Saying "I Don't Watch Television" Does Not Make You Cool Anymore

Categories: Pop Culture

Doctor Who
Admittedly, that headline is a bit of a lie because saying that you don't watch television has literally never been cool. Ever. So if you claim to not watch television, please be advised that not only is no one impressed, but we're reaching the point where we actively wonder why you are shutting yourself out from the world.

First of all...what is television? That's a legitimate question in this day and age. What constitutes watching TV?

For instance, my favorite television show of all time is Doctor Who, and you can bet all rondels in TARDIS console room I will be tuning in at exactly 8 p.m. on Saturday to watch Peter Capaldi debut. That's not how I started watching the show, though. I started watching it streaming on my Wii through Netflix, gulping down five years of serial science fiction in roughly a few weeks. Was that watching television? How exactly is it different from all the documentaries and movies I otherwise watch through Netflix streaming?

Here's another question that Doctor Who helps illustrate. When the show is off the air, I often pick up books that continue the adventures. Am I still watching television, or have I graduated to reading? How do the radio plays fit in? In that last case, I'm hipsterishly enjoying an art form that predates television, yet it exists because of a television show.

That's the problem when you say you don't watch television in the age of Amazon Prime and Hulu; it is an almost completely meaningless statement because of the cloud-like nature of modern entertainment.

Orange is the New Black is a Netflix exclusive. Is it television? Video Game High School and Mortal Kombat: Legacy are web series, but I watch through my YouTube app on PS4 on my TV. I'm seriously asking where you draw the line on what counts.

Lots of people mean they don't get the news from television, which would make you part of only 13 percent of Americans. Still, I can get that. I don't watch my local news outside of severe weather coverage myself. I prefer to get it from Yahoo! News because I like being able to read information at my own pace rather than have it read to me.

Also, I'm an ignorant comment junkie and Yahoo! News is the black tar heroin of ignorant commenters.

So I might do that, but I still catch up with The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver when I find the time. Mostly I find the time online during my lunch break, when I can easily digest a 15-minute clip.

Make no mistake, people will look back on us 100 years from now and hold up Stewart, Colbert and Oliver as the Voltaires of the American 21st century. There hasn't been such biting contemporary commentary on politics and events since Mark Twain, and he never had the ability to instantly stream his snark around the world.

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Kill your television. 

Don't just know things. 

Understand them.


I pretty much quit watching television after the first season of SNL. MASH had its run, but the laugh tracks continued on ever increasingly unfunny (and middle class white) shows. News was the same sensationalist garbage it still is now, with airplane crashes several states considered to be local news. PBS was the last television station I saw, but even the British imports eventually ran out.

For myself, starting around X-Files, as drama went into fantasy, I noticed improvements (or I just got older...), but then the DVD was invented, so I collect series to watch later at my leisure, instead of watching a show when someone else demanded it.

So there was a time when tv was "uncool" because it was just plain bad. Of course, this was during the old days when people actually said "cool".


As someone who grew up in the 70's, I can safely say that 


I don't watch TV either. When somebody wants to talk to me about a show, or something in the news that is horrible but irrelevant, I have to disclose that I don't watch TV. We have one, but only use it to play DVD's and stream ROKU cartoons for the kids, one per kid per day. (if they're good) 

We discontinued cable service to save $100 per month. The antenna only picks one local channel in English. 

At first it was a little weird. Turning on TV is a habit. I would always have the TV on if I'm awake in bed. That means I would wake up and watch TV, I would also fall asleep with it on. That's not healthy. Growing up, in my parents house, the TV was always on during breakfast and supper. We sat at the dining room table, but the family's attention was turned perpendicularly away from each other, as we craned our necks to see the news or wheel of fortune in the other room. Nice way to dine with the family, right? 

I can say, with authority, that I'm not missing anything. 

Being cool is something you are, or are not. It's not like you can do one thing to change that. For example, dropping a phonetically superfluous letter from your first name is cool, as it saves 25% more time each time you write 'Jef' rather than 'Jeff'. But doing so, and then referring to yourself as "Jef with one f" is totally not cool. It is annoying to everyone. It's like saying "I'm so insecure that if you misspell my name, it will diminish my self-worth to a negative integer."

People always mis-spell my name. It's amusing. I don't call myself "Aidan with 2 a's" That would make me a douche.

A douche like you! 


Of course someone who bills himself as "Jef with one F" would write an article about what is or isn't cool. This is exactly the kind of article one would expect from someone who is *soooooooo different*. Please. People aren't watching television as much because they have other interests. They don't say they don't watch television because they give a shit about what you think of them, or elevating themselves as cool, they're likely saying it because you're trying to steer the conversation about television, and they have nothing to add because they don't watch it. They don't want to be apart of a one-way conversation with you. Also, you're likely detestable because you worry about what is and isn't cool.

Nicki Stacy
Nicki Stacy

Ignorant comment junkie....I love it. Haha. Me too, just never knew what it was called!

Justin Danger Bathsalts
Justin Danger Bathsalts

This is a two way street, if your idea of a good night in is "cuddling on the couch watching netflix" youre actually a boring person wasting your life watching TV.


It depends who your cuddling with and what your watching.  Excuse me please, but nestling in a bottle of wine and a funny female while watching "The Girl Who Waited" episode of Doctor Who would not be a waste of my would be a highlight.


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