I listen to a lot of NPR in the car, and over the past couple of weeks they’ve had two stories, one on Morning Edition and one on Science Friday, about Not Having TV.
Which is actually pretty misleading, because what they actually meant was “how to still watch TV while not paying your cable/satellite company anymore”. The stories interested me because they made a couple of assumptions: number one, that you the listener did not actually want to cut down on the TV you watch, just your bill; and number two that you have a reliable high-speed internet connection with no meaningful bandwidth limits.
I haven’t had broadcast TV service for three years now, and now apparently it is a Big Trendy Thing? Wow, I’m on the bleeding edge of social trends. Only I can do the subjects of the NPR stories one better, because assumption number two does not hold for me. I have a satellite internet connection, which is neither reliable nor high-speed, and I can download a maximum of 12GB of data per 30-day period, so watching a ton of television via the internet, well, it is not going to work for me.
Therefore in the spirit of helping you, gentle readers, achieve Bleeding Edge of Social Trends status with me, let me offer my own suggestions on “how to quit TV” which is founded on neither of the assumptions NPR made. Ready? This may be lengthy.
Cancel your cable/satellite service.
That’s it. There you go. There will be a gap in your life for a while, where “watching TV” used to be, but it will soon be filled by things like the hobbies you will have time to acquire when you are no longer watching television. And then you can join me in being all kinds of smug and asking your spouse “Did NPR just give cancelling your cable and watching TV online a cutesy name?”
To be fair, we do watch movies pretty frequently. Daniel and I specialize in watching horrifyingly bad horror films. Films so bad that not only do they not scare you, but you occasionally get a fit of the giggles. Sometimes we happen across a really good one, which makes us happy, but the horrifyingly horrible horror films are really our specialty. So yes, we do own a TV, and yes, it does get some use, but hey! we’re saving money every month by not paying the cable company, and we’re early adopters of the latest Trendy Social Behavior! It just doesn’t get any better than that.
 THE MORNING EDITION PIECE HAD A CUTESY NAME FOR THIS TERRIBLY TRENDY TREND. I WISH I COULD REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS.