Living Outside the Box – Book Review


Kids playing by Philou.cn
Kids playing, a photo by Philou.cn on Flickr.


Barbara Brock surveyed over 500 Low-TV and No-TV families, and further interviewed a number of these families in person. The result is her interesting and excellent book “Living Outside the Box”. Why have these families given up TV ? What do they do with their time? Are they social outcasts? These are some of the questions Barbara Brock seeks to answer.

What I found most fascinating were the reasons given for living TV-Free. Basically these reasons could be put into four broad categories:

- Resentment and Frustration. Resentment at being raised with too much TV and/or frustration with their own families being too TV oriented.

- Technical Difficulties. TVs breaking down, or moving to an area with poor TV reception. And finding the resulting TV-Free existence to be liberating instead of boring.

- Outside Prompts. Inspirations such as TV-Turnoff Week, Waldorf Schools, and books about the negative effects of TV.

- Raised Without TV. The stereotype is that children raised without TV will become total TV addicts when given the opportunity. As it turns out, growing up without TV was also a major reason for living TV-Free as adults.


And what I liked best about this book was that in addition to facts and figures, Outside the Box is also filled with stories from the interviews and feedback. My favorite story was about Jenny, a mom who would labor over a family dinner and then have to tear her kids and husband away from their separate TVs for a family get-together dinner. Finally, out of frustration, she took the garden shears and literally cut the TV cable. Her youngest son started to cry, her two daughters quickly took off to a friend’s TV-filled house, and her husband just stared in amazement. Now, years later, and still TV free, family dinners have become unhurried and filled with conversation, the kids have found lots to do, and even her husband has discovered that “at least now I know as much about my own kids as I used to know about The Simpsons”.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/605367.Living_Outside_the_Box


See also:

30 days live pdf
Found at ebookbrowse.com


One Response to “Living Outside the Box – Book Review”

  1. terry33 Says:

    Note, I actually bought and read this book a number of years ago, and only now got around to writing a review. When I bought it, the price was very reasonable, now the book is no longer in print and the used books start at $83.95 and go up to $545.00 for a copy in new condition. That’s pretty amazing.

    So it looks like demand is much bigger than supply. Very encouraging that there is so much demand for a book describing family life without TV (or very, very little TV).


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