautiful harmony this world has to offer rather than the division. We choose to expose our children to appropriate and positive behavior. We choose to spend time playing board games and valuing the time we have together. We choose to set them up with a foundation of security before the world threatens to take that away.

And at some point, maybe the television will be plugged back in.

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