Don’t Stop at Cutting the Cord

While doing my daily Interwebs run the other day, I came across an article at Yahoo! Finance that caused me to do a little Tiger Woods fist pump: “Cord-Cutters Have Just Inflicted the ‘Worst 12-Month Stretch Ever’ On Cable TV Business”. In the article, it says that most of the cord cutters aren’t necessarily getting rid of television completely, but just switching from cable to internet stuff like Hulucutting the cord, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. But why stop at just cutting the cord? All my adult life I have never paid for cable. While I was in college, each of the three apartments we lived in included cable in the cost of the rent, and the older I got the less television I watched. When we moved in with my in-laws after graduation, I had almost unlimited access to sports and movies, but after the first few weeks the excitement wore off and I hated it when the TV was on. And now that we’re living in a house of our own, it just seems ridiculous to pay for it, or even watch it online for that matter. That’s right. I’m a hater, and I’m proud to be one.

It’s just noise

The thing I hate most about television is that it’s just pointless noise. There’s enough noise in life that it seems that people hardly ever get the chance to sit back and think. Meditation has been proven to improve our overall health in many ways, but when you go from work to the radio in your car to TV in your house, you don’t ever have time to process things. Television sort of acts as a numbing agent to get us to forget about our problems, and a lot of people use it as an escape rather than facing the issue. The less time I’ve spent watching TV, my mind seems to function at a much higher level and I can do things more efficiently.

It’s a waste of money

A customer came into the branch the other day asking about some charges on her account. When I told her about an $80 cable charge, she just said, “I can’t believe how much they charge for cable these days.” I looked at her, smiled and said, “That’s why I don’t have cable.” The look on her face was priceless! “You don’t have cable? What do you do?” I almost laughed, because ironically she was probably 30 years old before televisions became household mainstays. What do I do with my time? Well, I probably do the same things she did before television was invented. But over time, TV has shrouded her in a veil of forgetfulness and she no longer knows what it’s like not to have one. $80 a month? That’s $25,920 over my lifetime. Yikes!

It’s damming your progress

There’s a reason they call them couch potatoes. Next time you see a potato, ask it where it’s going in life. Just make sure no one’s around when you do it, otherwise it might get awkward. But really, television not only leeches away your money and brain cells, but it also eats valuable time that you could be using to improve things—your life, your relationships, your financial situation. If you want to start going somewhere in life, turn off the TV and start living and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish and who you can become.

Now, of course, there are several reasons excuses why people still watch television, and why people even pay for it. Here are some of those reasons excuses I’ve heard:

We have kids and I can’t entertain them all the time

So what did people do before television? I bet the world was so boring back then. Granted, I’m sure having your kids watch a movie every now and again is a good way for parents to catch a break, but if at some point in your life you conceived a baby, this is what you signed up for. If you haven’t noticed, little kids are pretty darn good at entertaining themselves. They only get bored because television and other entertainment have conditioned them that they have to be entertained all. the. time. And I’ll be honest. I don’t have kids. So anyone who wants to lash out at me is welcome to, but I have friends who have taught their children how to entertain themselves, so don’t tell me it’s not doable. When they really need some peace and quiet, they put on some educational YouTube videos and it does the trick every time. Spend a little more time with your kids and teach them how to entertain themselves and you’ll have a better relationship with them and they’ll develop into more than just potatoes.

My days are so stressful and I need it to unwind

I’ve had some pretty stressful days lately. Not only have I been un/under-employed for the last year, but this last month and a half we’ve been short staffed at work and a lot of the extra crap has been put on my shoulders, making my subpar wages even more…exciting. But what I’ve found to be infinitely more satisfying and stress-relieving than becoming a mindless boob tube zombie is to throw myself at my passion (which is this blog). I also talk to my wife about what is going on, which always calms me down. Again, you probably need the TV to help you unwind because you’ve conditioned yourself that way. But there’s a lot more happiness in taking the time to do something with your life than to let it slip away while you catch up on all the shows that fill your mind with useless junk.

Hey jerkface, let me live my life the way I want to. Back off.

That’s fair. If you want to live your life that way, that’s up to you. I’m not writing this just to rant. I’m writing it to help people wake up and see what’s going on. When I was a kid/teenager, I probably spent 4-5 hours a day playing Nintendo. During the summer it increased to 9-10. So I know what it’s like to live that way. It’s not worth it. So if you want to keep spending your time and money watching television, I won’t judge you because it’s your life and I’m not going to tell you how to live it, even though the last 1,000 words may seem that way 🙂 We can still be friends, though.

How do you feel about television? Do I have a point? Or am I just being a jerkface? 

(photo cred)


14 thoughts on “Don’t Stop at Cutting the Cord

  1. I think it's to each his own. I don't feel that way about TV. I love it! But it's well balanced with other things in my life, meaning I get exercise daily, I do meditate each night, and I do put a lot of work into my blogs. I really only allow myself 2 hours per day, which probably does seem like a lot to you. I don't have cable (I use rabbit ears, a free Roku box that someone gave to me, and I have a Netflix). I also think it does save me money in the long run because I live alone, and I would probably be out spending money if I didn't' have some in-home cheap entertainment. Not expecting anyone to do different or be like me..just giving a different perspective. 🙂
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    1. You're right. It really is to each his own. I talk tough but deep down I'm pretty understanding 🙂 I'm probably different in that my brain is constantly going in so many directions and there is so much I want to do all the time that TV keeps me from doing what I want. So hopefully someone else will read this and feel the same. And hopefully others won't just think I'm lame 🙂

  2. Currently, my cable is included in my rent, which is nice, but I'd rather pay less in rent and forego the cable. I'm not a huge TV person and never have been. I'm also not a huge movie person. I have about five favorite TV shows, but it's not a big deal if I miss an episode here or there. I don't doubt I could completely go without it, and you have valid points here. People could be a lot more productive if they didn't spend so much time in front of the TV. I would say I spend maybe 10 hours a week actually watching it. I would probably read, write and exercise a bit more without it.
    My recent post Being Grateful – Seventh Edition

  3. I've never had cable in my entire life (except for a few years in college when it was included in the dorms). When I was a kid, I thought I was deprived because I didn't have cable TV. Now, I choose not to have it. I do watch regular over the air TV and that itself can be a waste of time. I'm trying to cut some of that out as well. But paying over $100 for cable like many people I know do…that's just insanity.
    My recent post The Low Monthly Payment Trap

    1. Same here! We never had it when I was growing up and my parents got it right after I moved out. I was so mad! But now it's nice to have that time for more important things.

  4. I enjoyed the post and I limit my TV usage every year more and more. I think the smart people who desire to put completing things in life above watching TV are dedicated and productive. I have witnessed a few people who can watch a whole season of a show on netflix in a two week span, that is not the right way to live in my opinion. I have mentioned cutting the cable recently in my home, and it is still being debated.

    1. I've done a couple Office marathons myself 🙂 But yeah, I always get asked if I watch certain shows and I always say the same thing, “I know that if I watch one episode, I'm going to have to watch them all and it's just not worth it.” For me, the only exceptions are Sherlock and Everybody Loves Raymond, but we don't really watch it that often. Maybe an episode or two every two weeks.

  5. I love television! It's my way to unwind and clear my mind of clutter, as well as to spend time with my husband. Some may argue that watching TV isn't "time well spent", but it works for us; we cuddle in front of the TV, talk throughout the show, and then discuss plot lines afterwards. That said, neither my husband nor I have had cable in our life and there is such thing as TOO much TV and GARBAGE TV.

    As for our toddler, he only gets screen time (10 mins max) when we need him to stay out of trouble as we get ready for church.
    My recent post What Should I Do with my Pay Raise?

  6. Right on brother! Am right with you on this one. I don't watch a lot of TV heck I don't even have one, not so much because I can't afford one but because I love my life this way. I have come to the realization of just how time is crucial and how i shouldn't be wasting any and TV is just one of those things that consumes tonnes of time with really adding that much value…that, and that I find news awfully depressing…crime, bad politics, wars etc
    Am happier for it, am reading more, am hanging out more with people and building relationships, am doing awesome things with that time.
    Then again, as someone said, its a personal decision.
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  7. “If at some point in your life you conceived a baby, this is what you signed up for.”
    “When they really need some peace and quiet, they put on some educational YouTube videos and it does the trick every time.”
    My two cents as a father of 3 under the age of five: We don’t have a TV. Well, we sort of do, but it’s in the basement and not plugged into anything. My kids have never actually seen it used except during general conference. They have watched a few shows on a laptop–but it’s not a regular presence. Like they see it less than once a week. Here’s the thing. I don’t really have anything against a good TV show. But I have found that at least with my kids, when they do have “screen time” (even if it’s just watching a video of their cousins) they get crabby after it gets turned off. They get annoyed when they have to turn it off–and the crabbiness sometimes lasts for the rest of the evening. So the idea of more screen time for peace and quiet does not compute. At least for us, I think we get more peace by not having it at all.

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