Click-Addicted

My husband isn’t a couch potato nor is he an avid sports fan. That, my friends, translated into a major win for me! Why, you ask? He doesn’t watch TV, so there was never any conflict on who controls the “clicker.” In our marriage, I retained the title of “Clicker Queen.”

He would marvel at the speed with which I could decide (in less than half a second) if I was interested in watching a particular show or not. Most nights I didn’t watch anything in its entirety. Nothing remained on the screen too long without a “click.” And when I caught a glimpse of some unsavory, sleazy image, I’d just click it away.

So when cable offered a zillion channels for only $457 a month, well, count me in! Why stop at 30 programs when the sky’s the limit? Are you kidding me? It’s a no brainer! How to pay for it? No problem. I could cut a rare night out with my husband to pay for the additional fees, while also saving on babysitting costs.

Now I could click away for hours on end. Could anything be better? Seriously! Eating? I could do that in front of the TV. Sleeping? I could do that too; we are the proud owners of a very comfortable couch. Conversing? Well…I could do it, but I found that, if I had my clicker in hand…what was the need?

(Spoiler alert: if you don’t want your clicking time interrupted, read no further!)

Then something happened.

“It was nothing,” I tried to convince myself.

Then it happened again and again and again. It happened enough times over the course of many months, that I had no doubt what it was.

The Lord was speaking to me. Not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in a still small voice. It might have been still and small, but it was one I definitely heard.

Would I respond? Not at first. I tried to justify my actions, then rationalize, then excuse, validate, defend…but he would have none of it. He just kept repeating, “Stop watching the TV.”

“Ouch, Lord. That’s going to be really hard. Can’t I just limit the time I watch?” His answer was the same. “Stop watching the TV.”

And that’s when I realized: I was addicted… to the clicker!

Drastic measures would have to be taken. With his grace, I unplugged the TV and disconnected the cable. It was still a big incitement because although I disconnected it, I could simply plug it back in at any time.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. (Mt 7:13)

Next step, cancel the cable subscription, which I promptly did. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” (Mt 7: 24-25)

Although it was disconnected, there it sat: Enthroned in its own beautiful handcrafted console built especially for it, and placed in the most prominent space in our home, the center of our living room. Remind you of anything? Had I been worshiping an idol day in and day out? Once the Lord showed me this I threw out the TV. Put it right where it belonged in the dumpster with the rest of the trash.

“…but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” (Mk 8:35)

I am happy to say I am now a loser! A big loser! I lost a zillion channel, 99.9 percent smut-producing, lewd and immoral, insipid idol. I am a loser who is very grateful to my slow-to-anger, rich-in-mercy God! (Ps 103) And also, without my hand on the “clicker,” I discovered I am married, with two beautiful sons. Who knew?

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  • Huge Fan

    Wow, this is great!  I put my TV on the curb years ago, and it’s the best thing I ever did.  I don’t miss it at all.  It’s incredible that someone else has come to the same conclusion.  Everybody thinks I’m crazy.  Maybe if they cut down on all the broadcast static, they could hear the voice of God.  God bless you, Mrs. Bifulco, and keep up the good work!

  • Allisons_angel

    I have the TV but I never watch anything but movies that I have purchased, and own…and actually, my daughter watches movies while I read…I have cancelled my satellite subscription…after six months of no tv, why continue paying?  G rated movies are limited to one (or less) a day, so I don’t feel addicted…now books on the other hand…..

  • Guest

    My wife and I had very little $ when we married, so TV was a cheap form of entertainment.  Then it became a daily ritual for primetime.  Our lives had to be planned around the big episodes of our favorite shows (no Tivo — it was the 1990s).  Worse, we were too tired to spend time in prayer at night because we needed to relax in front of the TV for an hour after a long day of work.  5 years later we had our first kid and heard the same still, small voice as this author.  It took a full year to wean off of the addiction and wasn’t easy but we decided the immorality and garbage wasn’t right for our kids.  Plus, we imagined all of the activities and interaction we would have with each other with the TV off.  It was one of the best decisions of our lives. If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed…

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