Friday, May 2, 2008

Idol Unplugged

When Magnet and I moved into this house back in October we decided not to buy cable; we wanted to put our time and money elsewhere. Having grown up without television, my withdrawals were minimal for those first three months. As January's new season of American Idol approached, I wondered if I was going to start missing being plugged in.

Honestly, American Idol is my fave show, but I didn't really miss it until my friend had me over to watch it for a few weeks...I subsequently became addicted, as usual, and if I'm not watching it at her house, I'm glued to Youtube, sometimes watching performances multiple times without the nuisance of commercials. It's nice! So I'm happy to report I've missed hardly an episode of American Idol, thanks to the hospitality of a friend and Youtube. But what I'm even happier to report is that we've survived without television. I'd say we haven't missed it a bit, but that would be a lie. We have missed it, but not as desperately as I thought we might.

Here are my pros and cons to having television, starting with the CONS:

  • I feel like our house is boring when it comes to having guests, especially for people staying with us. While we love reading in our spare time, I don't expect people to come over and pick up a book. I also have wished at times that I could have people over to our house to watch American Idol instead of always going to others' houses. I feel like having television is a social utility.
  • We couldn't watch conference on television--but we were able to stay home and watch it on the internet, so that hasn't been too much of a con.

  • People might think we're weird...I don't know.
  • We read a lot, which I've got to say is way more entertaining and fulfilling than watching TV.

  • Our house is quiet, which allows for some good introspection and peace.

  • Maggie isn't exposed to the scandalously clad women and violence that can invade a home, even simply from the news and commercials.

  • I'm not tempted to use the television as a sitter (I now use movies! haha) and I'm required to get creative when kids come over to play, especially little boys as all our toys of yet are dolls and strollers and everything girly.
  • I feel like we've been a lot more productive with our time, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.

  • We've saved some money without completely sacrificing our favorite shows. You'd be amazed at what's playing on the internet between, and Will watches Apprentice, The Big Give, and Eli Stone pretty regularly on the Internet.

Overall, it's been a good move for our family. And in case anyone's wondering, I'm totally rooting for the Davids on American Idol. I can't decide who I like better. I think David Archuleta's voice is angelic, but he's young and when he's not singing I don't think he's confident enough, which is uncomfortable to watch. I love David Cook's confidence and style and creativity, but I'm not really a rocker girl, so I don't always love his songs...he is charming, though. It's next to impossible, but I'm hoping for a tie.


  1. Hey it was fun talking to you yesterday, sorry we got cut off, I'm not sure what happened, and then my aunt called and stuff so I didn't call you back. Anyway, it's always great to talk to my maria! I think Addy had a pee rage last night. She peed on the carpet right next to her potty! Ugh! I hope it doesn't continue! Is Bella teaching her secretly?? JK! I think I am rooting for David Cook on Idol. I know, I should root for my fellow Utahn right? But both of them will make it far I am sure. I just LOVED David Cook's version of the Mariah Cariah song "You'll Always Be My Baby." I'm totally glad we don't have cable either. We get about 5 channels, which are perfect. We just watch Idol and the Office pretty much. And then Jaran watches his PBS specials and then we get KBYU for Addy to watch Barney and stuff, which seems to be a lifesaver some days! Sad, but true. Well, this is long, sorry. Should have just emailed you. love ya!!

  2. I love this!... we also are a cable-less household. When we moved out here 5 years ago we didn't get it (we were in school, so we didn't want to waste the money). We do have rabbit-ears, so we have the network channels, but, even then, we sometimes watch the few shows we love online just to avoid the commercials (and because a lot of them are on when the monkeys are up still). If only the ears could pick up the ESPNS and History and Discovery channels... I think we'd be set then. :)

  3. we are a satellite/cable free home as well - I don't miss it - although I would like to have The Discovery Channel (Addison's fave) and the BYU channel, maybe Disney - y'know - a few like that. Your pros and cons are pretty much like mine.

  4. I have to say I LOVE Eli Stone. Very cool that Will likes it to. How did he like the ending of season 1?! We didn't have cable until we moved here because it comes with the rent. But I would rather we didn't have it. Like you said, we can pretty much watch the shows we want to online!

  5. Have you tried You can watch lots of shows on it. Old ones, new ones. I haven't looked into it a ton, but it looks fun. I agree with a lot of your points. I cannot believe how bad commercials are getting. Our cable is included in our HOA, so we get it. But, we don't watch much. We got a TV armoire so it wouldn't be always present. I use disney channel with my kids more than I wish. But, I justify that they are making better kids' shows now that actually teach something. And, I'd go crazy if I didn't have the option. ;)

  6. Good for you on the no cable. Michael and I didn't have cable until we moved into our house. And like you said there are certainly pros and cons to both.

  7. Kandis MortensenMay 5, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Awesome post! We don't have cable either and I LOVE IT! (I do however, get to watch American Idol with our 'rabbit ears' and David Cook is my #1--mostly because he isn't just a great singer, he's a great musician--and you gotta love his creativity!) I just finished "Left to Tell" and if you haven't read that one yet--get yours hands on a copy!




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