Little Way of the Family


Cutting the Cable
January 24, 2011, 7:22 am
Filed under: Children, Culture, Daily Life

A little over a week ago, we decided to cut the cord on cable TV. To be precise, we technically still have cable, but only those channels we would otherwise receive over the air. No more Nickleodeon. No more Disney. No more Discovery Channel or Animal Planet or Food Network or ESPN. No more Fox News or CNN. None of it.

With four kids, one of which is on the threshold of teen-dom, you would think there would have been great wailing and gnashing of teeth. You would be wrong.
I am not sure they have even noticed, even though they did have a favorite show on Nickleodeon that they were somehow able to get their grandfather hooked on. Beyond that show, the bigger kids were not big of TV watchers anyway – predominantly restricted to weekends and usually too busy even then. The younger two used to get a Disney cartoon during morning cleanup, but that was easily replaced with Arthur on PBS.

For me, though I seldom watched more than the occasional Discovery Channel show, the thought of the change was oddly disquieting. I had cable TV for almost as long as I could remember. Certainly for the entirety of my adult life. To stop taking it seemed somehow wrong, like I would be missing something important. It certainly bucks a trend.
We rent a home to a family on government assistance, and even though they don’t make enough money to afford rent, they do make enough to afford digital cable (we never took that step – just sticking to basic cable until last week’s cut). It is a big priority to them – the delay in getting it installed when they moved in was a BIG DEAL.
So for a family that could easily afford the premium stuff, to reject the whole thing is … not … normal.

Once it was done, it felt like getting rid of so much clutter. It just simplified life. There is no more fear that the kids might accidentally surf over to MTV. There is no more temptation to see what’s on TV tonight. There is no need to ever tell the kids to turn the TV off. (Though to be fair, they were never that type anyway.)
There are so many things of THIS world that seem so important to us, but when we cut them away, we find that they were a millstone around our neck, if only a small one. And if we keep cutting, who knows how far we can rise?

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2 Comments so far
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“We rent a home to a family on government assistance, and even though they don’t make enough money to afford rent, they do make enough to afford digital cable…”

Yikes! That’s ridiculous. Talk about misplaced priorities. I scratch my head when I see all the little satellite dishes on the mobile homes near my house.

Comment by Dan Sealana

It’s tragic. Our society convinces us we need tv and video games and fattening food and bigger cars and “free love”. People really don’t know what they need.

Comment by GLudlam




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