When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships – Andy Warhol
by Sunshine & Vanilla
“Hi, I’d like to cancel my cable please.”
I’ve spoken these words before several times, twice for the reason I spoke them a couple of weeks ago. The reason wasn’t because I was moving or switching companies or suffering financial burden. The reason was simple, I no longer wanted cable. I no longer wished to have a hundred channels of time-sucking drivel pumped into my house at my expense.
Before I go ahead and alienate everyone, let’s get some things clear right off the bat. I am not an elitist. I like television. I loathe 90% of all reality television, however. And by loathe, I mean loathe, detest, hate, would rather rip out my eyes with a red hot spork than guess who is going to get some rose or get kicked out of some pricey house or god forbid watch those kids on the shore make spectacles out of themselves in my beloved Florence (for god’s sake, talk about giving Americans an even worse name out there). Okay, okay, I’m sorry, maybe I am a snob after all. I do love to watch Gordon Ramsay on just about anything, even if he is cursing out the young folk and making them cry. Don’t even get me started on the mystery basket on Chopped. AND YES I AM TOTALLY ADDICTED TO JUDGE JUDY! That’s right. The worst of the worst. I love Judge Judy. I wish I could have her job. I wish, for just one day I could sit up there and tear those clowns apart. What kind of idiot would agree to go in front of Judge Judy anyway? Seriously. So, yes, those are my reality shows.
Aside from those shows, once my beloved LOST came to an end (yes, I’m still talking about LOST, deal with it), television held little interest for me anymore. In fact, the second time I canceled my cable was two weeks after LOST ended. Oh sure, there was Alcatraz (canceled) and Person of Interest (sensing a theme here?), those were pretty good. I don’t know why I missed every single episode of Mad Men this season (how does that happen?), but I guess I’m over that one. So what will I miss, really, by not having cable?
THE WALKING DEAD. Yep. That’s about it. That and American Horror Story, if it ever returns. It’s true I may shrivel up and die if I don’t find some way/where to get my Walking Dead fix, but other than that, I’m doing okay without cable. And here’s why.
For one thing, I have an xbox and with the xbox comes Netflix/AmazonPrime and their wonderful streaming. And with their wonderful streaming comes my current obsession:
Okay, so I’m kind of cheating, right? It’s not like I’m living 100% without television. But then, I never said I was! I just said I’m living without cable. The difference here is, rather than sitting in front of the tube for three hours, getting up and realizing I just wasted three hours on mindless drivel I actually didn’t care about, I’m taking time to choose what I’m watching. And, also, by default, I’m spending far less time in front of the television.
What have I been doing with all that extra time?
I’ve been kind of crafty
I’ve done a lot of research into and adopted a paleo lifestyle
I’ve spent more quality time with friends (and viewed beautiful art)
What else have I done? I’ve walked a lot more. Just yesterday I walked to get my groceries. I’ve been going to bed much earlier. My house is cleaner. My yard is slowly coming back to life. I’ve been writing a little here and there. I’ve been listening to music so much more. Oh music, I forgot how much I love music filtering throughout my house all day long. I prep my lunches for work the night before to erase some of the chaos in the morning. I’ve been walking the dog and spending time training him. I’ve been playing with my cats. I’ve been multi-tasking less. I had my parents over for dinner and we languished about playing cards afterwards. And when they left, rather than flopping on the sofa, I cleaned everything up and curled on the sofa with Cooper to polish off a chapter in my latest read before heading into bed so I could get up early and get an early start on my Saturday. I actually spent time chatting with a friend on the telephone. I’ve been taking photos with something other than my phone again. I registered for a class. I’ve been d-o-i-n-g.
The truth is, I could have made the choice to do all these things even with cable and my little smartphone. I could have simply chosen not to turn on the television. But now I have the added bonus of saving even more money each month. And here’s what’s crazy. To cancel my cable and keep my internet and landline with the company I was using the cost would have gone from $80 to $110 a month. To just keep the internet would have put me around $70/month. Yes, it would have gone up. So I canceled everything, switched to different company and now have a landline and internet (which is just as fast) for $45/month.
So not only have I, once again, dramatically improved the quality of my life by “regressing” as some might call it, I continue to save money by doing away with technology I, personally, feel was serving only to pollute my life.