Why We Actually Like Not Having a Television

What? No TV? If this post title made you pause and wonder just how out there we are, that’s okay. 🙂 I promise we’re not extreme. So many people rely on not only phones in their lives, but also on having the television on! In today’s post, I’ll be explaining our reasoning behind not having a TV and why we enjoy not having one!

Our Story

Bjorn and I actually haven’t had a television for the entirety of our marriage so far (~3 years). We currently live in a cute little rental home that has really grown on me over the years. 🙂 I lived here alone for 7 months after college before we got married, and didn’t have a TV during that time either. 

When Bjorn moved in, and we started making this rental house more of a home, the furniture layout of the living room was naturally at the forefront of our minds. We always knew we wanted a fish tank, because my parents have one and we’d loved seeing their African cichlids, so that was the major piece we started shopping for. 

We do have Internet in this house (which is important when you’re a blogger or a masters student!) but we never felt the urge to buy a TV. I’m not sure that a particularly decisive yes/no moment came along, but whenever we’d pass a big high-definition television in a store, our reaction was more one of “Ehhh,” instead of a sense of “We have to have it!”

We knew from the start that our fish equipment would cost just as much as a really nice TV. And we decided together that yes, we were okay with that! That’s where our priorities lay, and we’ve just moved on from there. 

Bjorn and I are not opposed to having a home with a television in the future (just like we’re not opposed to getting a clothes dryer or dishwasher someday either!), but for now in this season of our life together, we’re just plain happiest without one.

What We Like About Not Having a Television

Like I said, we do have Internet…and since we own laptops, that does allow us to watch shows on Netflix when we’d like. We also do enjoy having an at-home movie night by popping a DVD into our computer and enjoying a movie that way. So, it’s not that we’re opposed to watching shows or movies, but we just currently like living without a big TV in our house!

I like the fact that we can carry our laptops from room to room if we’re watching a show. I like to multi-task, particularly when a show is playing (I have never been good about just sitting and watching something). It especially works well to play a show on a laptop while I’m standing and doing the dishes, or while I’m folding laundry. That way, my simple but tedious tasks are getting done and I don’t feel like I am wasting time. It feels good not to park myself in front of a screen with no way to watch while doing dishes, etc. 🙂 

Having a TV on can be such a time-suck. Bjorn and I still joke about one time during our first married summer in Virginia: we woke up on a Saturday morning, got ready to leave our hotel suite for the day’s outings, but ended up sitting accidentally for 3(!) hours watching some crazy conspiracy show about Bigfoot type creatures!! It blew our minds that it was that easy to waste half our day, and it’s hilarious to think back on. We proved to ourselves that day that we probably shouldn’t own a television, haha. It is easier than we think to get caught up in a show and lose track of time.

^^ ahh, those Virginia days 🙂 ^^

No commercials. They are so annoying, aren’t they? And companies just keep getting better and better at marketing to us, even in the most subtle ways. Commercials take up such a big chunk of time during a 30- or 60-minute show, too. We really like the fact that watching shows on our laptops doesn’t have to involve commercial time.

Not getting sucked into the next show they want us to watch. Oftentimes, on TV they are hinting about the show that will follow the current one you’re watching…always leading you to feel you just have to see the next show! Accessing shows on a laptop keeps us feeling more in control of when we start and stop a show. It’s easy to hit “Pause” and come back another time.

We’re not into watching professional or college sports, so we’re totally okay with not flipping on the TV to catch the game. (I’ve never really been into watching sports on TV, and I guess I’m lucky in that my husband would much rather watch other things! We’re a good match that way, too.)

Finally, it’s super nice not having a big black rectangle as the focal point of our living room. The way our place is laid out, you walk through the front door directly into the large living room/piano room. A television would be the first major thing people notice in this house.

Instead, we have that large 75-gallon aquarium sparkling at you when you step into the house, filled with interesting fish and soothing aquarium sounds. 🙂 And we love our fish, too! They’re the only pets we have right now and they are fun conversation starters! Having a fish tank as our major focal point also lends itself to the overall peaceful feel I’m going for in our home decor!

How about you? Do you have a TV in your living room? Just your bedroom or basement? Or none at all? I want to hear your story!

Note: this post wasn’t meant to sound like it is “best” or “ideal” not to have a television! We certainly don’t look down on people who have a TV and love it. And we like watching TV when we come over to your house 😉 This is just what our reality is and what we’ve found we’re really happy with! Hope you enjoyed reading some of the reasons we like a TV-less life. 🙂


  1. Andy and I have two televisions in our house, that we both owned prior to getting married. His “large” (not that large, compared to all of his friends’ TVs) TV is in our living room, and my smaller TV is in the den set up next to the treadmill (it helps motivate me to exercise haha.) We don’t have cable, and really only watch Netflix or a Redbox movie with intention instead of vegging out all the time. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom for which I am SO grateful!

  2. Not having a TV seems like such a good idea. I spent my college years in my dorm with only my laptop. Now that I’m married, I have a big screen TV and it sucks me in. I waste so much time in front of it. We definitely need to be proactive and not spend as much time in front of the TV as we do.

    Also, having a huge fish tank as the focal point is a great idea. Plus fish are surprisingly fun to watch.

    Kylie <3 livingwhimsicaldreams.blogspot.com

  3. Kudos to you both for being able to live TV-free! I can’t imagine not having one! While I do watch some shows, I mostly like it for the background noise.

  4. You guys are too cute! <3<3 We do have a TV but don't have it hooked up to cable or even local channels. We just use it to stream netflix, hulu, and watch movies and we love it that way! 🙂

  5. I love that you have a fish tank as the focal point in your living room instead of a TV! I have a TV in my bedroom and in the main living space. I go through periods where I’ll spend a lot of time in one room or the other. (It’s always funny to watch my dog if I’ve changed location when she comes to find me after hanging out upstairs–I rent out my parents basement–and looking out the window. If I’ve been spending time in my room–where my desk is–and I suddenly switch to the couch she’ll run right by me and stop in the doorway of my room like, “Where is she?”)

    I’m the same, though, with needing to multi-task while I watch TV. I’ve never really been one to just sit there and watch TV.

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