TV Without a Licence

I have a confession to make: I don’t have a TV licence…


No. The thing is, I don’t have a TV either…

Oh, I see. Look, I’ve recently bought a flat screen jobby. I’ve still got my old set in the spare bedroom, but I never use it…

Er, thanks. I am humbled by the generosity of friends and family when they offer to give me their old set or buy me a licence. But, the truth is, money isn’t the issue. The thing is, I don’t actually want a TV…

Weirdo! I’d better stop reading now.

Me, weird? Absolutely. And weirder than you think.

That explains it. I’ve looked at the rest of your blog, and I think you’re some kind of religious nut. I guess you think TV is an instrument of the devil.

You looked at by blog? Poor you.

Yeah. And if that’s the stuff you publish…

Man, I hate to think what goes on in your head when you’re on your own.

Again, I’m even weirder than you think.

And, I guess you could call me ‘religious’ (not a term I like), but really, I don’t think it is an instrument of anyone in particular. Admittedly, I do think that some of the things shown on TV should not be shown, or at least shown after the children have gone to bed. But that doesn’t mean I think TV should be banned or anything. Actually, I watch quite a lot of TV with other people – when I visit my parents, for example. Like everyone else, I think that there are good programmes and bad programmes, quality shows and 3rd rate shows, funny comedies and un-funny comedies, programs that challenge my opinions and programs that reinforce them. In fact, given half a chance, I’ watch quite a lot of TV.

You like TV, but you don’t want a TV? I’m confused.

The fact that I like TV is actually the problem. I just couldn’t turn the stupid thing off. There’s always something else to watch, and it always seems more important than the things I’m supposed to be doing. So I am better off without it. Frankly, I hardly ever miss it.

What about the news? I couldn’t live without knowing what’s going on.

We don’t live in the dark ages, you know! We still have digital radio and internet access. We still talk to people.

But what about The Simpsons, 24, CSI, Dr Who and all those other great shows? Don’t you miss them?

Like I say, we watch quite a bit of TV with other people, and it is some of these shows that we see. We also watch a lot of DVDs (on the PC) – either we buy them, hire them or borrow them.

You’re married aren’t you? How does your wife feel about all this?

The same as me. We haven’t had a TV for over 10 years.

But when your son is older. You’ll have to get a TV then, won’t you?

Possibly. People told us that when he was born. He’s 3.5 now, but we still don’t have one. I’m not saying never, but I’ll not be buying one any time soon.

In the mean time, we enjoy so many benefits of not having a TV.

Such as?


  • Much more time for other things
  • Less desensitisation to unpleasant events
  • Better developed imagination (with radio and books we make up our own pictures)
  • Fewer commercials
  • I don’t worry that I haven’t set the video recorder
  • I don’t have to pay for a licence nor receiver
  • Other media often carry better quality material
  • I think for myself rather than being spoon-fed ideas

Hey, I’ve got a TV and I think for myself, too!

I’m not saying you don’t! I am just saying that the quality of my thinking has improved since I quit the habit. I don’t rely on TV to tell me what life is all about. Instead, I am more likely to observe real life and think about it for myself.

That’s all very well for you, but I would never give up my TV.

I’m not asking you to.

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