I love television. I get wrapped up in the story and I love the characters. If I like a show or a movie, I will watch them repeatedly (I have seen every episode of Gilmore Girls at least 4 times). I used to spend several hours a day watching TV. With that in mind, I can tell you that there has been no decision more difficult on my Journey to Simple than deciding to cancel cable.
To be honest, we initially cancelled our cable almost 8 years ago for financial reasons alone. My husband and I were both students and we wanted to cut out unnecessary spending in our lives. I continued to watch a few CBC and Food Network shows online, but my TV watching went from several hours a day to a couple of hours a week over night. I spent half of our family Christmas visits watching television and catching up on repeats. I considered the move temporary. I decided to spend my new found spare time studying (what I should have been doing in the first place), and planned on getting cable again as soon as we were no longer students.
After three years, a move, and new employment, we finally decided we could afford cable again. I was so excited. As you recall, I LOVE television. The cable company came over and we got set-up. Six months later we realized that we were paying $50 a month to not watch television. We had become so accustom to spending our time doing hobbies or doing outdoor activities, that we didn’t want to go back to our TV watching ways. I also realized how much easier it was to feel good about myself and my accomplishments when not being bombarded with television advertising. We cancelled our cable again and have never looked back. I spent 9 weeks in hotels this year and did not turn a TV on once. It doesn’t factor into daily life anymore.
I am not saying that everyone needs to go out and cancel their cable (for the third time – I love television), but I am saying that it might be good for you to think about what life would be like if you didn’t watch as much TV. I still watch TV, but I am selective about what I watch and how I watch it. I watch a select number of shows online to avoid advertising and I plan ahead to access live streaming for special broadcast or sporting events.
I can see the shock and horror in people’s eyes when I tell them that I don’t have cable and that our old TV is collecting dust in the basement, but I don’t plan on ever getting cable again. Cancelling cable has simplified our finances and helped me to reconnect with my hobbies.
Freeing up time and energy has made the hard decision (to head into a TVless future) one of the best decisions I have made on my Journey to Simple.