Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living TV-Free

While some of you already know this, I thought I would share something very personal about myself.

I never watch television.

Before you close your laptop in digust because of this seemingly over-pious statement of my ability to live without something that many people feel they can't live without, please hear me out.

My decision is not one of piety, but one of necessity. You see, I have a perfectly functioning 27" widescreen HD-ready television sitting in my living room. The problem is that I have yet to find an antenna that will give me much more than a snowy signal, which is surprising as I live not 10 miles from downtown Dallas. The other option is getting cable or satellite, which is not really an option because my wife pays the bills! (and earns the money).

So I have discovered over the past couple of years that with a normal DSL connection and a functioning computer one can stay as entertained and informed as the next person, although it does take a bit more effort to do so.

3 Words: Hulu-dot-com
The major networks offer full-episodes of the most popular TV shows on their websites. They are uploaded anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the original broadcast. If you don't find the show on the networks website (or even if you do) go check out Hulu offers full episodes of TV, and feature length movies for free, online, when you want to watch them. And no, this isn't some kind of website that hosts the videos on some floating barge in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in order to escape international copyright laws and taxes. That would be Google.

Why it's better than regular TV: Oh let me count the ways. There
are fewer commercials with the online broadcasts. And when a show abandons you, you can abandon it. I'm looking at you Lost. And you don't plan social activities around when "your show" comes on. That's just stupid nowadays.

Fair and Balanced Reporting
Ever watched MSNBC and thought, "Wow! That's pretty biased reporting." Apparantly those attending the RNC Convention agree. So you turned over to FoxNews and thought, "Wow! So is that!" The internet offers you a middle road or allows you to put your feet in both partisan pools in order to recognize the middle-ground. Both FoxNews and CNN offered uncut, unedited live feeds from both the RNC and the DNC conventions without any "commentators" to get in the way of the broadcast.

The problem with that type of coverage though is that it was done the same way for most of the Olympic games on NBC. You don't realize how stunningly boring it is to watch gymnastics or archery without the announcer telling you about how this young lady's family all came down with smallpox, but she continued to shoot her bow and arrow in spite of the disease to make it to Beijing in 2008. As you can tell, I made up my own hearstring-tugging stories to make the sports more interesting.

Oh! And Michael Phelps is over-rated. (But I'll leave that for another post.)

Why it's better than regular TV: The lack of commentary does make things better in that the discussion isn't skewed by usually pointless discussion they have during political events, but it does make it more interesting. The thing that really makes it better is that you can watch video of world events as they happen in real time rather than wait for the news to get around to showing it. And, like the TV shows, it is commercial-free most of the time. Now that's 24-hour news coverage!

Why does all of this matter?
People in your churches and ministries likely finding ways that technology bends to their will and allows them to have lives that remain fully connected and completely free to live life. Try to think of some ways you can connect with people that reaches them in their timeframe.

Or you can communicate with your lowly blogger using this same theory!
Follow me on Twitter!
Or friend me on Facebook!
Or just mail me a letter and I'll get it in a few days.

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