About two months ago Gord and I decided to discontinue our satellite service, which out here means we have no TV signal at all. I guess we could have tried hooking up the rabbit ears to see if we received a local signal, but we haven't ever bothered with that. It has been an interesting experience, living without TV. Neither Gord or I could remember a time where we had gone longer than the duration of a power outage without being able to turn the TV on whenever we wanted to do so.
Several of our habits changed. We stopped having meals in front of the the TV, and moved to having it over at the breakfast nook-type area of the kitchen. (The table is off-limits: it is largely used as a desk/office area.) At the breakfast nook we would read the paper or a book and occasionally even talk about what we were reading! Sometimes, we'd relax and listen to some music. We enjoyed not being bombarded by food, beer and automotive commercials every ten or twelve minutes. When I would go to someone's house who had TV, I really couldn't find anything worth watching, and the commercials seemed even more annoying than usual.
But, coinciding with cancelling the satellite was the upgrade from dial-up to high-speed internet. And I'm pretty sure that any energy savings we may have gained by turning off the TV have been lost by the fact that now both Gord and I have our computers on at night, often for several combined hours. And there doesn't seem to be much difference between staring at a TV screen or staring at a computer monitor. As they say, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Vanessa at Green as a Thistle has committed to doing less superfluous surfing. I'm trying to get up the gumption to join her, and turn my computer off at, say, 9 pm on weekdays, 10 pm on weekends, but I'm hedging. It is scary to think of how attached (addicted?) I've become to this high speed internet thingy. I'll let you know how it goes.
Picture courtesy these guys.