“Do you know how much money we spend on this?” I was in shock but I was also afraid to live without it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to cut the cord. Yes, I’m talking about my television. So before I agreed, I wanted to do a trial run. I’d try not to watch TV for one week. By the second day, I caved and flipped through all 100 channels. No matter how much I looked, I still couldn’t find anything worth watching. Five days later, I told my husband to cancel our subscription.
It’s been a couple of months now and I’m kind of proud of myself. I’d like to say I never turn on the “Magic Box” but that isn’t true. I watch a little of what our antenna picks up and supplement it with shows we get through Hulu. But within a few seconds, I see what’s on and make my choice. Most of the time, I turn it off.
The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that now my entire family reads more books. In this low-tech form of entertainment, I’ve found what I truly longed for. . . compelling characters that are there for me at precisely the moment I need them. I don’t need to wait for prime time for witty dialogue. I don’t need to watch pathetic reality stars willing do anything to be famous. And I no longer bemoan the fact that the censors seem to have fallen asleep, thus exposing my 9-year old to curse words and sexual innuendo. That’s because I’m reading a thriller while my husband reads a sci-fi and my daughter reads about cats.
I never would’ve guessed that I’d voluntarily walk away from television. You see, I grew up with frugal parents (in other words, we had no cable) who limited the amount of time I spent sitting in front of the screen. I was the only one I knew from the MTV Generation that never watched music videos. I didn’t know how to “Vogue” and I didn’t know what was so cool about “Thriller.” Part of me resented them for that.
But maybe it’s because of my childhood that this was a fairly easy adjustment. I didn’t suffer too many withdrawal symptoms as I limited my TV intake. In addition to enjoying the financial perks of cutting the cord, my evenings are filled with a lot more love than hate. Once I’ve flipped through the five channels we get and see there’s nothing on, I find something better to do. I turn to my faithful friends. Books.
Have you been brave enough to walk away from cable TV, social media or some other type of technology? How did it impact you?
Midwest Writer’s Fellowship winner, Karen Lenfestey, writes “Happy Endings with a Twist.” Her latest novels, A Weekend Getaway and Next Door Secrets, are about a thirty-something woman who must face the fact that she probably gave away her only chance at motherhood. Karen's first novel, A Sister's Promise, sold over 35,000 copies and was the #1 drama on Amazon for weeks.