Second Thoughts: Cable TV

I saw on Twitter how upset Netflix subscribers are about the company's decision to increase their rates to offer more services to customers. Many have threatened to cancel and voiced the dissatisfaction with the lack of new releases in Netflix's instant stream library.

We have been Netflix subscribers since early 2008 and I am quite satisfied with the service.   I texted The Hubs to advance of the change (since he pays that bill) and he also seemed a bit annoyed at the increase.  I jokily responded that we can cancel the cable and it wouldn't matter.  To my surprise, he texted that he agrees and we should cut that expense.  I didn't respond right away because I was actually quite amazed that he was seriously thinking about eliminating the cable. I actually felt a little bad and decided not to cancel it right away because I wanted to make sure he truly agreed. He likes to relax with a comedy and sometimes a documentary, and now that I was having the chance to make a change I wanted, I didn't want him to feel like I was bullying him into it.  I wanted to be sure the decision was mutual.

When he came home last night, we discussed it more and decided that eliminating this bill will not only save us several hundred dollars per year, but also hopefully divert our attention to more meaningful experiences.  Don't get me wrong, I like watching TV like the next person, but I think we have a tendency to use TV as a distraction more than a means to educate ourselves.

In Karol Gajda's book, Luxury of Less: The Five Rings of Minimalism, he writes, "Think about one of your heroes right now.  It can be anybody...Do you think any of them got to where they are by, for example, watching TV?  Not a chance."  I agree! People who are doing many great things in their lives aren't usually sitting at the tube like zombies.  They are spending valuable time researching, being mentored and making positive moves in their lives.

As much as I agree with what is said above, something a little unexpected happened after I called Directv to cancel.  I had a moment of regret.  What if there's something I really want to see and Netflix isn't an option?  What about  when football season starts or there's a sensational public figure being interviewed by Diane Sawyer?  I was having second thoughts. I think it's natural to have second thoughts when making changes in your life.  I have been watching countless hours of TV since I was a kid, so of course this change is overwhelming.

Where do we go from here

Our decision to not have a TV in our room or cable doesn't mean that we will no longer watch any TV.  In fact, we have decided to continue with our Netflix subscription.  If there's a program that I've missed the Internet is more than willing to give me a recap.  Also, since ABC offers full episodes of their shows online for free, I can still watch Modern Family. :-)

Making this change wasn't because I think TV is necessarily evil; we will continue to watch it.  I just feel turning off paid programming will hopefully curb some of the senseless hours of watching TV just because it's available.