25 Jun 2009

Get a life

If you read this month's Australian House & Garden magazine, you'll be able to meet Christine and David and their children, 15 year old Sophie and 11 year old Ben. The family live in a beautiful home in Sydney with every available mod-con. Like 44 audiospeakers and... wait for it...

...11 televisions.


So, what's life like with 44 audiospeakers and 11 TVs? Here are some quotes from the article to give you some idea:

"We wanted music in every room, but different music at the one time, so the kids could have theirs and we could have ours," says Christine. While the couple has eclectic tastes, which run from Beethoven to the Rolling Stones, Sophie prefers artists like Beyoncé and Pink, and Ben loves rock group Linkin Park. The family's differing TV-viewing habits also reinforced the need for a multizone approach.
Okay, got it.
"I wanted to be able to sit in the swimming pool and watch the cricket," says Christine.
As well as a TV, each (living) hub has its own DVD player and amplifier, while three have a Foxtel set-top box. The remaining three bedrooms each have their own DVD player and a TV.
I could go on, but I won't. To be honest the whole article horrified me. What are these people thinking?

We do own a television. One. You can see it in the pic. We absolutely love our family movie nights tucked up on our sofa with slice of take-away pizza on our knees. Jemimah has some favourite DVDs too, and she loves to watch these while we have our weekly homegroup friends over on Wednesday nights. It's a much anticipated treat for her. She cuddles up under a rug and has a lovely time.

Generally we're too busy living life to have time for television. Mostly you'll find Jemimah outside in her cubby, or weeding the kitchen garden, or swinging in the swing, or climbing trees, or jumping on the trampoline. On rainy days you'll find us working together on a jigsaw, or reading books, or baking and eating the result, listening to music...together, or talking. In this way we interact with each other. We communicate. We get along together. We have fun as a family.

Christine and David, what are you playing at? You don't even seem to be able to watch television together - you're not even in the same room! Get a life! Get outside and have some fun. Together.

So what is your opinion on television? Do you have one? Do you watch the ABC with no ads or do you have Pay TV with all the hundred extra channels and lots of football? What works for your fam?

Are Christine and David wrong or am I? Or is there no wrong?

I can't wait to hear what you think.


  1. Cacophany is the word coming to my mind!

    We own one TV. It probably is used too much because a little is too much! Dad likes ABC docos. The boys have a PS2 connected to it and like their basketball and soccer games, but would rather be outside playing it. I watch very little, except for family movie times. (Hey, my addiction is the computer but I am trying to be mederate.)
    With one TV and a CD player in the same unit, at least we can have ONE thing happening or quiet.......

  2. I totally agree how horrible that all sounds! I hold to ONE TV only. My kids do watch "too much" in my opinion, but very little compared to friends. Now, for my Aussie-speak giggle of the day: "under a rug". Sorry but I just picture poor Jemima hiding under a THROW RUG [like on the floor] (hat firmly on, of course!) [Like a kitty would do thinking you can't see them even with tail sticking out!] lol.... From all the British books I've read I know you don't mean "that kind" of rug, but I'm quite sure other Yanks could picture this!!

  3. Oh goodness! I'll be honest-we are a geeky family and we love technology! We have 3 tv's. The main one is pretty big and it is in the lounge room. Another small one is in our small study area, above my desk but it is broken. The other one is the biggest naughty of all (I can hear all the tut tut's now) and it is in our bedroom! Yep, I can't read myself to sleep anymore so I watch a bit of tv (for about 3 min) before going to sleep.

    Hubby and I also watch the morning news together before work. We watch, talk and pray.

    However, despite what it may sound like, tv is not a major thing in our home!

    I'm with you Jeanne- oh for a real life!

  4. I think that is just really sad. Truly. I'm sure there are lots of people like that in the US too. In Japan there are few people who would even have enough space for that many sets, yet still family time easily gets lost with only one or two sets. Then, there are the cell phones, games, computers, and on and on, that take our attention and steal our time.

    We have one small TV that is not hooked up for TV reception at all, and we only use it for DVDs. The internet is far more tempting than TV for me! I really do have to limit myself, and be careful not to waste precious moments.

  5. Oh, and, yes, I was wondering why Jemimah would be sitting "uinder a rug". Thanks to Hopewell for clearing that up for me ;o)!

  6. LOL, Hopewell!!

    Hubby and I actually needed to discuss this for a while to understand what you meant!! A throw rug over here is still something you snuggle under, so your explanation didn't help much.

    As you've explained, I mean a blanket, not a carpet!!

    Thanks for translating for me!! Sue certainly appreciated it anyhow.

  7. Hi Susan,

    Nope, I'm not going to tut tut you at all!!

    Anyone who gets as much done as you do does not watch too much television!!

    Besides, broken TVs don't count...unless you stare at it anyway...do you?

  8. Hahahaaa! Nah, I don't stare at it...and it is taking up valuable space on top of my bookcase, which is on the desk. I should get around to putting it in the garage one day.

    One day...

  9. We have one TV, and we don't watch the ads. At the moment, we are in the process of buying a Christian TV box, so that we can receive Christian TV stations.

    We don't have Pay TV, either. Our 'sound system' is on the computers, or in the DVD player attached to the TV.

    We value our time together, and TV is so intrusive and meaningless, except for the news. Apart from that, there is only one other program that I watch.

  10. "A Carpet" here means nailed down, wall-to-wall carpeting! A "throw rug" is one of those things you stand on at your kitchen sink, "a rug" is what you have under the dinning room table so the chairs don't ruin the wood floor and a "throw" is an "afghan" or small blanket that decorators like my cousin, toss on furniture very artistically to hide dog hair or kid stains...oh, yes, forgot, you CAN snuggle under a throw, too!

    Isn't it amazing that other cultures think all the descendants of Merry ole England speak the same language??

    Next week on "American learns to speak Australian" we will learn the mystery of "Corn Flour" and why they can't just call it "cornstarch" like normal...er...Americans do!!

  11. Lisa, you mustn't have read my MEP post...I put 'give it a burl' in just for you!!

  12. Hmm, even though some can lay claim to not owning or watching tv the same can easily be said for reading books *or*...wait for it, the computer!!!!

    Who needs a tv nowadays when just about everything is available online? so the questions could also be asked, how much time does one waste online?

  13. Yes, right, anything can become an idol.

    Our family -- and believe me, no judgement placed on anyone as I'm as wormy as the next -- got rid of the TV altogether six years ago and it was one of our better moves. We also switched to laptops so that they can be folded up and put away. The boys watch Russian dvds on occasion but I see that they develop an appetite for TV/computer quickly and I don't like that.

    My sister's family got rid of the internet last year. They now schedule internet time at the library if they have research to do. I would like to do the same and have to strictly schedule my computer time otherwise it could easily become the equivalent of "going from house to house."

  14. HomeGrownKids has made a great point.

    When does our computer hobby become our computer addiction?

    What do you think, girls? Do any of you think you spend too long in front of that other screen?

    I, for one, have a rule of never blogging when dh is at home - and doing the housework first. That works for us. Do you do anything?

    I'd love your comments!

  15. Definately!
    I was much more on top the "addiction" before I had my own blog. I could read snippets and not be too worried about keeping up with evrything. But with my own blog, I seem to be often working on drafts and tweaking things. I am certainly finding I have to set limits.
    Not when hubby is here, unless he's occupied, not during family times, meals, bed routine etc., not during school.
    (If the computer is on I hear the notifier for incoming emails and check them at times!)
    It's after 8.30 today but school holidays and we've been away too so lots of catching up this morning!

  16. I have struggled with computer/Internet addiction...and now have taken proactive steps and measures to keep myself in balance.

    I've written a few posts on this topic:

    I do different things on the computer. Some of it is personal (like my blog) and other things are service (like AussieHomeschool) and then there is my website development business (KerugmaDesigns). So, i have to prioritise my time on the pc. I don't tend to be on the pc much once dh gets home, although he is lol. But that's part of my checks/balance accountability.

    I do find that there are many apps and tools that make life easier and allow my pc time to be more efficient.

    I do spend a fair bit of time on the computer/Internet. I make no bones about it. My dad thinks I'm here a lot...yet even he is realising how much I do on teh computer that he does in front of the big screen or with other time robbing activities. eg:
    * He buys a paper everyday. I read it online.
    * He reads his Bible at the table, I read and study a lot online.
    * He checks the tv for weather reports, traffic reports, and tv shows. I do it online.
    * He goes down town to pay his bills. I do it online.
    He sits and goes through catalogues for specials. I do it online.
    * He speaks a lot on the phone, catching up. I don't. I do it online.
    * He relaxes with a tv show. I don't. I relax online.
    * He looks over cooking books. I don't. I do it online.

    Gee, shall I go on? LOL ALl that and it sounds like I'm here 24/7 but I'm not. I've found broadband helps. I can pop on here for a few minutes and then go again...whereas when we had dialup, the pages loaded slowly and I had to sit here the whole time while it was connected. However, popping in and out all day can give the appearance that I'm here all the time. But that's okay, it's just an appearance. Having previously struggled with addiction I have checks and balances in place and accountability measures. It's to God and my family that I am accountable.

    Anyone else?


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