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When my family’s only television set went to the repair shop the other day, my parents, my sister, and I thought we would have a terrible week. How could we get through the long evenings in such a quiet house? What would it be like without all the shows to keep us company? We soon realized, though, that living without television for a while was a stroke of good fortune. It became easy for each of us to enjoy some activities alone, to complete some postponed chores, and to spend rewarding time with each other and friends.
First of all, with no television to compete for our time, we found plenty of hours for personal interests. We all read more that week than we had read during the six months before. My father seemed to be addicted to newspapers during his free time at home. My sister and I had time to complete the book “Top 100 romance novels” that I had borrowed for three months and we had also shared our feeling together. We each also enjoyed some hobbies we had ignored for ages. My family went swimming every weekend and we found more interesting than ever before.
In addition, my sister and I both stopped procrastinating with our homework. We realized that without television’s attraction, we could finish our homework faster and more effective. Second, we did chores that had been hanging over our heads for too long. There were many jobs around the house that had needed attraction for some time. The things we had to do were cleaning up our rooms, and then renewing them with paper-hangings. My father did laundry while my mother arranged the kitchen, and my sister and I took care of plants in the garden.
We also had a chance to do some long-postponed shopping. Go shopping with family was my hobby and my mother had chances to buy some essential items. I bought some new English books and of course, some new short stories. And each of us also caught up with e-mail and did paperwork that was long overdue. Dad and mom finished their reports and our two sisters completed our presentations sooner than planned. Finally, and probably most important, we spent time with each other. Instead of just being in the same room together while we stared at a screen, we actually talked for many pleasant hours.
My sister had an opportunity to tell about her short vacation with her friends to Nha Trang. We also shared our feelings about our daily work. Moreover, for the first time in years, my family played some games together. We reminded our memories with several games of chess with our own funny rules. And because we did not have to worry about missing this or that show, we had some family friends over on a couple of evenings and spent an enjoyable time with them. My parents had chances to chat for hours with their close friends and they found very glad.
They were all proud of their children, their jobs and their happy life. Once our television returned, we were not prepared to put in the attic. But we had some sense of how it can take over our lives if we are not careful. We are not more selective. We turn on the set for our favorite shows, certain sports events, and the news, but we do not leave it running all evening. As a result, we find we can enjoy television and still have time left for other activities and interests.