I just read a story over at Get Rich Slowly about a frugal man who is trying to live a minimalist life, but was being made fun of by his peers for not owning a TV.
“My colleagues at work tell me that I live a miserable life, and I don’t give my family “materialistic life pleasures”. Those sort of words hurt me a lot. We don’t have a TV at our house and my colleague makes fun of this thing all the time.”
Am I the only one who thinks that’s silly?
“…I don’t see how the lack of television is something to mock. If anything, it ought to be praised. The most productive, least materialistic people I know are those who watch little or no television. This site would never have been built if I were a TV-watcher.”
The most productive people I know don’t watch TV.
Think about it. Television is by nature an all consuming direct form of marketing. It’s supported by advertisements trying to get you to buy the next biggest thing, the shows on it are filled with product placement and supported by ad revenue.
Companies are spending billions of dollars on psychologists and ad companies trying to get you to buy buy buy. The television shows are complacent in this scheme. — Obviously PBS is an exception, but when was the last time you watched PBS?
98% of TV is crap.
Basically, if you have a TV, you spent a lot of money on a machine that is poisoning your life. You might also be spending tons of money on cable TV, because if you think if you do that you’ll get more quality.
The average American household spends $60 on cable a month. That’s $720 a year.
Add on any On Demand movies, and that can quickly shoot past $1000. It’s so easy to order a $5 movie now, humans are stupid when they’re tired and want to watch a movie, so we just hit ‘buy’. Instead of waiting for the Netflix, or going to the library. Or maybe just reading a book?
Also, think about how many things you’ve purchased because you saw them on TV?
If you’re not outraged, I don’t know what else to tell you.
We’re being taken advantage of by the big companies marketing us products, the television companies, and the cable companies. They want us to buy and keep paying for a product that costs too much and isn’t adding anything to our lives.
In the past we had no options, but the internet has changed everything. You can now stream your favorite TV shows directly from Hulu.com and other sources. I watch The Office once a week online, it’s easy and free.
You also have free access to real information about many topics that add value to your life. Why spend an hour sitting in front of the tube when you can spend an hour conveying a revolutionary idea to an audience?
This is a call to arms. It’s time to get rid of that TV.
If you had no TV you’d be:
- More productive
- Richer because you’re not paying your cable bill
- Richer because you sold your TV and didn’t buy a new one
- Richer because you’re getting more work done
It’s like a win-win situation, that TV has to go.
In fact, I challenge you to get rid of it now.
How to get rid of or destroy your TV.
- Sell your TV. Take a picture of it, fire up craigslist, and post a listing offering your TV for less than you bought it for. Try searching for your TV’s model and make on Ebay to get an approximate offering price. If you have a high quality plasma screen, you should be able to sell it in no time. If you can’t sell it within a week, reduce the price by 25%. Still nothing? Half off.
- Give your TV to someone who needs it. If you can’t sell your TV for money, find someone who needs a TV. Maybe a homeless shelter, or school? Donate that TV!
- If you can’t sell your TV, destroy it. You can do this with a sledgehammer, tying it to the back of a car, or dropping it from a five story building into a dumpster. Don’t drop it on someone, that would be bad. *Be careful, there can be residual charge on the back of the inside of screen, this can be dangerous!
- Turn your TV into a work of art. A painter friend of mine in New York painted the screens of three televisions we had sitting around our house. When you turned them on they did that static thing that TVs do, and we had illuminated art work. We eventually got tired of this and resorted to the sledgehammer technique.
Also, to reader Rob over at Get Rich Slowly: Get new friends, those guys who were making fun of you for not having a television are not going anywhere in life. They’re losers.
Surround yourself with people who are intelligent, productive, and don’t watch television. You’ll be surprised how your life will change for the better. By ridding yourself of your TV you will get more done, be happier, slimmer, healthier, and have bigger ideas.
Think I’m crazy? Let me know on Twitter.
Destroyed your TV? Post a picture somewhere and leave the link in the comments.