Confessions of a cable cutter

tamrawilson Uncategorized

Don’t ask Millennials about the latest cable TV program. Chances are these young adults don’t subscribe. If they’ve seen a certain “cable” show, it’s streamed off the internet.

cableMillennials, born from 1977 to 1994, are opting out of cable bundles to tailor their TV viewing provided by social media companies rather than satellite or cable companies.

My husband and I became cable cutters before it was trendy. In 2008 when we moved, we discovered that Charter would not serve our property. I spent well over an hour “discussing” this with company management in Washington State. That was in October 2008. We haven’t spoken since.

Charter’s answer was that they wouldn’t provide service to our property. Can’t or won’t I don’t exactly recall. And never mind that our neighbors have had cable service for years.

What I didn’t realize at the time was the big favor the cable company was doing us by not allowing us to subscribe. I know. We could install a dish or waited for another cable provider. In 2015 we are still waiting, which brings me to the crux of the matter.

We reverted to rabbit ears. Don’t laugh. You really can bring in several channels without an aerial antenna. We joked that our house was a throwback to the 1950s. Growing up we had three TV channels, maybe a fourth if you counted educational TV channel. We survived quite well.

Without cable, we quickly realized the savings of not paying the bill and using our time for other things such as…reading the newspaper and books. What a novel idea, pardon the pun.

We did buy a Roku box a couple of years ago to stream some shows, but outside the internet and our trusty rabbit ears, we’re media-deprived. Visitors consider our place quaint and refreshingly boring. Well, no, they think it’s downright odd, but not as odd as they did in 2008. In fact a few have cut their own cable.

We are not tied to a TV screen. We can’t ever seem to pick up ABC and if weather is bad there goes PBS, CBS and NBC too. So we read, work on a hobby, walk the dogs, work in the yard, entertain, write a letter or a story or an essay. You know, stuff people did in the 1950s.

Did we ever need a prepackaged TV bundle for $70 or more a month in the first place? Probably not.  Our Netflix subscription is about $8.50 a month, or roughly $100 per year. In eight years we would have spent $6,720 for cable or $816 for Netflix. Do the math.

It’s not just the money. It’s about time and what we allow or don’t allow media to do with our lives.

I’m not the world’s best time manager, but given the choice of a good book or a cable program, I’ll take the book. But I’m a lousy conversationalist when it comes to television. Cable cutting has its price.