Friday, April 15, 2011

Why I...Don't Have Cable

Why I...

1. Money.
When we had Comcast, it was running us approx. $100 a month . More than we can afford to pay at this stage in the game. That's over $1,200 a year just to have the box in the house. What debt could I have paid off or what amount could I have saved in all of those years? Yikes.

2. Time.
TV was taking over our lives, even if we didn't really notice it. I could get sucked into TLC or HGTV for hours a day, and my husband would stay up super late just to catch a re-run of some show that really didn't matter.

3. Reading
I'm an avid reader, or so I used to be. But more often than not I'd just flip on the TV and stare at it mindlessly for a few hours. Between working and caring for a baby, laying on the couch and zoning out seemed easier.

4. My Daughter
At 20 months, my toddler still has no idea about kids shows. She doesn't know who Barney is or watch the Backyardigans. She loves to read and will spend the day outside getting muddy, playing with babies, or pretending to cook like Mommy.

5. Being Careful of What We See
I realize that one has full control over what is viewed, and can turn it off at any time. I'm one of those people who loves crime shows, and Criminal Minds is my absolute favorite. I can watch episode after episode. But one thing my husband pointed out is that I wind up being fearful afterward. I become more paranoid about locking doors and windows ( not necessarily a bad thing), and worried about a boogeyman around every corner ( bad thing). What is the saying? What you put in, you get out? Deliberately putting things in my head that lead to a spirit of fear can't be positive or edifying. At least in my scaredy-cat case :) Not that I won't ever watch Criminal Minds again, I've just benefited from not having it available 24/7.

Lest you think I'm being legalistic, know that I understand the day will come that Evie WILL want to watch movies and shows for kids, and that's okay. I just love the idea that she is learning how to play and learn and imagine without needing TV. And sometimes, not having cable has its downsides. Last weekend we went to a drive-in with some friends and their son. We saw Hop. Well, I use the term ' we' loosely. *I* spent the movie chasing a toddler around, and around, and around. Occasionally she would glance at the screen and say ' bunny' or ' chickie', but that's it. She wasn't having it. Her attention span for watching even a kids movie isn't there.

We've saved a lot of money by not having a cable bill to pay, and if I really MUST watch the new episode of Law & Order, I can use the digital box and pick up a local channel. But one of the neatest things I've noticed is how our family time has changed. My husband, instead of sitting in the recliner and falling asleep, now works on projects around the house. I'm back into reading. We go on more walks as a family. I cook more and spend time researching recipes. We spent 3 hours the other night plotting out our garden, never switching the TV on.

I love technology and don't think TV is bad, but this has been a really good choice for our family.

** Side note, I am truly thankful you can find most TV episodes online, because occasionally there is a show I'm just dying to check out. Extreme Couponing? Yesss.**

Check out Vanderbilt Wife for more stories of those participating in this really fascinating series!


Eos Mom said...

We are thinking about dropping cable, so this was a wonderful post--thanks so much for sharing!

- B said...

Excellent post! I've tried to pay more attention to when the TV is on just for noise and switch it off. But I'm not sure I'm ready to do without cable all together! (And I completely agree with you about watching the crime shows. Makes me semi-paranoid!)

Miranda said...

Thank you for this insightful post. We have Satelite TV which is costing us about $60 a month. It can be a big time-suck but we mostly use it to watch NHL hockey. I love how it brings our family together.