Years ago when my husband and I arrived young and hopeful from Paris to the Silicon Valley, we bought our first TV.
In France we were too busy to even think of buying one. But here, in the United States, without work for me, no family, and no friends yet, with our one-year-old daughter for exclusive company, we changed our minds.
Also, we were certain that TV would help us improve our English and even naïve enough to believe we would lose our accents.
Of course, we quickly realized that reading newspapers and books and speaking with locals would be more efficient.
As for the accent, well, I have long ago agreed with my friendly American fellows: it is wonderful to have a French accent.
Anyway, after two more kids, we adults couldn’t keep up with TV while the children were quickly turning into addicts. So we said goodbye to the paying programs and kept the TV set for movies that we were then renting at Blockbusters before Netflix arrived on the market.
Again, between work, school and just the small busy things of life, even watching movies at home became difficult. There was never a good time or even a good day. One of us would eventually fall asleep or the phone would ring. An urgent school assignment would pop from a backpack or a batch of cookies had to be baked for a classroom party.
It is only for the 2008 presidential campaign that we reconsidered watching TV.
We were all so much ready for hope and change that we called the local cable company and subscribed to the minimum package we could find. We said it would only be to follow the campaign, the election night and the presidential inauguration.
Call it complaisance or laziness but we didn’t cancel our subscription and became CNN, Chopped Chef and even Ultimate Fighting watchers. I’m not mentioning the pitiful 10 o’clock local news.
So when a few days ago we cancelled accidentally the cable service when we changed Internet provider, it felt providential. Why would we spend evenings on the couch watching news, cooking shows, and fights on TV while it is entirely possible to do that from a computer at our own convenience?
The thing is this morning I read the news online, the American and the French of course, what do you think? Then I followed a few links here and there, they appear to be more and more frequent now days.
Before I knew it I had spent two hours online. More than my previous TV average.
Now I ponder the plusses and minuses. TV or not TV?
Besides, 2012 promises to be an exciting year, news speaking.
Two presidential campaigns in my two favorite lands. France in the spring. The US in the fall.
They say Dish Network is really cool. In addition to a bounty of channels, it offers a great selection of French programs. They call it French Bouquet. Who can resist such a name?