Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cord Cutters

Sal and I have been without cable TV since 2009. 

Every now and then someone says, "Have you see this show on FX yet?" and after replying I don't have cable, I hear about how awesome the show is. And sometimes I do feel like I'm missing out on cultural touchstones like Walking Dead.

And there are times where I consider the $120 a month it would cost to have the three channels we actually want vs the bar tab of going out to watch Blues games three times a month and I think, "You know, somehow I would save money with cable."

But overall, I'm happy without it. 

I like having the freedom to watch what I want when I want. I like feeling like I could go out on a weeknight. I like not watching appointment TV. There are too many people in my life that won't go out on a Thursday night because they have must see TV. 

People will say things like, "But don't you worry about missing Big Bang Theory or Pawn Stars or whatever is on TV," and you know what... once you haven't had it for a few weeks, you really don't miss it. In fact, you start seeing patterns of how every sitcom is the same, how every late night interview with the same celebrity is the same stories, about how every sporting event is filled with prescription drug commercials that both cause and solve constipation. 

And anytime Sal and I do stay in a hotel or a house with cable and we watch it, I quickly realize how much I really don't miss it. My brain feels worse off after an hour of network television than it does watching Netflix, or playing video games, or reading, or socializing. 

I like that I don't lose hours of my life having the TV on in the background. Other friends will admit they will watch 7 hours of TV on a lazy Sunday afternoon where they can't remember a single thing they watched only hours later. I've seen people literally consuming movies that are edited for time and commercials via their cable subscription when they have the Blu-ray sitting on a shelf 12 feet away. 

And there are people that think they circumvent appointment TV with their DVRs, but in my limited experience, these people seem the most stressed. 

Say they had a busy week. Usually when I ask them what they are doing this weekend and they frantically say, "I'm really behind on my DVR, I need to catch up on like 6 hours of TV this weekend."

The fact that cable companies still use non-replaceable hard drives in their DVR devices, that will fill up eventually, hardware that often times will crash and lose weeks of saved shows, shows that they aren't looking to the future. They a desperately trying to keep the status quo going by signing sporting contracts in the hundreds of millions of dollars because ultimately they know that is what is keeping the cable box alive in the American home.