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Friday, October 03, 2008

No Cable? Yes Please

A couple of days ago, we were on the way to church and listening to the radio. Someone mentioned a large sum of money, like $250 billion or so. We marveled at how much money that was, and that it was probably more money than any normal person would know what to do with. So we started counting ways we would buy if we were trying to spend it all. Obligatory talk of building a dream home (wrap-around porch and a good basement are "necessities" in our dream home), building a mountain cabin, good speakers for sound system, flat screen TV....cable TV?

<aside>
Allow me to save face for a minute, for after all, "Riches we heed not." These things we named are NOT things that we constantly drool over and aspire towards as our life goals. We were just trying to figure out how on earth we could spend $250 billion if we absolutely had to. Like, if someone were held a gun to our heads and said "Spend." (but not that severe)
</aside>

No, when we got to cable TV, neither of us had any desire to subscribe. This is not to say that we don't enjoy a few TV shows every now and then. We liked, and still do like, Mythbusters, although we haven't watched an episode in about a year. And well, uh...I must sheepishly admit that I'm hooked on the Terminator TV series. So much for shunning popular culture, huh? That is the first show since Star Trek Voyager (which ended in May 2001) that I watch on a weekly basis.

I just don't feel like I need cable anymore. Even when we go to houses that do have cable, we don't feel the urge to catch up on cable TV shows, like we did when we first got married and no longer had cable. It would be a waste of money for us too, since we would pay for all these channels and only watch about...3 or 4 of them. Two of those would probably be ESPN and ESPN2.

I am not saying that having cable is immoral. Cable is what you make of it. In fact, you don't even need cable to watch lots of TV. I watch Terminator through the rabbit ears. Plenty of other popular shows are available on broadcast television, such as American Idol or Dancing with the Stars (or whatever else is popular right now, I don't really know). TV can be immoral depending on what you watch, or it can be a fairly neutral factor in your life. It can potentially also be a fattening factor in your life too. We try to minimize its effect on our life.

What about you? Can you ditch the cable? Do you feel like you "need" cable? How many shows or channels do you watch? Or have you already ditched it?

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7 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    We had cable TV once, but it was so long ago I don't remember when. It was when it was fairly new...

    We haven't had a TV set in our house since around 1992. We do watch something every once in a while on the computer. About 2-3 times a year.

  • JunkMale

    Technically, I could watch my one TV show online.. ;)

    We are also fans of Georgia Tech football, so that is our one other reason to have a TV.

  • Veiled Glory

    We never had cable in our married state...just bunny ears that pick up 4 or 5 channels. Its enough to give us PBS and the weather report, which is fine with me. Just one tv set and a DVD player, lightly used.

    I do admit to watching several YouTube videos a week.

  • Iris

    I could get rid of cable, esp. since I don't watch too much TV. However, it is included in my monthly rent, so I take advantage of it as much as I can (esp. when I'm doing chores) because I know once I get my own place, I probably won't subscribe to it.

    The channels I often watch are ABC Family, TBS, WGN, Disney channel, and sometimes Discovery Health. I remember Harmony once told me that it would be nice to have the Discovery Health channel. :) Too bad you can't just choose a few channels for a pro-rated fee or something.

  • Laura

    Our TV gets pretty much all of its use playing movies. There's something cozy and familiar about pulling out something I've watched a million times and giving it another run. We do have a couple of TV shows on DVD that we enjoy watching occasionally, and during the Olympics we picked up a little bit of swimming on broadcast. But I can't say that we've *ever* missed having cable.

    I do appreciate all the free time we have as a result of not following any shows. I can get 9 hours of sleep a night, have time to cook a full dinner a couple times a week, and pull out a game after dinner on a pretty regular basis -- even while working full time. I used to use TV time to relax, but now I think having the free time is so much more relaxing.

  • Sherry

    We don't watch much TV, as you know, mostly sports during their season (mostly Alan), and I must admit I do watch American Idol. I also have watched America's Most Wanted since it came on approx. 20 years ago. I was determined some "wanted" person was not going to infiltrate our church if I could help it. I think it also started because John Walsh's son was about Harmony's age when he went missing so there is a connection there (trying to be a vigilant Mom & not loose my daughters). I also do homework with the Weather Channel music in the background. We also enjoy all the music channels & some PBS. And I guess the news is big too. Other than that, I could do without it. I do wish we could choose our stations. It sure wouldn't be that many.

  • Ewokgirl

    When I first became a SAHW, we got rid of cable to cut down on expenses. Actually, I should clarify: we cut down to the most basic cable package they had. We paid $11/month for the privilege of clear viewing of all broadcast stations, a ton of Spanish-speaking stations, and several big-haired Christian stations. We were fine with that, as we're not huge TV watchers.

    We were without cable for 8 years, then we subscribed again last year when the phone company offered us a fabulous bundling package with phone, internet, and cable.

    Could we do without it? Sure. I really enjoy BBC America, DIY, and sometimes HGTV, but I can live just fine without them.

    I do have to be careful with what I watch. Years ago I watched a lot of HGTV, but I noticed that I was becoming discontent with my own home. That went away when we dropped cable and I couldn't watch it anymore. Now when I watch that channel, it's usually only craft shows, which do not trigger a feeling of discontent. I think that's the main problem with television viewing--all the stuff meant to make us long for more and more. (Then, of course, there's the rampant immorality in many shows...)