We’re Cutting the Cord

We are going to do it.  We are “cutting the cord”.

Very soon, our household will no longer have cable TV.  To me (although not to my love, Karla), this seemed almost unfathomable until recently.  Not that I am SUPER into television; I usually have a show or two that I am keeping up with at any given moment, but other than a select few, I’m never really passionate about them.  I don’t typically turn on television and just watch whatever is on—I turn it on at appointed times to watch something specific.  Karla has almost never been that way, so this won’t be a huge change for her.

While I don’t really *watch* a whole lot of TV, I do turn it on sometimes just to feel connected to the outside world.  If I’m all alone in the house, I have often simply turned on the TV to feel less lonely—and I’ve always been quite aware that was my motivation for doing so.  In recent years, as I’ve become more aware of this opiate-type usage of TV, I have tried to curtail it and now will read with music on more often than with TV.  Silence, however, is still somewhat rare for me.  But I’m a work in progress.

The good (?) news is, we have so many streaming and DVD options, we still have more to watch than we could properly accomplish in a lifetime.  Our household alone has Netflix as well as Amazon Prime, so even those two services alone offer more than we need.  Factor in free streaming services like Crackle and a dozen or so other channels we have loaded on our Roku and the approximately 500 DVDs we own—including numerous seasons of TV shows–continuing to pay for cable seemed silly and wasteful.

Yes, there are a few shows (at this point, really just The Walking Dead) that I still HAVE to see.  Luckily, each episode is available to rent for 2.99 the day after it airs via Amazon.  Pricey?  Perhaps—but much cheaper than our cable bill.  I will just be avoiding Facebook on Sunday evenings for awhile :)

I hear you:  BUT SETH!  What about live TV?? News?? Sports???

 Yes.  This is the only part that hurts.  First, we will be keeping the cable through the election.  Once that whole fracas seems settled, we’ll cut the cord.  Yes, I will miss sports.  However, I already gave up football.  But I will surely miss seeing my Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers play.  I will certainly follow their seasons via print and internet media.  I imagine in the vanishingly rare event that one of my teams would be having an amazing year and look headed to the playoffs, I might cave and get the cable again, but for just a limited time.  I will very much miss special events like the Oscars—but a local theater here shows it on the big screen every year—so maybe there’s an opportunity for a new tradition.  Or, maybe, it will become one more item in the growing list of things I used to care about, but now, maybe not so much.

I can’t claim that this change is occurring because we don’t watch filmed, scripted entertainment.  We do, and we don’t feel ashamed of it.  It’s just that there’s filmed, scripted entertainment coming out of our ears, and we pay more for all of it than we do for our electric and gas bills.  This seemed askew to us.  In addition, we get an actual newspaper delivered, as well as about ten magazine subscriptions, and I am kind of addicted to fivethirtyeight.com and The New York Times online—so as much as I love CNN and MSNBC, we don’t really get our information from the television.  The fact of the matter is, getting rid of cable stands to change our lives very little—a realization that made it seem truly ludicrous for us to keep it.

2 Responses to “We’re Cutting the Cord”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    All those things you know you’ll be missing…there are ways to stream them to a device. You let me know when and if you want to do them. Fuck cable. I just got cable in my room two weeks ago.

  2. Cousin Josh Says:

    Did you realize that if your TV has a “QAM” tuner, which it most likely does, you should continue to get your local channels through the cable connection free of charge? This was part of the regulations in regard to local channels going digital and making rabbit ears useless. After your service is disconnected, try doing an auto channel search on your TV. You might be surprised as to what you still get.

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