Just Frances

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Cutting the cord

This entry was posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: writing, sports, reading, paul, nature, music, food, entertainment, crochet, confession

I am cutting the cord. Or rather, I am cutting the cable. I’m not replacing cable with satellite and in my rural neck of the woods there is no such thing as aerial reception. So, basically, no more television for this gal!*

I’m more than a year late in doing this. Paul and I got cable a few months after moving into our new home for two reasons: 1) It was during the 2008 presidential campaign and I wanted to watch the debates and 2) my family was coming out for Thanksgiving and it would have caused problems if we couldn’t have the football game on during the day.

By the time spring rolled around, we decided it was time to get rid of the cable because we were spending too much time on the couch zoning out instead of talking to each other. So the decision was made that I would cancel it when I paid May’s bill. But Paul died before that happened and I didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth let alone call the cable company.

It was great having cable this past year. A real saving grace in some ways because it meant voices in an otherwise silent house. I could sit on the couch and zone out to whatever was on TV and not have to think about anything else. But now I find myself zoning out on shows that I’m not really interested in whilst neglecting my once-enjoyed hobbies and activities. I sit on the couch from the time I get home until I go to bed. That’s about four hours of mindless television and commercials “entertaining” me every night. And I’ve had enough!

So what will I do without TV?
I will start reading my ever-growing stack of great books and I will listen to my favorite CDs on the Bose. I will go out for walks and hikes and bike rides—after all, I live in an amazingly-beautiful area with loads of outdoor recreation opportunities. I will write. I will crochet and knit. I will sit outside in the evening sun and take in the sounds of nature. I will take time to cook nice meals and I will take the time to enjoy them at the table instead of wolfing my food down on the couch in front of the telly.

Certainly, it will be difficult getting used to not having an endless supply of rubbish programming spread out over nearly 50 channels, but once I remember how much I used to enjoy the simplicity of my own company, I’m sure I will be celebrating the severed cords!

As of the 1st of August, I will be cable-less. Stay tuned for a post about the insanity it causes me when I realize how boring life is without the time-sucking television vortex!

Of course, it hasn’t escaped my mind that I will be saving $49.67 each month. That’s $596.04 a year! Yep, that will be a nice little addition to my very meager savings account.

* I will continue to get my favorite shows on the Internet because I just can’t live without EastEnders. I’ve also subscribed to NetFlix so that I can watch old TV shows or movies from time-to-time. (I know that seems silly as I’m talking about cutting the cable, but I still want a little bit of entertainment.)

Comments

Oh, and I think part of my hatred for cable is that it’s one of two bills that I have to pay with a check each month and it really is a pain to write the check, address and stamp the envelope, then remember to mail it. I’m more of an online bill payer!

by Just Frances at 4:12pm (GMT) on July 26th, 2010

Good luck to you, Frances. I realise that I rarely actually watch TV - mostly for me it’s DVDs with the occasional ‘zoning out’ to TV pap when I can’t even be bothered to put a DVD on. I can’t say I miss it that much - although for me I guess it’s there as a back up. I have the advantage of Freeview - so no monthly bills and no feeling of having to get my money’s worth.

But I’m sure you’ll feel better for it. I love visiting my sister. While she has cable, the TV is on a completely different floor from the main living area and I don’t even miss it when I visit. Part of that is probably that I’m not into Canadian TV programmes so don’t know what I’m not watching (if you know what I mean). But I also love the fact that we sit and talk to each other, tell stories, craft and generally have contact!

I’m looking forward to seeing/hearing how you get on!

by Rebecca at 5:46pm (GMT) on July 26th, 2010

I used to always be ‘cable-free’ and managed just fine. It’s just one of those bad habits you get in over time - like eating Twinkies.

The one thing I really liked about my cable service was that they contracted with a Canadian company so most of my commercials were Canadian. Which was good because they tend to be funnier than American adverts, but bad because I’d get all excited that Aero bars were being sold state-side finally or that Leon’s was having a great tax-free sale!

by Just Frances at 5:59pm (GMT) on July 26th, 2010

Hello Frances,

I’m enjoying reading your posts. We “cut the cord” at my house about 2 years ago and have never looked back. But I’m not willing to give up movies so we do have Netflix. We originally cut cable because of the expense—-not worth it for what you get—-obnoxious reality TV, and ads that are degrading to humanity in general! Arrggh! (Although I did like House!)

Good luck…I think you will become accustomed in no time and enjoy all lovely activities you listed!

Take care,
Debra

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