(Or, why I’m happy to have canceled my cable subscription.)
So, my fiancee and I made the joint decision about a week ago (as of this posting originally) to cancel our cable subscription. The decision came about after months of me talking about it. Personally, I don’t watch television as it airs. My lifestyle, job(s) and hobbies don’t work well with the rigid implementation of watching X number of hours of television programming per day in a futile attempt to catch all the shows I want to watch where X is directly proportional to how many reruns of Futurama play in a row either before or after my prime time television shows are aired.
Yes, most of our television time was spent together late at night (when my fiancee should actually be sleeping because he is up early every morning to go to work – he works as a drywall installer) watching reruns of Futurama, Robot Chicken, American Dad! and Family Guy on Teletoon at Night. The prime time shows I was (and honestly still am) interested in were Castle, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Eureka, The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels and Sanctuary. I typically caught one of those shows on television 1 week out of 4 each month, and watched at least 2 of the aforementioned cartoons every night when we were both trying to ‘wind down’. Quality time had become a shell of what it could have been, and we dulled our minds watching reruns of programs that we had already seen.
In the past few months (especially in the 2010-2011 television season) I haven’t been able to catch more than one show during the originally scheduled airing time. And consider that with the cable package that we were paying for, Supernatural aired on 2 separate channels, but one was a week behind the other in sequential order, I STILL only caught 1-2 episodes per month, if I was lucky, and they were usually the same bloody episode.
I’ve become pretty much dependent on streaming, PVR, and other means of watching television shows, but never really on the television when they were on.
The other big factor in making the choice to cancel our cable subscription was the price.
We were paying almost $80 per month for basic cable. No HBO, no Movie Central, nothing special. $80 per month to watch Futurama reruns. It seemed like a logical choice.
But now! It’s been amazing. I feel like my productivity has skyrocketed, I feel like writing, sewing, painting, learning to play musical instruments… Studying! Learning! And, I’ve rekindled my love affair with books. It’s great, instead of turning on the television for three or four hours at night, after dinner my fiancee and I either do something together (sewing, artsy stuff, video games, movies etc.) or we each go our separate ways for the evening and do something we like (reading, writing, single player video games or Minecraft etc.) AND THERE’S NO PRESSURE.
We didn’t like some of the same shows (I can only watch so many episodes of How it’s Made before I want to burn all of my possessions in defiance) and we certainly didn’t really talk about the shows we just watched. But now, we talk more. We visit more. There’s more creativity and passion in what we do. We take an avid interest in what the other is doing and we have the attention spans to talk and ask questions about the activities the other is doing, or to do something together that doesn’t involve the glow of the television and bickering over what channel has better programming.
I’m not against television. I love it. I love the stories and I love the programs, but I personally feel so much better now that there isn’t the feeling of pressure to make the most out of the cable subscription simply because we’re paying so much for it. Maybe, in the future, when I’m not so uptight about money, I will consider paying that much for my entertainment. Maybe I will be more open to watching hours of television, or turning it on for company. (I get lonely being home alone all day.) But for now, I’m going to settle myself contentedly with my hobbies, and without the glow of the television.