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Your e-mails: Life without TV

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(CNN) -- Would you, could you, survive without TV?


Mark Wineman captured this image of strikers on the street outside Universal Studios in Universal City, California.

With television and film writers on strike against the studios and production companies, and late-night talk shows, daytime soaps, and prime-time dramas all set to run out of fresh material in the coming months, asked readers to tell us what they would do in a world without television.

The response was overwhelming, with many readers saying they could not only survive without TV, they would actually benefit without it. Many others said they gave up TV years ago and have never looked back.

Below is a selection of those responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

Clayton Rule of Houston, Texas
This could be the best thing to ever happen to America! It's a great opportunity to fix two of our largest social problems. First: Read a book; the American public is generally fairly ignorant and could stand to expand their knowledge base. Second perform some outdoor activities and lose the weight we have collected while sitting on the couch watching TV.

Cherie Wilson of Austin, Texas
As long as I have basic news, sports, and my beloved food network, I'm good. What would fill the time left by no "Grey's Anatomy," "Nip/Tuck," or Reality TV? Better conversations, reading, and fitness. The most important of those would be conversation; most people let TV fill the time when we should be talking to our family.

Diane Carroll of Santa Barbara, California
Since I do not watch TV (as of August this year, by choice), I read a lot. Picked up Sherlock Holmes complete works the other day. Another reading friend has turned my attention back to science fiction, once my best friend. I now volunteer for Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. I've lost weight. Hate shopping, but now enjoy window shopping just to see what there is to see.

I meet people and start conversations that I never would have before, couldn't commit to a schedule already full. My interests have become varied, new things present themselves to me and I can accept them without hesitation of what my evening schedule might be. ... Oh, and one more thing, I get more sleep.

Anastasia Schweikert of McAllen, Texas
Sad to say, but I do allow television to prevent me from reading, exercising, and doing things that generally require human contact.

Altogether, I don't think that this is a crisis (for television viewers that is). It may be a great time for people to reflect upon the fact that TV has become a crutch that allows people to procrastinate and disengage from daily life.

Travis Welch of Greensboro, North Carolina
I haven't had a TV for several years. What do I do? I spend time outdoors, cook, enjoy being around friends, read books, run, bike, and kayak. More importantly, what do I not do? I don't discuss commercials and TV shows with co-workers. I don't obsess over being home at a certain time to watch someone's fake life. I don't spend hours a day in a climate-controlled environment sitting in one place.

Joshua Marcy of Madison, New Jersey
So much of what is on network television is garbage anyway. What about the documentary and learning channels? Why not give C-SPAN a look, especially on Election Day? In terms of films, there are loads of U.S.-made movies out there that I haven't watched yet; this strike gives me some time to catch up on older releases. And let's not forget some of the great foreign films that are still being produced and deserve a look. Foreign studios should enjoy eating the U.S. writers' lunches until the writers decide to come back to work.

Julia Sundstrom of Penn Valley, California
I returned to live in the U.S. after living in Denmark for eight years. The programs there are not interrupted by numerous commercials and at the time reality shows did not dominate the weekly schedule. I quickly realized that the programming was not of much interest and from that point I stopped watching conventional TV. I have not had cable or local channels in over seven years.

I do have a small TV which can be connected to an iPOD or DVD player ... so I can watch what I like when I choose without interruption. One show I think is hilarious is the "Late Show with Craig Ferguson" ... which I try and see if I'm visiting family or friends who have TV and can't live without it! : )

Jena Barber of Springdale, Arkansas
I would keep watching. I can only DVR two programs at a time, so there will be plenty of things I can get on rerun. Plus, reality TV is fun, so I'll watch that, too. I'm probably in the minority, but I think unions and strikes were originally meant for laborers, people working in horrible conditions who couldn't speak for themselves. It seems that a job based on creativity should by its nature not allow unions. Can't these people negotiate for themselves? If they're not up to the task, let me come to Hollywood and write a sitcom. I'm sure I can do just as well as the writers of "Big Bang Theory."

How you'll be affected

- Immediately: Late-night talk shows, which depend on topical material, will go to reruns

- In about one month: Daytime soap operas will go to reruns

- By January-February: Current prime-time shows will likely run out of fresh episodes

- Reality shows unaffected; Fox, with fewer hours to program and powerhouse "American Idol" returning in January, is in best shape if strike continues, according to The Hollywood Reporter

- ABC has stockpiled several new shows and could put them on in midseason if strike persists

- TV networks have stockpiled TV movies

- Movie studios in decent shape for now

Sources:; The Hollywood Reporter

Heather Diener of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I will be lost without my shows!! I guess it will give me more time to do the things that I've been putting off (cleaning closets, exercise). Give the writers what they deserve!!

Greg Giannace of Hamilton, New Jersey
Reruns are fine for the amount of TV that I watch. I wish it were the Reality show writers that went on strike -- wouldn't be much loss there.

Colleen Lahndt of Kasilof, Alaska
We actually choose not to have television just because of all the violence and sexuality on it. My husband, myself and my son are all big readers. We are also very close. Everyday after work, school, etc. we sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea, share our day and stay connected in each others lives. We pretty much eat dinner together every night especially on Sundays. I personally would like to see America have a National "Turn off your TV Week" so that their families could get to know each other.

Omar G. Brito of Calexico, California
I would exercise, read books, play with my computer, play board games with my family, listen to the radio, prepare nicer meals, work on my backyard.

Jeffrey Sill of Charlotte, North Carolina
I don't even own a TV. The last time I owned one was in 2003. That sounds impressive to a lot of people I talk to because like smoking, everyone regards too much TV as a bad thing, but people can still get addicted to it. It saves me $60/month in cable bills.

It's not that I don't ever watch TV, though. I get sports updates, "The Daily Show," "Gray's Anatomy," and many other shows entirely online. I have a feeling that I'm an exception now, but I think people like me will be a growing consumer base who use primarily web-based entertainment.

This is all the more critical for the Writer's Guild, with corporations claiming that they're not sure how much content will be delivered online, and how much money they think they might make online. My only concern is that the guild doesn't have the firepower to get what they deserve.

Claudia Weldon of Aliso Viejo, California
We have not had TV for 1-1/2 years and do NOT miss it all. Instead we:
1. Read
2. Write stories and illustrate them
3. Make our own holiday trees and ornaments
4. Take digital pictures and print them
5. Write poetry
6. Design and create our own furniture line.
We really do NOT miss TV. CNN is sufficient for news and news bites. We go to the movies for big screen and enjoy it once in awhile.

J. Sullivan of Helena, Montana
Television is completely overrated! My family does not watch a lot of television (besides Discovery, Science, Military and ESPN) because we believe there a lot of poor role models being showcased. NBC, ABC, etc. ... programming does not match our family's morals and values. Most of the programming is a lot of fluff without important value besides brain-numbing episodes. They are a waste of valuable "life" time. We value education and being productive and respectful community citizens. We value helping fellow neighbors around the world and non-narcissistic behaviors. As a family, we spend a lot of quality time playing games, reading books, cooking and athletics. We could live without television because we do already!

Mark Barry of Prescott Valley, Arizona
My wife and I have been married 15 years and we have three kids (ages 6-12). We got rid of our TV 14 years ago right after we were married. Our kids have never grown up watching TV and they always make As in school. Since they don't have a TV to watch they will read books all day after they get home from school. Needless to say, they have excellent reading skills and win awards at school for the most books read. They even like to write their own short stories and have great imaginations.

I have also never heard our kids call each other names because kids learn that from TV. And quite often when we're in restaurants people will come up to us and tell us how well-behaved our kids are. My wife and I never quite understood why are kid's attitudes are so much different than other kids, but we believe it's because we don't have a TV. It's amazing how kids really can get along without TVs, but most parents will never know unless they remove them. I guess we're the exception and not the rule.

Stan Marsh of Asheville, North Carolina
I'd get a dog ... and go for long walks. Hangout out at local coffee shops and bars. Join a book club and meet some new people. Enjoy life again, instead of hoping TV can live the life I dream of.

Jerry Smith of Charleston, South Carolina
I will do just as I do now, spend time with my family, read, support my daughter's sports and school activities, and prepare for Christmas and so on. Basically I live my life rather than sit as a spectator. Most of what is on TV is a waste and not worth wasting what precious time we have here on Earth watching. One can no longer even find real news as all major news programs have become entertainment and rantings by a bunch of self-righteous blowhards. So won't miss a beat. Won't know when the strike ends until it's reported in the local newspaper.

Alan Zelhart of Chandler, Arizona
With all the shows loaded with commercials, and all the commercials being annoyingly louder than the programs themselves, I'm about ready to shove the TV right out the front door and into the dumpster. Programming has got worse and worse over the years. And now we are paying for TV loaded with commercials. It all seems so pointless.

Katy Martin of Albany, New York
Without TV ... my life would be the same, I enjoy playing games, outside activities and laughing with friends. I watch A LOT OF DVDS ... but not TV.

I think it would be interesting to see the world without it though; so many are hooked on the reality TV shows and soap operas that their lives revolve around them, rushing home so they don't miss an episode or arguing within their relationships as if it were a soap drama. Oh, to see how it would be without ...


Daniel Mendonca of Montoursville, Pennsylvania
The writers strike is just a reminder to us of how great it is NOT to have television. Myself and my family have been cable-free for 11 consecutive years as of 2007. We do subscribe, however, to an online service that delivers DVDs at home so we can watch what we want. But it is great when we take our 6-year-old boy to parties and while other kids are glued to the tube, he just wants to play. We are not against cable -- our decision was not based on religious principles -- just based on the fact that we can find much better things to do with our time than watching TV. We ride bikes together, we read a lot, we play games, we engage in outdoor activities, weather permitting, and simply love the fact that 11 years later we still believe getting rid of cable was a great decision. We do not miss it.

Rick Sprague of Erie, Pennsylvania
I do not understand the problem.
I do not have a television.
I have Internet service and I rent videos.
This way my wife and I control what is being brought into the house.
They can strike all they want. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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