Should we give our TV the switch-off?

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In our house the television is the central and most popular piece of entertainment.

We’ve all got our favourite TV channels and programmes.

I’m into the more factual kind of programme, such as documentaries or investigations, whereas my partner, Serena, is more into stuff like the soaps or reality TV.

I often tease her about littering our box with recordings of The Only Way is Essex, Eastenders or some show about finding the next top model.

Now even my two daughters have their favourite TV shows.

My youngest, Alyssa, would sit and watch Baby Jake on CBeebies all day if we let her and Caitlin would probably do the same with Fireman Sam.

I wonder sometimes what life would be like without the TV and if we would be better off as a family if we didn’t have one?

I’ve read and heard arguments that television can unite a family, getting everyone in the same room together at the same time.

But I’ve also heard those who say that television can isolate a family – yes, everyone will be in the same room but all will be glued to the screen, absorbed by what they are watching and not taking any notice of each other.

As I’ve never been without a television in my life, I cannot give an opinion either way.

But I remember a girl in my class at school telling me she didn’t have a TV in her home and being puzzled. To me, it was like someone having a house without a roof – odd.

But now I’m a bit older and wiser I can see the advantages of turning the bright rectangle-shaped piece of technology off.

Not just because we’ll save money on the TV license and subscriptions but because we’ll have more quality time with each other to talk as a family.

You never know, it may even get us out of the house more.

A few times over the last year, Serena and I have discussed the possibility of turning the TV off for a whole week, just to see how we’d cope and what would take its place to keep the whole family entertained.

So far it’s never gone further than a discussion and the television has stayed on.

But I think that this year’s Olympics has proved that I really couldn’t live without the TV.

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy watching it, it was what everyone else seemed to be talking about.

So if I didn’t have a TV I may have felt like I was missing out.

Now the Olympics is over so maybe it’s the time to start our ‘no TV for a week’ experiment.

Oh hold on…the Paralympics starts next week.

Maybe my non-TV week will have to wait a bit longer.