Living Without Television | Replacing The Idiot Box

A year without a tv.

Back in the 1950’s Winky Dink And You (see above video) was at the forefront of interactive media. Kids were invited to participate in concluding every episode by literally connecting the dots using a transparent sheet placed on the television screen and drawing on it with special pens (they were just crayons).

Over half a century later the box in the corner avails a gargantuan amount of viewing options. Our interaction is mainly with the remote, which is used as a tool to carve through the immensity offered. Texting to vote on some karaoke-style show or choosing between which sport commentary is the depth of our interaction—most content is still a passive consumption one-way serving.

Just like the acetate used by the kids, we are simply completing the narrative proposed rather than defining a wholly original one for ourselves or even shaping its future.

There is another way…

Embrace the opportunity to find our own voice.

Rage and publish.

Aggregate and share.

Understand the power of creating your own media menu.

The world is not what the news tells you it is.

It is far sadder.






Get out.

Develop your own media.

Your own message.

Take photos (nearly everyone reading this have a device which does this).


Capture audio.


Shoot video.


Comment like a fool (don’t just nod your head and move on).

Click all the buttons.

Try breaking the web (you can’t—I tried).

Talk to people.

Connect with people.

Ask them questions.

Set up an RSS aggregator.

Subscribe to a vast array of varying blogs and online spaces.

Blog yourself.

Understand the difference between curation and creation.

Craft a more balanced media diet.

Don’t accept the world as it is offered to you.

Get rid of your television and live longer, have more / better sex, look taller / slimmer / younger, earn more money, etc

Disclaimer: last line may not be true.


  1. Hey DK, Thanks for the inspiration.

    Been without a TV for nearly a year now and love it. The flat is more peaceful and we look out at the beautiful view rather than at a glowing box in the corner of the room!

    Now we choose what media we consume. The world seems a very different place as a result.

  2. Nice take on living without a TV. I’ve been TV free for 10 years and the only shows I watch are the ones I purposely buy or download.
    The only think I disagree is with you line about the “world is far sadder than the media tells us”. It’s not. The world is a much better place than the media lets on and filled with much better people than we are led to believe. I lived in Colombia for 10 years and that is arguably one of the countries with the worst media reputation in the world. But the reality is that it’s only about 5% of the people that fit what the media is saying. The rest of the country is beautiful, amazing people as well as some of the happiest. I’m sure if you scratch the surface on what the media says about most places, you’ll find the same.
    Thanks for the read

    1. Thanks for your comment Craig – appreciate the challenge on what the media tells us about this world – I also said it was “Madder. Awesome. Inspiring. Lovely. Creative.”… which fits in with the rest of your comment about the media only scratching the surface.

  3. All hail the dissenter!!
    I think it’s noble and commendable for those who don’t have a TV but it serves a purpose and just like anything else it is about balance. I spend some quality time with my family watching nature progammes, DVDs and even documentaries which make for good discussion especially as I am now introducing my children to philosophy and ethics.

    One of my problems with those who rally about getting TV is that they spend just as much time consuming stuff on their phones, tablets and pcs. But hey…..whose watching?

    1. Dissenters welcome here fella and you’re obviously using the TV as a great medium in which to start debates and educate those around you.

      I would argue though it’s not about balance but content. You can watch crap on any device nowadays but that’s not the point. It’s about embracing a new way of seeing and interacting and adding value with the world through creation, commenting, sharing, curating, talking, connecting, challenging etc

      Come back again soon :-)

  4. We lived for over 8 years without a TV. It was one of the best decisions I made and it benefited my children enormously. I rather enjoyed the notoriety and incredulous students of mine would exclaim “but how can you possibly LIVE without a telly” hehe! They also felt very sorry for my children whom they assumed must be social pariahs.

    It taught us to be far more discerning, far more able to be aware of manipulation and, interestingly, far less materialistic. Good times :)

    1. Appreciate you sharing your story – great to hear it works for families as well and lonesome hairy welshmen as well :-)

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