Friday, December 31, 2010
Not Having Cable Really Isn't That Bad...
It has been just over one month since we cut the cable...
Yes, it was weird...at first.
It was lonely, quiet and very strange. Wait...sorry, that's me I'm describing.
Back to our regularly scheduled post about no cable...
Money being what it is, my Mom decided enough was enough and she cut ties with our cable TV provider, Comcast. Her monthly bill, after the 12 month "We Gotcha!" introductory period ended, kept climbing until she saw a bill for almost $250. That, as they say...was that.
Granted, she had the triple play combo (phone/internet/cable) and all three services were included in that price. She couldn't afford it and we, sadly, couldn't help. So she cancelled the cable and the land line, leaving just the internet.
Let me just say that I in no way miss the land line phone. I really don't like talking on the phone anyway - I'm more of an email kind of gal. And we just got a new cell phone provider (and phones) that, for the first time in 6 years with our old provider, provides us with enough of a signal to actually make and receive calls inside the house! Wow!!! Before (with our old provider) we had to stand in certain areas (back yard, street) and act like human rabbit ears to even get one bar to use the phone.
But...cable TV? Yikes.
It's really not that bad, honestly.
I hate to admit this (and I will deny it if you repeat it!), but I once had a boss that was a blond buffoon of a woman, just as ditzy as they come. She used to tell her employees whenever a new procedure was implemented or changed (and with her, this was several times per day - really. It was aggravating as hell working for her) that "new" things become a habit after doing it for 28 days. If you apply that thought to becoming accustomed to not having cable TV, it is true - after a month, I don't miss it all that much.
Of course, there are still things that I miss as well as things that I don't.
What I miss about TV:
The background noise it provides.
Falling asleep with the TV on. (Even though Papa Bear always had it on the military channel...ewwww...but it was boring enough for me to fall asleep to.)
Watching something when it airs. Not that I stand around a water cooler the next morning and discuss...but still.
Listening/watching the news for a few hours every morning.
Food Network. The Cooking Channel. The History Channel. The Science Channel.
What I don't miss about TV:
Spongebob Squarepants and The Disney Channel.
The kids arguing about who gets to watch what.
The background noise from the military channel.
Waking up in the middle of the night because the TV is too loud.
The "extra" channels you pay for to get the one and only channel you actually want to watch.
We watched a LOT of TV. Everyone, of course had their own favorite shows, and we had the shows that everyone watched together. I suppose this is why the internet gods invented things like Hulu and the like?
So now we watch our shows on the internet. The day after they originally air. Which only slightly sucks. But that part still does suck, nevertheless.
I know I have sang the praises of Netflix Instant, but that really doesn't apply to current television shows. Netflix Instant is good for catching up on previous seasons (not current ones) and half of the ones I want to watch are not available on their instant stream...
I have found one website service that has proved to be invaluable to me - even before we killed the cable. You tell it what shows you want to track and it emails you a list of links on the internet where you can watch the latest episode after it airs for free. It's called SideReel and I love it.*
I used to use SideReel just for shows I liked that are shown only on the pay channels (Showtime, HBO) like Dexter, Weeds and True Blood because we didn't get those channels in the first place and I was addicted and had to watch them anyway. Now I have it track all the shows I/we watch and I get links so I can watch them any time I want. You can, of course, watch any show you aren't tracking...and if you watch a new show and like it, you can add it to your tracking list anytime.
Just to give you an idea of what my SideReel Tracker looks like, I have listed all of the shows I watch on a regular basis...since it is holiday time, most shows are either on hiatus or the networks know that you've got better things to do than watch the idiot box, so they'll show new episodes after all the holiday festivities are over.
Currently Tracked Shows:
No Ordinary Family
The Big C
The Walking Dead
Yes. I mentioned I watch a lot of TV. I was not lying.
And you can track shows that haven't aired or even premiered yet, as I have with Bob's Burgers and Being Human. SideReel is a television addict's dream come true...
I also have to mention that I probably would not have watched (at least) a quarter of the above shows if it were not for the internet. For example, over the last 5 days I have had a cold, sniffles, fever and just felt like crap. What do most people do when they don't feel good and can't sleep when they are forced to become mouth-breathers? Watch TV!
I got on SideReel and looked for a show that I have wanted to watch but haven't had the time.....dum dum DUM! I am now completely in love and enthralled (not to mention completely caught up on all four seasons and eagerly awaiting the start of the fifth season!) with Mad Men.
I have determined through watching Mad Men that I would have loved to been a chain-smoking, bourbon-guzzling adult in the 1960's. I think I was born in the wrong era. I should have been an Ad man in the 60's...instead I just look like a man in his 60's...
* I am in no way affiliated with SideReel and was not asked to endorse them in any way - I use it, I like it. You might too. Just sayin'....
So if you're thinking about cutting out your cable, don't be afraid. As long as you have internet access, you won't miss cable very much.
Now, who do I talk to out there about inviting us over to watch the ball drop live on New Year's Eve?