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Apparently, I am a trend-setter. Who knew?

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[1]?”

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.


3 thoughts on “Apparently, I am a trend-setter. Who knew?

  1. Movies over TV, yes yes. As far as horror movies go, my brother and I have been discussing what could be a blockbuster: vampires vs. zombies. Who would win in an all out battle to consume the human race? Leads to some interesting questions, like do zombies sleep? If not, they may have an edge on the vampires…

    I guess this is the type of conversation that occurs when you don’t watch much tv. Then again, a miniseries could already exist with this plot and I wouldn’t have a clue.

    1. I’ve thought about this. I had verizon for my internet provider for quite awhile because bundled with my cell phone it was the cheapest option available to me. The negative was that it had the disturbingly low maximum bandwidth of 5mb per month. In looking around the most economical option was to change to charter and bundling it with a basic cable package was $20 less a month than having internet alone, and $40 a month cheaper than having the slow limited verizon internet. So for the most part I make the choice not to watch tv, and if I do its something that actually interests me and I can knit and listen to it, or play with my girls. I do tend to think that there is a balance you can achieve between just watching tv to the exclusion of everything else, and choosing programs that are interesting or give you some type of information that you can use. I like watching knitting today (it’s a 30 minute show that walks you through a project thats usually fairly simple but tackles some harder techniques st that I might not have tried otherwise. My guilty pleasure is house hunters international because I do want to live abroad again. But thats what dvr’s, netflix, and the box are for. In a year when the rates change I may go a different direction, but from a pure economical standpoint right now its sort of a free talking box that keeps my girls company while I go to work. They seem to prefer the travel channel.

  2. I have cable, but I only get local channels and weird channels. I don’t watch very much tv, so that’s fine. I do enjoy watching baseball though, so I would miss that. People at work think I’m weird because I don’t watch xyz shows, but I just don’t have interest.

    Unfortunately, junk internet has filled up the gap that junk tv left.

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