Friday, June 1, 2012

Cutting the Cable

I had the chance to spend the past couple of days at a resort/water park in Phoenix with the family, all courtesy of a team outing for work. So much fun!

When we got back to the hotel at night, we all took turns rinsing the chlorine out of our hair, getting dressed, and screaming frantically when our two-year-old tried to open the $15.00 bag of Chips Ahoy from the mini bar. And one-by-one, we filtered into the front room to watch TV.

You see, we got rid of cable/Direct TV a couple years ago. It was more of a "let's save some money" move than a "we hate TV" move. So anyway, we've been on a solid regimen of Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox for awhile. And for us, it works great. But every once in awhile I think I miss it. When the D-Backs play, when the Sun Devils play, and when there's a Hallmark Christmas movie.

But on Thursday night, with "free" cable and a host of channels, this is what we watched: 
  • 5 minutes of a show about selling someone else's junk (it doesn't matter which one, they are all the same)
  • 3 minutes of some radical environmentalists about to freeze as they are stranded near some iceberg
  • 7 minutes (one half inning) of a college softball game between two schools my kids would never go to

And then Melody suggested going to bed. At 10:00 PM. On vacation. And nobody really fought it. Going to sleep, as boring as that is, was the better alternative.

Cable had officially lost its luster for our family. Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't like to watch the Food Network every once in awhile or actually see what the D-Backs look like instead of listening to them on the radio, but I'm really convinced that I don't need or want cable. If there's a good show, I can wait and watch it on demand.

Writing this blog post made me remember when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. We had cable, and we even had the Disney Channel. While I was waiting to leave for school, I watched "You and Me, Kid" every day. You remember that classic, right? Here's what Wikipedia says about it: "Each show lasted approximately 30 minutes and was dedicated to building interactive skills between parents and their toddler children." Check it out:

Yeah, I know. When I was 8 years old I watched a show about parents and toddlers talking and dancing together. FOR APPROXIMATELY 30 MINUTES! I could have been out in the front yard, on the playground in our neighborhood, or better yet, in the kitchen with my Mom "building interactive skills." But because we had cable, I was sucked into that darn show.

Hopefully the "on-demand" era will be better for us all -- no more sitting around watching whatever is thrown at us. Now's our chance to seek out what we want, and not settle for anything else. As for me, I'm going to seek out more actual interactive skills with my kids, instead of watching shows about interaction. 

Maybe we can start by selling some of our junk, or getting stranded on a lake in the White Mountains, or playing a game of softball in the park. That sounds great to me.  


  1. Haa haa... Love your blog! We watch the same 'junk' when we are at families houses watching their cable. Gotta love it.

  2. So we did the same thing a few years ago getting rid of cable to save money. Last week I took my 9 y/o to the dentist and they let her watch tv while in the chair. After flipping channels she ended up watching an informercial for scissors and knives for 25 minutes. HAHA