Getting Married & Trying To Decide To Have TV Or Not

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  • #596590

    Spoiler86
    Member

    My fiance and I both come from households with TV although it doesn’t interest us that much. However, we do happen to watch it every now and again.

    Now that we’re getting married, we’re trying to decide what to do.

    I am asking this question to people who have or had a TV once before and how they made a decision whether to have it or to throw it away.

    We did discuss this TV situation with an outlook towards the future when we’ll b’h have children.

    If we have a TV, we’ll be able to overlook what, if at all our kids our watching. However, if we dont have one, there’s always situations where children ‘sneak’ and watch at a friends house.

    Also, worried if there will be ‘boring’ time in the 1st year of marriage being that we’ll be alone in the house. No siblings, parents or TV to spend time with. Does that occur at all?

    Thanks in advance.

    #764271

    aries2756
    Participant

    Spoiler86, I have always had a TV but I can tell you this. There is nothing wrong with starting off your marriage without one. Honestly, if it is not that important to you there is no reason to bring it into the house and be distracted from each other. If one of you are not at home, you can always fill up spare time by reading a good book, going to a shiur, or doing a chesed for someone else. If you really want to watch something you can find something on the computer. If the two of you decide at some point that you miss the TV and want to purchase one, then you have time at that point to go out and get one, and if you find that things are working perfectly fine without one, then keep on going without one.

    #764272

    shlishi
    Member

    if you moved into a house and the people who lived there before left an avoda zora in it, would you be content to leave it there and simply endeavor not to pray to it or pay it much attention?? a tv is an avoda zora and so much worse.

    #764273

    yeshivabochur123
    Participant

    Don’t have one. Its bad for you and for your future kids I”YH. Tell your future kids playdates parents that your kids can’t watch tv in their house or better yet make sure your kids’ friends don’t have tvs. Aries a computer that doesn’t filter video is as bad as a tv as all tv shows stream on line nowadays. What did the Bubbe and the Zaide do? They grew up without TV or computer or any of this garbage! When your husband is bored he should go learn. When you are bored go read tehillim or do chesed. TV will just cause trouble.

    #764274

    mosherose
    Member

    Whats the question. Everyone nose that TV is assur and anyone who says anythign else is lying.

    #764275

    Spoiler86
    Member

    While I know the deficiencies that a TV can bring, I should add that what I do watch on the rare occasion that I watch, is something sports related and news related. While my fiance is also mostly news related material.

    Aries2756, we were thinking of doing it your way. We’ll begin without a TV and then decide that from moving forward. However, my ‘fear’ is that if we do ever decide we want the TV back, it will be b/c we were ‘bored’ and needed the TV just to be there. I dont want it to ever get to that point so maybe having the TV from the beginning and then gradually getting away from it?

    #764276

    wanderingchana
    Participant

    It is SOOOO much easier to start off without one than to have one and then decide when to get rid of it. Trust me, you’ll find more productive things to do…

    #764277

    your first year of marrige?? forsure for the first year dont have a tv. that way you can spend quality time talking and enjoying each others company, and going out and being productive rather than sitting and having you brain turn to mush. and if its only news related, cant you get news on the internet or radio?

    #764278

    emlf
    Member

    Please, please do not get a TV. Putting aside for the moment the many sights one can see that are detrimental to one’s spiritual state, TV is addictive! One more show, five more minutes, and it keeps going and going and going.

    #764279

    emlf
    Member

    Also want to add that it’s commendable that instead of “of course we’ll have a TV” you’re taking time to consider that there may be (there are!) negative ramifications if you have one.

    #764280

    and i dont understand your comment about your kids sneaking tv by their friends house….so its better to have a tv so that your kids wont be sneaking, but doing it cuz its the norm for him?

    #764281

    Spoiler86
    Member

    StuffedCabbage:

    I’m talking from ‘experience’

    I always had a TV in the house I grew up in. I never felt the need to go to friend’s houses for TV. On the other hand, there were classmates who wanted to come over to my house to watch some TV.

    Now in no way should I equate all children to the above situation. However, another focal point in our decision is that most of our family, friends and neighbors are the types to have TV’s. So we’re expecting our kids to be friends with their kids. That’s what I meant about our future kids Iy’h ‘wanting’ to watch TV so be better it be in our house than in other people’s homes where you can’t really control what’s being watched.

    #764282

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    I don’t think a child without a TV in his home is more likely to watch TV at a friend, than a child who does have a TV in his home. In fact, I believe the opposite.

    #764283

    Sender Av
    Member

    I would lean toward not having one. I used to watch tv(possibly addicted) as a child. I even had a tv schedule. I came home from school did my homework and from 6:30 to 10 11:00 every night I would watch tv. I continued to watch tv until I went off to yeshiva in Israel where I took dvds of my shows with me. Now that I do not watch tv any longer I really regret that I had the opportunity to do so.Much of the shows that I watched inappropriate content is stuck in my head (ex. FRIENDS or Simpsons, etc)and I really wish I could get it out. Do your future kids( and yourself) a favor and do without the T.V. Please take my word for it.

    Ps. and as I hear it : the content is just getting worse and worse.

    If you really need entertainment rent some dvds of I love Lucy and other 50s shows (70s are a little risky) and watch them on your computer

    #764284

    Sender Av
    Member

    By the way, we do have a tv in our den. The antenna is unplugged and rarely is used for broadcast channels except for when we need weather reports(i.e. snowstorms and school closings). We do use it to play Torah cds in and home videos or clean kids movies(Bubbie’s boarding house, etc).If you were to own a tv you can use if for pure purposes(Torah) and not for shtuss.

    #764285

    Clairvoyant isn’t really a clairvoyant if he/she doesn’t realize that yes, kids without TV’s will watch when they’re at someone’s home where there is one. This is a great opportunity for you as a couple to start your home together on a good note, without the TV.

    #764286

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    AWOB: Reread my comment.

    #764287

    aries2756
    Participant

    Spoiler 86, sometimes when it is there and you are alone, one tends to put it on just for background noise. Depending where you live, the house might creak and sometimes it gets scary to be alone in the apartment with the noises. Anything can tempt you to turn it on just to distract you from everyday silly noises, boredom or loneliness when your spouse isn’t around. If it is not there, you will look for other options like a music cd, a sound machine, a radio, etc. When your spouse is home you will wind up having more conversations if the TV isn’t on to just watch the news or a sports event. There are always sports events available since you can’t get reception without cable these days.

    As far as the comment regarding the computer and Avoda Zara. The OP did not ask for anyone’s opinion on TV. She asked for help in deciding whether she should start off her marriage with a TV in her home or not since she is NOT opposed to TV. How are you helping her with your comments?

    #764288

    eclipse
    Member

    Isn’t having a T.V. these days the same as inviting a bunch of pilagshim over?

    Especially in Shana Rishona…wouldn’t you want your spouse to “only have eyes for you”?

    A T.V. detracts from all that is beautiful and holy about you.

    And a woman can get unrealistic notions about life from T.V. as well.

    MY OPINION APPLIES TO NON-JEWS AS WELL.It’s common sense,no?

    #764289

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    As far as the comment regarding the computer and Avoda Zara. The OP did not ask for anyone’s opinion on TV. She asked for help in deciding whether she should start off her marriage with a TV in her home or not since she is NOT opposed to TV. How are you helping her with your comments?

    Do you really expect someone to post a question about television on Yeshiva World and not get negative responses?

    #764290

    rosesharon
    Member

    You dont need a TV. All you need is a computer with an internet connection and a subscription to netflix or a monitor with a DVD player. I wish when my hubby and I got married we had just that. Now that is all we have. We watch the shows that we like and my son gets all the Thomas and wonder pets he wants (in moderation). I dont have to pay for cable and netflix is less than 10 per month. And yes, those who do not have any way for their children to view things in their own home will most likely have children who seek TV out in other unsupervised. Better to know what your children are watching and have them educated at to what they are watching then being shocked when your child gets in too deep.

    #764291

    commonsense
    Participant

    when you have internet, you really don’t need tv. pretty much anything you can find on tv you can find on the internet. having a tv makes it easier so it’s probably better to start without one, if you really want to see something you can find it online.

    #764292

    charliehall
    Participant

    Mosherose, just saying “television is asur” is not helpful; there are plenty of rabbis who watch television from time to time.

    What happened for us is that both of us had been watching less and less television over time by the time we got married that it didn’t really matter. We still have an old set that doesn’t get over the air channels that we use for playing old VHS videos. For newer DVDs we use the computer. I truly don’t miss the over the air television; I do a lot of traveling for work and I don’t even feel tempted to turn on the television sets in the hotel rooms.

    #764293

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    There is no one that says that you have to get a TV upon marriage if you’re going to have one at all. You can certainly decide to start the marriage without one and then get one later if you so decide.

    Who knows, you might even find married life without the TV more interesting.

    The Wolf (who, for the record, does own a TV).

    #764294

    yid.period
    Member

    loud noises and bold statements and generalizations!

    the fact you are asking the question means you are aware of the potential dangers involved with owning a TV. Seems like you’ve answered the question yourself. It would probably be best (at least at first) NOT to have one.

    -your subconscious

    #764295

    dogo
    Participant

    “If we have a TV, we’ll be able to overlook what, if at all our kids our watching. However, if we dont have one, there’s always situations where children ‘sneak’ and watch at a friends house.”

    I dont understand the difference, even (and especially) if you had one and controled what your kids watched “there’s always situations where children ‘sneak’ and watch at a friends house”!

    #764296

    m in Israel
    Member

    As many posters said, it’s a lot easier to bring in a TV if you feel like you miss it rather than getting rid of it once it’s a habit, so why not start out without? Additionally, it will definitely enhance your shana rishona in many ways to not have a TV to fill up your time.

    As far as kids sneaking TV, that is a very common accusation, and I find it interesting. My experience is that kids from both TV and non TV homes will attempt to push limits as they reach certain ages. For kids without TV’s that may mean going to their friends to watch, and for those with TV’s it means watching shows their parents don’t approve of — either sneaking it in their own home or by a friend. I once taught 6th grade in an MO school where almost all the students had TV’s, and when we were discussing the vocabulary word “discretion” about half the class said “oh, like ‘viewer discretion advised'” before a show, right? I have a feeling most of these parents did not know what their kids were watching. . . .

    I don’t see any reason to assume that shows “sneaked” at a friend’s house would be any worse than the shows they would be watching had you owned a TV. If the other parents set the same type of limits you would, then these would be shows your kids would see if you had a TV. And if the other parents were more permissive, why would you having a TV in your home prevent your kids from joining their friends watching things you don’t approve of?

    Your experience in no way contradicts that. You experienced friends from homes without TV’s coming over to watch by you. But in the final analysis, did these friends watch more or less TV than kids who watched at home? Did they watch worse shows?

    Bottom line is that if you live in a neighborhood where most families have TV’s, you will not have control over what your kids watch, whether you have a TV in your home or not! The best you can do it hope other parents share your values, and maybe even discuss things like what shows you prefer your kids not to watch, and then try really hard to pass those values to your kids, so that eventually they will self-monitor as well.

    BTW, I remember very clearly on my 8th grade graduation trip (I went to an OOT BY, so it was a mixed group), it was the girls from homes WITH TVs who turned on the TVs in the hotel rooms, and with only a few exceptions the girls from non TV homes did not watch and actually protested.

    #764297

    kapusta
    Participant

    IMO, there is sneaking and there is sneaking. For a kid who grows up without TV/DVDs, watching anything is sneaking. For a kid who grows up with TV, there might also be “sneaking” but the content will be very different. Most kids (and maybe adults too) know when they might be crossing the line but realize that the “lines” are in very different places.

    If you are thinking you might need to watch (for whatever reason) my suggestion is to get shows which you may enjoy but forget the TV.

    *kapusta*

    #764298

    Be Happy
    Participant

    I have never had a TV so don’t feel I can give an honest opinion. I would like to share this email I received some weeks ago:

    THE STRANGER

    — Author Unknown

    A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

    As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of G-d, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger.. He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

    If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

    Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

    Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honour them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

    My Dad was a teetotaller who didn’t permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

    I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… and NEVER asked to leave.

    More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parent’s den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?….

    We just call him… “TV.”

    He has a younger sister now. We call her “Computer.”

    #764299

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Spoiler,

    This is really a personal preference thing. You don’t need to think long term – you can start in the short term.

    I lived without a TV for a few years and its really not a big deal. I view a TV as a nice to have (we have one now).

    Are you going to have internet at home? If so, you have a TV.

    Your first year of marriage should NOT be boring 🙂 If you are having adjustments to marriage, you should be proactively working on them. There are plenty of things to do so you won’t be bored.

    Either way is fine though. Good luck with your decision.

    #764300

    newhere
    Participant

    Here’s my two cents on the issue. I was one of those kids who grew up without a tv and would “sneak” to friends’ houses to watch. The argument that it’s better to have a tv in your house so that you know what your kids watching is a foolish argument. Sure, your kids will no doubt watch tv at their friends, but if you allow tv in your house and don’t allow them to watch inappropriate shows (which I’m assuming you won’t) they will still sneak to their friends to watch those inappropriate shows. In today’s society it’s unfortunate that tv is so rampant, considering the terrible content, so you should do your utmost to make sure your children are exposed to as little of it as possible. The best way to do that is not to have a tv in your house. Besides for the issurim and inappropriateness in watching a lot of the shows on tv, there are studies that have been done that show that children who watch tv have lower IQ’s than children who don’t. I understand your concern that you may be bored your first year of marriage, and it’s not a ridiculous one. I agree with the posters who suggested that it’s a better idea to have internet and watch an occasional (clean) show than to have a tv. I know some may say that it’s the same thing, but I believe there’s a big difference between a tv where you’ll come home every night searching for something to watch, and on the way seeing the worst possible things, and having internet where you watch one show every once in a while.

    #764301

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Mosherose, just saying “television is asur” is not helpful; there are plenty of rabbis who watch television from time to time.

    I agree that it’s not helpful to merely state that it’s asur, but I disagree that the assumption that some people who are considered rabbis doing something means it’s not.

    Would it be helpful if I quoted from R’ Ovadiah Yosef Shlit”a (who in turn quotes several earlier gedolei haposkim)?

    ??? ??? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ???????? [?? ?????] ???? ????, ??? ??? ????? ??????? ????, ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?? ????, ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????, ?????? ????, ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?????, ????? ???”? [=??? ???] ?????, ?? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ???????, ??? ???? ??????? ???????? ????? ??? ??? ?’, ????? ???? ??? ?????, ????? ??? ???? ?? ????… ??? ???? ?? ????? ?????…????? ?? ?????? ???? ????, “?? ???? ????? ?? ????”, ??? ??? ?? ??? ?? ????? ????, ??????? ??????? ????? ?????? ????, ????? ???? “??? ?????????? ???????????? ???????” ???? ????? ????? ???????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ???.

    (??”? ???? ????, ??? ?, ???? ????, ???? ??, ?”? ‘(?) ?????’, ??’ ?”?-??”?. ?”? ‘??? ???’, ??’ ?)

    I found this here:

    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/maamar.asp?id=124

    In a different thread, I quoted a translation of a similar teshuvah.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/giloy-arayos/page/2#post-152657

    #764302

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    From the OP: If we have a TV, we’ll be able to overlook what, if at all our kids our watching. However, if we dont have one, there’s always situations where children ‘sneak’ and watch at a friends house.

    There’s something which you are now overlooking; a parent has a say in who his child visits. As the child gets older, the values instilled in the child will play a major role in the decisions he or she makes.

    #764303

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Are you going to have internet at home? If so, you have a TV.

    Absolutely untrue. We have internet (parnassah considerations), but no TV; our internet is filtered.

    #764304

    dunno
    Member

    I think what aries2756 said makes the most sense. Start off without it…you can always get it later. And like many others said, if you’re bored…turn on your computer and watch from there.

    #764305

    bpt
    Participant

    Toss the box. You have each other. If you have a spare hour, go for a walk or sit and talk. Time spent in front of the tube is a waste of time that could be used for something of value.

    #764306

    oomis
    Participant

    I don’t think a child without a TV in his home is more likely to watch TV at a friend, than a child who does have a TV in his home. In fact, I believe the opposite.”

    Clairvoyant, with all due respect you could not possibly be more wrong. I am not saying have a tv or do not have a tv, but there is NO question (NO QUESTION) that kids who do not have one and have a friend who does, OFTEN go to those friends for the express purpose of watching.

    #764307

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    there is NO question (NO QUESTION) that kids who do not have one and have a friend who does, OFTEN go to those friends for the express purpose of watching.

    There’s also no question (should I repeat and capitalize? 🙂 ) that a child whose parents choose not to have a TV is likely to have friends who also don’t have one in the house.

    Parents who choose not to have a TV in the house are also (no question) likely to not allow their child to visit a friend with a TV.

    #764308

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    DY, you have television capability but have it disabled. Like Ned Flanders 🙂

    Weighing in on the kids from no-tv homes watching – my friends who didn’t have TVs came over and obsessively watched shows I would NEVER have watched, but their overall volume of TV was less. Friends with TVs came over to hang out more rather than watch TV.

    #764309

    Clairvoyant
    Member

    oomis, you are very mistaken. A child who is properly taught that TV is poison, will generally not go to friends to watch. There may be exceptions. A child who has a TV is his house, will have no compunctions watching when at a friend.

    Additionally, please reread both “m in Israel” and “kapusta”‘s very good points on this issue above.

    #764310

    m in Israel
    Member

    oomis — You make a very broad generalization, and as with most generalizations it can’t be accurate. Perhaps you meant to say “SOME kids who do not have one. . . “, which I would agree with. It is definitely not everyone, and I believe a lot depends on how well you communicate your value system to your kids. I grew up without TV in my home, and I NEVER went to a friend’s house “for the express purpose of watching.” On occasion, I did watch TV at a friend’s house when I was there anyway and she wanted to watch. Similarly if I was babysitting at a home with a TV I would occasionally turn it on (although I was more likely to head for their bookshelves!) BTW my parents allowed this, requesting that I use good judgement and avoid shows that may be inappropriate.

    And even if a child does watch TV at a friend’s house, as I said in my previous post, it is not likely that the child watching at a friend is watching more TV overall, or watching worse shows, than one with a TV in their home.

    #764311

    Spoiler86
    Member

    thanks to everyone for the responses.

    The most informative were aries2756 & m in Israel

    We will begin with just having a DVD player. If we ever feel the need to watch something, we’ll have that.

    I really appreciate EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU who took time to discuss this.

    Thanks again

    #764312

    dunno
    Member

    I hope it works out! And btw, mazel tov 🙂

    #764313

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DY, you have television capability but have it disabled. Like Ned Flanders 🙂

    I’m not sure how I have television capability if it’s disabled. Also, since my capable TV doesn’t work, I don’t know who Ned Flanders is. 🙂

    (I actually didn’t, until I looked him up online.)

    #764314

    I take issue with the notion that TV watching on the whole is ‘inane’ and a ‘waste of time’ and that it takes away from the relationship between you and your spouse. My wife and I watch the occasional TV program or movie, and will very frequently pause the “action” and then get into some pretty religio-intellectual discussions about what’s going on. Some of the best discussions we’ve had were about to kibud as it related to “The Office”.

    Just my 2 cents…

    #764315

    charliehall
    Participant

    “I agree that it’s not helpful to merely state that it’s asur, but I disagree that the assumption that some people who are considered rabbis doing something means it’s not.”

    It means that it is a machloket. I was aware of R’Ovadiah’s tshuvah on the matter; not everyone agrees with him on this.

    As I said, we don’t have a television, and I encourage those who don’t have one to give it away. But “asur” is not something that the entire Orthodox world accepts.

    #764316

    mewho
    Participant

    i would like to agree with not having one in the beginning and certainly not having one in your bedroom. if you feel you want one somewhere down the line keep it in the den.

    for the record, the same can go with the smart phones and laptops. i have visited homes where almost every family member is playing a handheld game of somesort or listening to music.

    whatever happened to board games and talking to each other?

    how about a deck of cards? playing jacks? dominoes?

    ok, i am giving away my age group. 🙂

    #764317

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    and I encourage those who don’t have one to give it away

    Now THAT’S a feat I’d like to see. 🙂

    The Wolf

    #764318

    My wife and I watch the occasional TV program or movie, and will very frequently pause the “action” and then get into some pretty religio-intellectual discussions about what’s going on.

    hey.. thats a lot like what me and my wife do. we like to go into bars and pool halls and all kinds of low places in las vegas. then we have religious discussions about how untznius the women were and how vulgar all the talk was. its a real eye-opener and has raised our consciousness quite a bit.

    #764319

    boredinoffice
    Participant

    @moderator80 – Is that how one becomes a mod? I guess I am not qulaified then. I have never been to vegas or other such places 🙂

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