rebelling against low expectations

Do you have a TV in your house? Why or why not?


Chris WRITES: My family never owned a TV. However, most families do have television in their homes. What do you think? Is there anything wrong with that? Is it helpful or harmful? Is there any difference between having a television and having internet? What are your thoughts?

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • We do have a T.V. in our house, however, we have limits on it. Mostly, we watch our T.V. as a family. Right now, we are on a fast from electronics until the end of August, which means no T.V. or internet. This helps us to get the most out of our summer, instead of spending these wonderful, warm days inside with our eyes glued to a screen.
    For me, the T.V. is different from the internet in many ways, but mostly because I am more apt to watch the T.V.with my family, whereas I often spend time on the internet alone.
    I think the T.V.can be harmful if it becomes addicting and causes you to waste time watching instead of doing hard things. These are just some of my thoughts and I am excited to hear what others will say. 🙂

  • My family’s gone through different times where we have and haven’t had T.V. and/or internet. Also, sometimes we’ve just unplugged our T.V. for a few months or something. Right now, we do have a T.V., but I don’t watch it much. There are some shows I like, but I usually watch them on my computer on the internet. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a T.V., depending on how and how often you use it. I also think there are different times where it could be either helpful or harmful. When our family lived in OK, it was helpful to us to have a T.V. and be able to keep an eye on the weather during tornado season. But if you watch it too much too often, it can be harmful to you and majorly cut down on your productivity and creativity. For our family, internet is pretty necessary but T.V. isn’t.

      • Yeah, especially because we would’ve had to crawl behind it and sort out all the cords before we could plug it in! 🙂

  • We don’t have a TV and we’re still alive! If we here there’s something interesting on TV we look it up on the Internet. I think TV is a waste of time.

    • Lol. Good for you!

      We don’t have a TV either. It’s definitely a good thing, but we also don’t watch a lot of movies, so then I start to feel kind of stupid when someone brings up a cultural reference. . .Maybe I’m not from this culture?

      • Same @liv737johnoxide:disqus! I often feel as though I’ve done something wrong or I am foolish and uncultured when I don’t catch references, or someone asks me if I’ve seen a movie or show, and of course I haven’t. I have to keep in mind that, while I may not catch every joke, or I may not have that movie/show in common with that person, I have been blessed to use that TV time doing tons of other amazing things that everyone else has missed out on.

        So “culture”, did you ever check out 20 books in a week and read them all before the next library trip the following week? Did you ever learn how to play card games like Hearts, Spades, Rook, Pitch? Did you ever learn how to sew? Weave? Spin? Did you spend your summers in the lake or the creek? Did you ever memorize 40 poems and quote them all in one sitting? Did you ever have scrapbooking days with your grandma and aunt?

        These are the things that I got to experience instead of a TV show. I plan on continuing on in the tradition of no TV for my future family.

          • Yaaaasssss!! I LOVE Rook! It was the first card game I ever learned to play, and we have big Rook tournaments with all of my extended family (about 25 people) on holidays. It’s tradition on my Dad’s side. Even the 5-year-old great grandchild plays!

          • Oh man that’s so great, I play Rook tournaments with my extended family (about 35 people) on my Mom’s side lol!

  • We have several TV’s which I don’t think is a problem, but I do try to watch my time. I usually just watch a few shows a week with the occasional Netflix binge if I’m sick or something.

  • My family has never had TV, and I feel like I probably
    would have spent a lot less time outside with my siblings if we had had it. I’m sure, just like with other things, there would be a way to have TV and not let it affect you negativly but I for one am glad I didn’t have it growing up.

  • My family has been TV free for about 12 years and we have never regretted that decision. When we want to watch something we just hop on Netflix and watch it, with all the immorality on TV its so easy to come across something that you probably shouldn’t have seen. So I am glad that we got rid of it, now I have more time to read and educate my self more on different subjects I don t have time for in school. Good question Chris!

  • I can only just remember there being a TV in our house when I was little it was black and white!! But my Mum decided that because of the bad language and bad adverts in between programs that it was best to put it away and then a few years ago I had fun breaking the TV up lol! So we have had no TV for probably over 15 years and I don’t think we have missed out on much if there’s something we want to see we can see it online,we have a radio for news and a DVD Player, In my opinion a TV is more harmful than useful the internet can be harmful too but I think it’s much easier to control and it’s far more useful!

  • WOW!!! It’s sooooo good to read that there are so many people that actually don’t have a TV!!! That’s cool!!! I’ve grown up my whole life without a TV and thank God for it!!! I have a huge conviction against ever having a television in my home! It’s like digging through a trash can for something good to eat…yeah, you might find something good, buuuut your gonna have to dig through a whole lot of trash before you find it! There’s a famous actor, can’t remember the name off hand, but he said that the gay movement was won in homes a long time ago, through TV!!! No one would ever let a harlot into their home to teach children her ways, yet that’s what happens through TV!!! Keep fighting the good fight my friends!!! Stand strong!!! God is our strength!!!

  • I have a couple of TVs in my home and see nothing wrong with it. It’s all about your convictions. Where someone else may be tempted by television to sin, I don’t think it’s a real issue for me, so I don’t see any problem there. A lot of people would probably say TV is only used idly, but I usually use it simply to spend time with family, watching movies, (appropriate) shows, and sports. Sometimes (although it’s rarer now) I also use it to play video games, mostly with my cousins. Which I don’t see as lazy, unless it’s done an excessive amount… it’s good bonding time after a tiring day when no one has energy to do much else. You can use recordings or Netflix to avoid commercials if you don’t like that content, and you can choose appropriate shows to watch as well. So I don’t think there’s anything bad about owning a TV, so long as it doesn’t cause you personally to stumble.

  • Quite an interesting question! I also like reading these responses many of which have perspective I had not considered. Personally, I agree with Leah in that the television set itself is not bad in it of itself, but it’s what you do with it.
    My family has one old television, but no subscription to cable/satellite. In other words, we only use it to watch DVDs and VHS cassette tapes. I have found this to be a good middle ground and personally wouldn’t waste money on buying cable TV as the shows or news are often bad and those that aren’t often have bad commercials (as others have pointed out already).
    Besides, our favorite show is available online for free anyways at

  • Wow! It’s so cool to hear other people don’t have tv. My family only has a tv for movies. We don’t have a computer and we don’t do video games either. We go to the library for the internet.

  • My family has a TV, but my parents are the only ones who use it frequently. My parents use their computers for work and online shopping. My sister and I use ours for online courses (and this). I think that it can be helpful, but only in healthy amounts. As long as you don’t watch it for hours on end or watch bad programs, I think that it’s fine. I think that the internet is like TV, except it’s bigger.

  • Ooh, this question. 😀 There’s a great poem about this in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… here’s the link to the whole thing:

    We do own a TV, but we don’t watch it unless it is a movie very rarely, the Olympics, or the Royals/Chiefs. My mom is extremely strict when it comes to screen time.

    The reason that we don’t watch TV is this: it tends to be more harmful than helpful. Small children who watch television regularly before the age of 3 have been proven to have less development in areas of their brain then they do by a parent/mentor/anyone talking to them, playing with them, them doing something, etc. It has largely to do with very short conflict/resolution as well as only having 3-dimensions. Interaction of any kind has been proven to be better for brain development in children.

    Now, we are no longer small small children, but we still do not watch television. Why? My parents pretty firmly believe that television is not good for us still. Part of it is the content, but largely it has to do with screen time. It is still very bad for development and your eyesight to sit and stare at a screen for long periods of time regularly, not to mention that it’s pretty bad for your health to just sit and watch TV for extended amounts of time. It is much, much better for you to be active and outside, have a hobby(like my knitting, haha) that you do in those sitting times, or read. Reading is proven to have more creative stimulation in your brain and helps all the little neuron-connecter things light up and be happy, healthy and have a long life. 🙂

    Of course, computer time often has the same ramifications as television as far as screen time is concerned. We monitor computer time pretty closely, and while my brothers(much to my chagrin) do play Minecraft, they are limited to half an hour to an hour on weekends only.

    I really don’t have anything against a good TV series or movie- I love good movies and enjoy old TV shows. My family watches movies/oldies in the car when we’re driving around. I watch movies while I’m sorting berries. I think movies are wonderful. I just think that screen time should be limited.

    If you’re interested in reading a few of the studies that I just pulled of the Internet, here are a few of them:

  • I agree with what Leah said. We have three TVs in our house, and it can be both a good and bad thing depending on who’s watching and how. One bad thing is that my little sister sometimes doesn’t want to do anything but watch it. However, it’s also good for when she is really bored and it’s a rainy day where my Mom just needs something for her to do. As for me, I don’t really like watching tv that much, but there are a few select shows that I do watch with my family as just a way to spend time together. Sometimes I feel convicted that a certain show has too much bad language or mature content for me to watch, and I go read a book instead, but when my family is watching a show that I like and think is clean, we’ll enjoy it together. It’s a good thing to do that as a family instead of going back up to my room by myself after dinner, which is where I spend the majority of my time.

    I know lots of people who don’t have tv and are perfectly happy that way and lots of people who do have it and benefit from having it. So, I definitely don’t think it’s a matter of right of right or wrong, but rather a personal choice.

  • This is really a personal choice and I know every family differs; but, here’s what my family does. We do have a tv. My eleven year old brother is allowed to watch for 30 min/day (he would watch all day if my mom would let him). If he’s sick or something, or if it’s a special occasion, he can watch a movie. He watches shows like Looney Tunes, Andy Griffith, and Gilligan’s Island. I watch sports occasionally, and there are two or three shows I like to watch with my mom each week. At night my parents watch Food Network and HGTV, but I got to the point where it just drove me crazy watching people complain that they didn’t have granite countertops in their million dollar houses. I don’t plan on a tv when I have my own house because I don’t watch it enough to make it worth the money–if there’s ever a ballgame or something I can watch online. And I don’t really want my kids watching tv. That’s a whole other story though–my convictions on kids and tech.(:

  • We have a “tv” but we don’t get actual tv channels. Just our DVD, blue ray, and VCR (yep, still got one of those) We just watch movies we already own. We also have Netflix, but it’s heavily monitored. We have rules about what we can and can’t see and we also have a parental code on it that only me and my parents know. So yeah, we have a tv. But It’s pretty limited. We also have our computers and stuff, but we have parental controls on that too and I don’t really surf the internet unless I have a specific research paper or something. My parents also have access to all my history, passwords, and messages. Just to be safe. I have no desire to ‘break the rules.’ but not everyone in my house is the same way. 🙂
    Hope this helps!

    • Same here. I think that this way you aren’t tempted to watch anything that you don’t have. For our school stuff we have to get one of our parents to put in the password for the computers.

  • My family hasn’t owned a TV for 5-6 years, but recently two family members have given us one. So far we have only used them to watch DVDs (usually we just use computers). It is useful to have a TV when the church youth Bible study is at our house and involves watching!
    I’ll enjoy watching the Olympics (if I have time), and perhaps taping an occasional documentary, but other than that, my family doesn’t have time, and most of what’s on is a waste of time. Even the news is easier to read online than to watch the same stories repeatedly.

    • My church is starting a new kids/youth program soon, and the curriculum has videos that they show the classes for lessons and studies. So, as of now, my church is looking for 2, 55-60 inch TVs to put at church. It won’t be hooked to cable, but we can have get togethers in the new teen room and fellowship and watch movies when we aren’t watching the lesson videos.

      Also, watching a movie with my youth group might give us something to talk about. Not just for a lesson, but for fellowships. If we like the movie we watch, then we can talk about why we like it or not. It might also develop a passion for talking about movies. My youth group isn’t what you would call, “close” or “talkative.” So really, the tv might help us overcome that.

  • We have a TV so we can watch movies like God’s Not Dead With friends and family. TV’s can be good or bad. Some people watch REALLY bad things on TV’s or distract you from what you need to be doing else where, while others use TV’s to watch movies that teach more about God. So over all, TV’s can be good or bad. It just depends who’s watching.

  • We own a tv. I think that they can definitely be used for bad but, just like anything else, can be used for good. In today’s world, the Internet is almost worse that a tv. We have Internet (obviously 😆) but we have filters and restrictions. Movies, shows, ect. can be a distraction but if you only spend a certain amount of time or only watch them at certain times, I think they can be helpful. Movies and shows are a good way to wond down after a stressful day. You can watch bible studies and Christian movie on them.
    As far as wether or not the are “wrong” let’s not be legalistic. Would Jesus have watched movies? Probably. He was human. Jesus played with toys as a young boy, right? We are given the Holy Spirit to help us discern right from wrong. If you feel that you personally should not have a tv, then by golly don’t have one. Is it wrong to own one? I don’t believe so. Is it wrong if you feel God leading you not to? Yes.

  • We actually have a few tv’s in our house, but whenever we want to watch something, we have to get our mom’s permission. On weekends, we often have a family movie night and it’s fun to relax as a family together. I don’t think tv is a bad thing, not on it’s own. It’s how you use your tv, like how often you watch and what you watch. Every summer, my family takes takes three months off of tv and pretty much every other screen. We don’t watch anything, unless it’s a movie night, and we’re not allowed to surf the internet.

  • I dont have TV since 2002 and I’m happy about that. I do many things like running, reading spend more time with my kids. But most important my kids doesn’t learn this bad habit of sitting and watching TV or building a schedule for a day around some stupid TV shows or movies.

  • Personally, I love TV. To me Shows and Movies are just another way to tell a story. Should you watch Netflix for 5hrs, NO, but you shouldn’t read a book for that long either cause you’ll miss out on spending time with people. Should you watch Fifty Shades of Gray, NO, but you shouldn’t read it either. TV is just another form of storytelling.

    • Great points! Not everyone wants a book to tell them a story. You should still read, but watching something can sometimes give you more of an understanding of what you read. If you read a book that was hard to understand, then it was made into a movie or tv show, it could actually help you. It would break down the words that you read into an image.

      People think that watching tv for 4 hours straight is an awful thing. Why do you need to do anything for 4 hours straight. It’s okay to take a break. If you enjoy watching tv or movies, then you should enjoy it without overdoing it.

  • It can be both helpful and harmful. If they are not careful, everyone really can get addicted to their TV’s, and waste their life on it. Kids can get bad grades in school because they are watching Netflix or playing games instead of doing homework and studying, Adults can get fired from their jobs because they are also playing games or something instead of working on projects. But it can be helpful because the TV is a good source of knowing what’s going on in the world. My family never watches the news, we read the newspaper. But I know many people though that use the News for weather and regular News. I could go on and on about the pros and cons about TV, but I don’t want to fill up the page. And if you do have a TV, remember “You shall not have any god’s (or idols) before me.” Deuteronomy 5:7

  • Television is only a tool, often misused. Many cable programs truly are addictive and unhealthy, like a sugary snack.

    But if you stream high quality content, TV can open up new horizons. Check out Teshigahara’s documentary about Gaudi, if the point isn’t obvious. You won’t find it on cable.

    I gave up my cable subscription over a year ago, and now view ad free documentaries and films from a variety of sources, including free sources like PBS and Link. TV news is better consumed from international sources like Sky News, I love the various weather apps on my streaming devices, and then there are all kinds of niche channels that offer viewpoints you would never be exposed to in the very conventional fiefdom of cable TV.

    So if you believe categorically the TV’s a bad thing, you’ve never used it right.

  • I have 2 televisions in my house. TVs can be used for many things. Like:

    1. Watching a movie.

    2. TV shows.

    3. Lessons.

    4. Studying.

    5. Homework.

    6. Reading.

    7. Video Games.

    8. News.

    A television can be used for a lot of things. I don’t watch many tv shows because I have no interest. I am homeschooled, so my mom uses the HDMI cord to connect the tv to the computer so we can see the lesson without leaning over each other to see the screen. I know you can read the newspaper, but sometimes the news channel can tell you more than writing on a newspaper. We play video games as a family. Kids also have to sometimes watch videos to complete an assignment for school. I watch movies with my family and friends.

  • I would recommend reading a book called ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death.’ It proves that watching TV makes you dumber. Another resource that I would recommend even more is a movie called ‘Captivated.’ Here is the website for it, you can view a few clips from the movie on it.

  • I agree with Cowboyclayt! 🙂 I really like the movie “Captivated”! It’s a great movie! I don’t watch TV, movies, or play video games anymore. My family and I used to until we heard from another family (the Maxwells) about their experience without movies and video games and saw the benefits of going without it. (Their website is We feel like we have more “freedom” so to speak and can accomplish much more with our time! Now if I’m in front of a screen for too long, I get drowsy and my thoughts get fuzzy. I don’t feel good, because my mind and eyes aren’t used to the screen. Yes, it can have it’s benefits, but for our family, we have found that life is better without it, and believe we are much better off for it. 🙂 Hope that helps!

rebelling against low expectations

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