Questions about the term "tv-free"? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 04-03-2009, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So i guess I'm kinda confused. We don't watch "broadcast television" as in, we get the basic broadcast channels you get with rabbit ears but haven't really watch it since the presidential debates. We watch dvd's on the actually television, but because we watch ANYTHING, I figured we were in no way "tv free" So when folks say "tv free" do they just mean that they don't turn on the television and watch what is currently being broadcast?
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#2 of 24 Old 04-03-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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I think it means different things for different people. But TV-Free usually means no television programming. Some people who are "tv-free" do watch dvds and some don't. For some people, TV-Free means literally no television in the house and no "screen time" (including watching DVDs or things on You Tube). I have a television in the house that doesn't get reception but it is hooked up to a dvd/vhs player and I watch maybe 2-3 movies a year, lol. I probably will watch a few more movies when DS gets older but right now he is completely tv free (and no screen time) so my only real opportunities to watch are after he goes to bed and I am usually too tired to start a movie then.

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#3 of 24 Old 04-03-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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It means different things to different people. For us it means that we don't own one (and haven't for nearly three years). We do however watch stuff on youtube and the occasional dvd. Between that and starfall etc DD gets more screentime than I'd like.

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#4 of 24 Old 04-04-2009, 03:16 PM
 
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For us it means we don't watch TV, and we sometimes watch DVDs Or tv series on the computer. In parenting, we say we're tv-free because tv is not in our parenting toolbox, not something we ever seek to expose the kid to. He does sometimes watch YouTube things with us (though once his dad realized he was using that to distract him every week when I went to class, he stopped, and it's very rare again), or catch a bit of a show we were watching after he wakes up from a nap.

But the big thing is that, whatever one does or doesn't watch otherwise, simply not having tv on regularly sets us apart in numerous ways from those who do. I regularly miss references to commercials ("Did you see that one where... Oh, I guess not"), I never have any idea what movies are in the theatre, I could only name a few of the tv shows in primetime right now... And I'm happier for it. I'm not bombarded constantly with images of the way I "should" look, I'm not being encouraged to lust over the newsy must-have whatever, my kid avoids exposure to so much racist and sexist and consumerist imagery... That's what makes someone "tv-free" in my book, whether or not they own a tv set, whether or not they get netflix, whether or not they browse Hulu.
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#5 of 24 Old 04-04-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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I agree it "tv-free" means a lot of things. For us, it means we don't have a television. We do watch dvds on my laptop from time to time--maybe 3 times a month. My kids don't spend time on the computer but I suppose that will change one of these days, certainly for the older one. I watch dvds when I do my work outs, but I do this when the kids are sleeping or out of the house.

DH hasn't watch a movie at home October 2008. Seriously. We watched Borat together and laughed until tears rolled down our faces.

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#6 of 24 Old 04-05-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I had a religion professor in college who happened to be a Methodist minister. A student once tried to argue with him that Mormons are not "real Christians." The professor simply ended the argument with, "I prefer to let people self-define." That is the way I feel about saying you are TV-free. If you feel that you are, and describe yourself this way, you are. Though as you can tell from the variety of responses, this can describe a variety of habits. For us, it means we have no television, however we do watch the occasional DVD on the computer and I am afraid we are all hooked on the show 30 Rock, which can be viewed online, and have watched almost the entire NCAA basketball tournament online.
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#7 of 24 Old 04-05-2009, 07:43 PM
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we watch movies but don't have cable. I wouldnt say we are really TV free but would like to be. I admit at times I use TV as a crutch when I am sick or having a bad day, so for that reason I am not TV free.
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#8 of 24 Old 04-06-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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We don't have a TV. We don't watch videos. DD has virtually no computer time. (I say virtually because she has used Starfall 2 times and I regret that we ever let her do that.)

We have a detached garage that has a bonus room above it. It's like a secondary living room. We have a small TV + wii over there. But, we so rarely use it, probably fewer than 1/2 dozen times in the past year! (That TV has no cable, no antenna so cannot receive any channels; it's just for the wii).

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#9 of 24 Old 04-06-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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I would say we are TV-free. Our TV is currently in the closet. I do not think that media is all bad, but limiting it is difficult and it really doesn't add anything positive to our life. My DH and I watch movies on our computer and there are a couple hulu shows that we watch. What I love about the way we watch is that we don't channel surf - so we only watch shows that we know we like or we've read or heard really good things about. Our TV watching is deliberate and it's not background noise in our home. At some point I'm sure the TV will come back out of the closet, but it will be a difficult decision.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-06-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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We don't own a television. I'm amazed at how often people hear that and decide that we must be poor/pitied. We watch movies on a laptop once in a great while and basically never in theaters. We watched some political stuff online.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#11 of 24 Old 04-09-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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I agree with Arwyn- that a few movies once in a while or a youtube clip or whatever doesn't exlcude someone from being TV-free. It is about not using it as a parenting tool, not being part of the culture, not having tv as an everyday thing... I consider ourselves TV-free, but occasionally we will show DS some youtube clips (right now he is obsessed with space shuttles and we found some clips of the taking off, astronauts weightless in space). And, on long airplane rides, we've let him watch some little videos from the library on the computer. But basically, thats it. Really, in a very profound way, we control the TV, it doesn't control us. THAT is the basis of tv-free.
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#12 of 24 Old 04-14-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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My DH and I have never owned a tv in the almost 6 years we have been married... so in a sense we are tv free. But we do enjoy the occasional movie or show on our computers. I gues tv free to me means that it is not controlling your life, whether you be using your television or computer to watch media.

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#13 of 24 Old 04-15-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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I never use the term "TV free," but I say "We don't watch television."

We have a television, but it doesn't show TV programs, only whatever DVDs we happen to put into it. DP and I watch films and sometimes TV series on DVD. DS has seen a handful of films and watches episodes of TV programs a couple of times a week. But as someone said already, it's not "in our parenting toolbox."

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#14 of 24 Old 04-28-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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I agree, it can mean whatever you want it to mean
Personally, if I say I'm "tv free" I mean we don't own a TV. We do use a computer (youtube) and watch a DVD maybe once a month. But that's just us.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#15 of 24 Old 05-03-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
we watch movies but don't have cable. I wouldnt say we are really TV free but would like to be. I admit at times I use TV as a crutch when I am sick or having a bad day, so for that reason I am not TV free.
This describes us to a tee!

Kathleen SAHM to Jade 10/14/03, Aiden 2/2/06, and Hunter 5/14/09 Wife to Rob 3/28/03
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#16 of 24 Old 05-15-2009, 11:56 PM
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When I say tv-free, I mean no screen time at all. I usually say DD is almost-tv-free because she gets to watch a video every week or two. I've been a little slack lately and letting her have a video a couple times a week because after we move in August, we won't have a TV at all.
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#17 of 24 Old 05-16-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
For us it means we don't watch TV, and we sometimes watch DVDs Or tv series on the computer. In parenting, we say we're tv-free because tv is not in our parenting toolbox, not something we ever seek to expose the kid to. He does sometimes watch YouTube things with us (though once his dad realized he was using that to distract him every week when I went to class, he stopped, and it's very rare again), or catch a bit of a show we were watching after he wakes up from a nap.

But the big thing is that, whatever one does or doesn't watch otherwise, simply not having tv on regularly sets us apart in numerous ways from those who do. I regularly miss references to commercials ("Did you see that one where... Oh, I guess not"), I never have any idea what movies are in the theatre, I could only name a few of the tv shows in primetime right now... And I'm happier for it. I'm not bombarded constantly with images of the way I "should" look, I'm not being encouraged to lust over the newsy must-have whatever, my kid avoids exposure to so much racist and sexist and consumerist imagery... That's what makes someone "tv-free" in my book, whether or not they own a tv set, whether or not they get netflix, whether or not they browse Hulu.
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#18 of 24 Old 05-16-2009, 02:28 AM
 
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I consider our family to be TV-free. We have basic cable, but never turn it on. I think the last time we turned it on was to watch the election results coverage. Before that? DH likes to watch his college football team, so that's once a week for 10 or 11 weeks a year.

We do watch DVDs, but it's not very frequent. And DD doesn't watch TV at all, which is by far the most important part of being TV-free for us.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#19 of 24 Old 06-14-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
For us it means we don't watch TV, and we sometimes watch DVDs Or tv series on the computer. In parenting, we say we're tv-free because tv is not in our parenting toolbox, not something we ever seek to expose the kid to. He does sometimes watch YouTube things with us (though once his dad realized he was using that to distract him every week when I went to class, he stopped, and it's very rare again), or catch a bit of a show we were watching after he wakes up from a nap.

But the big thing is that, whatever one does or doesn't watch otherwise, simply not having tv on regularly sets us apart in numerous ways from those who do. I regularly miss references to commercials ("Did you see that one where... Oh, I guess not"), I never have any idea what movies are in the theatre, I could only name a few of the tv shows in primetime right now... And I'm happier for it. I'm not bombarded constantly with images of the way I "should" look, I'm not being encouraged to lust over the newsy must-have whatever, my kid avoids exposure to so much racist and sexist and consumerist imagery... That's what makes someone "tv-free" in my book, whether or not they own a tv set, whether or not they get netflix, whether or not they browse Hulu.
Ditto this. I don't label my family as TV-free. If I need a label, I say "I don't watch a lot of TV." The only time I put it on for myself is to watch something currently happening on the news (ie, election results, tornado warning, etc.) And I watch LOST when it's on, although I actually usually just download it from iTunes. I don't watch DVDs. DD doesn't watch any broadcast TV but she does enjoy some DVDs.

I agree tremendously with how disconnected I am from commercials. My friends are used to it but they do occasionally start in with the "did you see the one where..." Luckily they just think I'm odd, they don't take it personally. I'm so glad DD doesn't see them though. She really doesn't have an issue with the "gimme's" at Target or whatever... she just likes what she likes.

Robin, strong and happy single mama to Anna (7/06)
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#20 of 24 Old 06-24-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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For us it means no TV reception. No cable or rabbit ears.
We do watch dvd's or watch stuff on the internet on occasion.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#21 of 24 Old 06-27-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I also agree with the self-defining statements.

I tend to say that we don't have "television". We do have a TV though and watch movies or some TV series on it occasionally. Otherwise nothing but static or a blue screen. We listen to music, or our house is quiet. Until another child or two come along. LOL

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#22 of 24 Old 06-28-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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we only watch dvds. we could pick up PBS, because I used to watch the news hour from time to time, but it's not been on in over a year. maybe once every two or three months I'll watch a movie.

Claire, mommy to Robbie (8/23/08) and Brena (4-22-11) and wifey to Joe
 
 
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#23 of 24 Old 07-01-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
For us it means no TV reception. No cable or rabbit ears.
We do watch dvd's or watch stuff on the internet on occasion.
:
A screen is a screen is a screen since laptops have access to video and dvd capability. As a pp says, WE control what we view, not the other way around. With carefully chosen dvds one can almost eliminate most of the invasive direct marketing to children.
I say we are tv-free because we are not influenced by the "tv culture". Of course, I miss most pop culture references in conversation with others, but so be it. And ds has no idea who Thomas the Train is, but that will all come soon enough.
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#24 of 24 Old 07-14-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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For us right now it is no cable or converter box so if we turn on our tv it is just snow. We do use the dvd player, and DH and I watch certain shows on the computer sometimes.

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