I grew up with very little television. Don’t get me wrong: we had cable, and a pretty decent television set, but my parents had dictated that my sisters and I wouldn’t watch television during the day. Getting home from school and turning on the TV was a strict no-no. Of course, rules like that aren’t set in stone. When I was a bit older, everything changed. Home alone, it was a little bit too easy to drop down on the sofa with a zapper in hand. The aforementioned rule was forgotten over time, and cable TV became a steady companion.
A few years ago, attending university, I started renting an apartment. I took over the current electric plan and went to a different Internet service provider, but the television provided a bit of a conundrum. Cable television had become an intrinsic part of my day-to-day routine, but was it worth the money? Or was it even worth the hassle? In the end, I decided to cut the cable. Or, well, not to reconnect it.
Getting rid of cable television has a number of advantages; some distinct, some more personal.
1. Saying No To Couch Surfing
The most advantageous effect of cutting the cable for me personally was that it broke the bad habit of couch surfing. Earlier, television had become such a ritual that the actual content, or television programs were secondary. Getting home tired, zapping up and down a ridiculous range of channels….watching decent programming seemed to happen almost by accident.
All that changed when you narrate your own entertainment. You turn on the TV when you want to watch something; when you know what you’re going to watch. Incidentally, I appreciate the content I watch even more, even though I spend far less time behind the tube.
2. Enjoying The Netflixes Of This Age
So, maybe you can miss those programs you watch when nothing else is on. But what about the other TV shows? Just because you’re cutting the cable doesn’t mean you don’t want to watch TV anymore!
Netflix, Hulu, and other harbingers of the entertainment revolution provide a great alternative to conventional cable subscriptions. You can watch your series on demand (no headaches about TiVo-ing them), and can even save a lot of money in the long run. With applications like TunnelBear (which Erez reviewed on MakeUseOf) people all over the world can enjoy the on-demand goodness.
Add in the ability to watch Netflix on almost any platform known to man, and you’ll wonder why you ever got stuck with cable.
3. Digital News Is Key
In my eyes, regular news broadcasts are one of the biggest advantages to television; they keep people up-to-date and informed. Netflix may not give you the same news ensemble as regular television does, but there are still plenty of ways to get your daily dose of news. Earlier this year, we asked you where you got your news; getting a great response, and some truly interesting tips.
Digital news is only one such example, as you may still favor listening to the radio on your way to work, or reading the paper over a cup of morning joe. But even within the category of digital news, you needn’t just think of the New York Times website. In fact, there are a good number of professional news streams you can watch online for free.
4. Don’t Underestimate The Social Benefits
The above examples are mostly practical; how it helps you stop wasting time, or alternative sources where you can get your daily, or weekly fix. However, you also shouldn’t underestimate the detrimental effects television has on our interpersonal relationships. It has been shown that couples who watch more television bicker more, and have a generally less healthy relationship.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be able to enjoy your shows. But pushed too far, television can push us apart just as easily as it can bring us together.
Are you thinking about getting rid of cable? And if so, do you have any other motivations than the financial? Drop a line in the comments section below the article, and share your view on the subject!
Image credit: tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net