"I don't own tv" people

So, what are your thoughts on people who don’t own a television? I have noticed that a lot of people who blog about not owning a tv tend to gloat about it or act like they are superior to everyone else because they don’t watch television. Am I the only one that notices this? This is one of my pet peeves.

Some people don’t watch TV. Others can’t or choose not to afford the TV license. Some people are simply too busy. TV is a luxury and a lifestyle choice…

I didn’t have a TV for a decade; it’s almost a decade since I restarted and I still don’t watch a lot of TV. I do watch films, though, and have a modest library.

As for acting superior, I’ve not seen it. Indeed, it was quite the reverse in that people found my not having a TV a point of amusement, and some initial social exclusion.

I don’t own a TV and it rarely if ever comes up in conversation. I don’t make a point to tell anyone and if anyone asks me if I’ve seen something on TV I just say no and they proceed to describe whatever it is they’re talking about to me. If I want to watch a show I can watch it online.

There are probably plenty of people who don’t own a tv because it’s just not their thing, doesn’t speak to their strengths, or just have other cares or interests… (or can’t afford one!) and don’t mention it. These people are not annoying.

It is annoying to act like you are better than other people for any reason or that you think everyone should adopt your lifestyle.

I can see how someone who has just made the change to no tv might have a lot to say about how it affects their lifestyle. While understandable, such talk is as tiresome as someone who wants to tell you about their new religion, their new atheism or their new diet, especially with an eye to how you should make the same choice.

xkcd just covered this one for you…


If I had a TV, I’d have to pay for cable to watch the shows I’d want to watch, so I’d be out hundreds of dollars up front plus a monthly fee. I’d rather eat better and watch whatever shows are available online, plus DVDs. I tend not to go out of my way to find people who are smug about something they’re doing or not doing; they tend to make themselves apparent whether I want to know or not.


Hehe - yep - OP - looks like you are not the only one.

I see more of the “I don’t have Cable” people, but they are not always the same type.

Not all are smug of course, but there is sometimes a hint of you are wasting your life by watching TV - while they are saving the world through composting and whatever else they do.

I wonder how much of a crossover there is between “I don’t have a tv” and “I don’t ever eat at McDonald’s”.

My last boss didn’t have a TV. He was too busy a person, and read the newspaper and magazines for info. He was also cyber-phobic.

When he went on a vacation, though, you could find him watching one movie after another in his hotel room.

The OP is talking about a possibly US centric affectation, parodied here by The Onion:

These are people who trumpet the fact they don’t own a TV, as if it gives them a higher status than the common man. This boast only works in certain cultures, elsewhere boasting about not owning a TV would make one a laughing stock example of a rube living in poverty.

I’m odd. I have two TVs, which I have hooked up to various game systems. They are connected to the house dish network, but I almost never watch TV shows on them. I might watch and occasional movie on one of them. They’re both CRTs. My husband has a couple of flat screen TVs, and he does watch TV shows on them just about all the time when he’s home.

I think that I’m superior, not because I don’t watch much TV, but because I read much more than the average person.

Not a factor in the USA. There is no license or fee just to own (or watch) a TV. No stuffy BBC to support here.

I’ve experienced people acting smug because they don’t have a TV or cable. I’ve also experienced people who act like it’s no big deal.
I don’t have cable because when we did have it, we never watched it. We spend way too much time watching Netflix. :smiley:

My favorite cartoon on this subject was from The New Yorker. It showed two couples chatting at a cocktail party, and the caption was “We don’t own a T.V. – we’re pseudo-intellectuals.”

I have a TV but I rarely watch it. I do watch TV shows through Hulu and Netflix so that I can stay on top of pop culture and have something to talk about (as well as be entertained). But I try also to do other things, like reading, surfing the web for interesting articles and randomness, and engaging in artistic endeavors. And I have found that since I dropped cable, I have a lot more time to do all kinds of stuff.

So if I’m around someone who asks how is it that I have time to do X,Y, and Z, I will tell them quite unabashedly how I think TV is the ultimate time-waster. I wouldn’t initiate the conversation. But I’m not going to keep this opinion to myself just because it makes me sound like a snob.

I don’t watch TV at all. There aren’t many TV shows that I’d find interesting (plus commercials can get annoying.) I think it’d be a waste of my time, and I often like to try to do something productive with my time.

I do, however, watch many YouTube videos. So I guess I can’t really call myself superior to TV-watchers. :slight_smile:

I feel like not having a TV is one thing, and then watching all your shows on Netflix is another. You’re still indulging in the same entertainment. Then it becomes just bragging about being cheap.

Which no one ever likes. :wink:

The thing I don’t get is my smug neighbors who have a 'Kill your TV" bumper sticker on their car, yet watch lots of movies on their computer or TV episodes on Netflix. How is that different? It’s still an electronic device for watching entertainment, who cares if it’s a TV or computer. There is less and less difference between the two devices.

There was just a relatively long and contentious thread on this topic. For me, it breaks along two lines, both of which make the actual source - broadcast, cable, streaming, disc, YouTube - irrelevant. Not having cable and watching a ton of stuff on other portals is a completely irrelevant distinction.

The real distinctions, I think, are these: People who *have *to “watch something” regardless of what it is or how it gets to their eyes. Broadcast, cable, Hulu, YouTube… doesn’t matter as long as they can flick on the idiot box and find *something *to occupy their eyes. Vs, people who will start with a wish to watch something specific and watch that, in separation and isolation from a stream of other material.

The other distinction is those who watch material on commercial sources and absorb or accommodate the advertising one way or the other, vs those who never watch a commercial on any portal.

We “don’t have TV” in that we don’t have either broadcast or cable, watch only stuff we select from outside the box, and see commercials only for the few things we watch on Hulu. (We probably see fewer commercials a year than most people see in an evening.)

I’ll make no argument about superiority, but it sure does reduce the wasted time and annoyance. Not to mention the unwanted influence and control of our casual leisure time.