We saw a headline this week that stopped us dead in our tracks. It claimed it would help people find the right outdoor TV for them. We knew that outdoor TVs existed; we just thought people weren’t interested in them anymore.
There’s something incredibly appealing about getting a projector and showing a movie on the side of the garage or on a sheet you’ve hung up. But a full-time TV seems like a huge commitment for something you probably won’t use much.
An outdoor TV is expensive. They are built to survive the weather, dirt, bugs and seasons. They also have much brighter screens because they are in the sun. Depending on what you want to watch outside, you might need to call the cable company to help you or get a signal booster for your internet if you’re going to stream things — all that costs money.
But, more than the monetary cost, there is a quality of life cost. Every time we look for sources about why outdoor TVs are a terrible idea, we only find sites reviewing them and selling them. But, the fact is that an outdoor TV is a very expensive TV you cannot use in bad weather or on days you don’t want to be outside. It’s also a costly thing you leave outdoors all the time, making it attractive to burglars. And, when you do what to be outside, you should just enjoy your outdoor space.
As children, we were told to “go play doors outside,” not “go watch TV outside.” When you are outdoors, be outdoors; look around at your yard, the sky and the plants. Being in your yard is your chance to reconnect to the world without going far. Don’t ruin that with a screen. It’s bad enough we carry our phones everywhere.
People in the U.S. struggle with sitting in silence. We like noise and activity. It makes us feel connected. But being still and quiet lowers your blood pressure and pulse, improves your breathing and focus and relaxes your muscles.
“Learning to sit in stillness and self-reflect is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our kids,” says Dr. Amy Sullivan, a clinical health psychologist. “When we look internally and delve deeper into our value system and wants and needs, we can communicate at a deeper level. We have to foster that ability.”
So, in the end, the question about finding the right outdoor TV for you is pointless. We say don’t buy one. They are expensive, and you can’t use it when the weather is crummy. And when the weather is nice, you should enjoy your time outdoors without screens. It’s a space to sit quietly or enjoy with friends, not watch TV. If you want a movie night under the stars, you can turn a smartphone into a projector with a five-dollar craft. It’s easy!