Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cut the Cord

Sometimes I feel like my life, and as a result, this blog, is on repeat. But not in a bad way...we just seem to deal with the same themes over and over again- Baby pics, recipes, lists....

So today’s rehash is on the topic of TV. I want to get rid of it. Familiar territory, no? For those newbies in the bunch, I have an ongoing love hate relationship with TV. As in- I loooooooove it. And hate how much I love it. So every so often, I wig out and contemplate going Amish to release the tight grip television has on my heart. It started in college, with me waking up one night fah-REAKing out about how I just couldn’t take my couch potato life anymore (but didn’t have the willpower to do much about it), and begged Dustin to move the TV to the basement storage locker. Immediately. I don’t quite recall, but I think he was able to talk me off the technology obsessed ledge, and delay any appliance relocation. At least until morning.

But whether the TV remained in that instance or not, my feelings didn’t change, and I’ve continued to have an on-again-off again soap opera romance with the tube. We started with a week off, advanced to a month without viewing, and eventually gave it up for (almost) an entire summer. Each sabbatical was more successful than the last. And when we resumed watching last September I had optimistic goals on how to reign in TV’s presence in our lives.

But alas, history has repeated itself, and we once again find ourselves crashing out in front of tube more often than we’d probably like to admit. BUT- we have a plan. And rather than force another cold turkey break, only to inevitably succumb to TV’s siren song, we’re taking a different approach.

This time- we’re taking the plunge....and giving up cable.

That might not seem crazy to some, but to a couple of borderline addicts, canceling cable is a pretty big deal. The whole idea came about pretty abruptly, as many of my hair-brained schemes do. I mentioned I was thinking about it, a friend sent me a link with some tips on how to still have access to your shows while drastically reducing your bill, and after a quick browse, I was sold on the idea. I texted Dustin "I'm thinking about getting rid of our cable..." and immediately got a response: "Done". By the next evening, we were officially blacked out. The magic box that had brought us hours (and hours and hours and hours) of entertainment was dark.

Goodbye old friend.

Despite our quick action to cancel the cable, we're still in the exploratory phase of figuring out our media consumption. Watching shows online is an option, but we might decide to "upgrade" to streaming content through our xbox, or even get a subscription to a service like Hulu+ or Netflix. For now though? We're kicking it old school- you know, nothing but internet, iphones, an xbox with kinect...the basics really. But kidding aside, I hope whatever system we come up with not only saves us some money, but encourages us to look beyond technology and take advantage of our time together in better, more purposeful ways. I still have some "must sees" on my list, but I'm hoping that the new set up will force me into being a bit more selective about my viewing, and less likely to stumble into a Millionaire Matchmaker marathon and forget how to get out. And though we'll still have access to many of our shows through the internet, it won't be quite as convenient, which will actually be a good thing. Without a DVR to spoon feed me lazy entertainment, I'll be taken off of autopilot, and be more aware of how I choose to spend my free time. There are tons of activities I love to do that I complain I never have time for (reading, blogging, photography, working out, cooking, etc. etc. and so on....) when the truth is, I've been squandering a lot of my free time without much thought.

Which reminds me, we've got a house full of books, and there's a little girl upstairs who desperately needs to hear a tale about a Hiccupotamus. So if you'll excuse me....

While I'm off exploring my new reality-tv free reality, tell me:
Anyone else jumping off the TV bandwagon? Do you have an internet safety net? Or are you off the grid doing crazy things like playing outside and talking with your family?


  1. I got rid of my cable last summer (the whole "no job/paycheck" thing gave me extra incentive to cut some bills, and it was something I'd been thinking about anyway) and for the most part I haven't missed it. There are a few shows I make a point to watch online, and every once in awhile I want a lazy day or evening of mindlessly watching and I'll miss having it, but overall I don't miss it. I bet you'll be glad you're rid of it!

  2. Haven't missed cable in a long time :) Pat and I get together with friends once a week and watch an episode via Netflix of any cable program we feel like viewing. It's an opportunity to see friends, have a good dinner, and talk about shows worth our time :)

  3. Not that I'm trying to help feed your need for TV... but just throwing it out there: a few of our friends share a netflix account (just the streaming, not the DVDs in the mail). We just share the e mail and password, and watch it on a Wii, streaming through a TV hooked up to the internet, or just on a laptop. Sweet deal, makes it real cheap. Plus we all see what each other is watching, which is just funny. We end up watching the same stuff.

    I'm locked into a stupid contract with direcTV for a while, or I would think about giving it up... but it would be hard. Good luck!