Many PF bloggers are strong proponents of cutting cable in favor of saving thousands a year. Most packages (phone+internet+TV) seem to run around $130-$150 (in my experience). That’s around $1,700 a year.
After cutting cable, though, most people resort to other alternatives, such as Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.
What if you didn’t? What if you decided to cut the cord from television entirely?
I was reading the profile of a couple that had a room listed on Airbnb a few days ago. In the profile, they warned potential guests that they do not have a television in the house, citing the reasons that they don’t enjoy it much, and are too busy to watch it.
That got me thinking …
Why Not Cut TV?
The New York Daily News came out with information that the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV. The typical person gets home from work around 5:30/6. If they plopped down on the couch for 5 hours, and ate dinner while watching TV, that leads them to 10:30/11. Then it’s bed time, but it’s likely that many are glued to the TV for hours after that.
That’s 25 hours a week – you could have worked a part-time job (or worked on a side hustle) in that amount of time!
Ask yourself how many hours a day, on average, you spend watching TV. Then look at the article and compare yourself to the demographic you’re in. Did you really think you spent that many hours in front of the screen?
Is any of this really surprising though? So many of us watch TV as our prime source of entertainment, especially when it comes to sports. TV shows (mostly reality) can be an escape from our own lives. We mindlessly watch some really stupid crap on TV to unwind from a day of hard work.
If you look at the break down from the article, it only gets worse with age, and I have witnessed this. Even though my grandma is very active for her age, if she’s got nothing planned for the day, you’ll find her in the den, watching TV.
What’s worse is that she’ll leave it on, and turn on the TV in her kitchen when she goes in there. It kills me!
My parents are not any better. They often leave the TV on as background noise. They’re not even paying attention to it.
Why do we do this?
Is watching TV a waste of time?
My annoyance with TV comes from the fact that my boyfriend is a chronic channel surfer. He will come home and immediately turn on the TV, and start looking through the channels. This lasts at least a half hour or more, before he finally finds something to settle on.
I am 100% sure we could be finding something way more productive to be doing than saying, “Well, this looks to be the most promising program right now!”
It wastes so much time. I truly don’t get the point of going through every available channel again and again.
It was different at our last apartment, when we had an awesome package (included in rent). We could catch some movies we never saw, and we didn’t want for channels at all.
Now, we have a very basic package which comes included in our rent, but I could really do without it. Most of the channels don’t display well, we have no channel guide whatsoever so it’s even more annoying to find things on TV, and the selection is awful.
I remarked the other day to R that while I’m home all day, never does the TV get turned on. I honestly think R has become a victim of habit. He dormed at college, and got used to sitting around the TV with everyone, trying to find something to watch. He often did this at home, too, when he just wanted to relax, and ended up falling asleep.
I know a lot of people do it for that reason – TV is definitely associated with relaxing. But R has gotten into reading, and it always amuses me when he says he doesn’t have time for it. When we’ve tried to have dinner eating at the island, I couldn’t help but notice R was seriously restless. He’s too used to having something to watch while eating!
My personal take
I couldn’t care less if we had cable or not, and that is the honest truth. Like the AirBnB couple I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve never had any interest in TV. I was more into books. When I was younger, I would take reading over watching movies or TV.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started having “favorite shows,” but it wouldn’t devastate me if I had to miss episodes. Life goes on.
Like some people are addicted to social media, or following celebrity gossip, others are completely obsessed with their favorite shows. I never got it. I’m also not obsessed with sports, so I can’t vouch for that either, though I know a few of you who are!
I just can’t help but think that if we didn’t have TV at all, that we might have a bit more quality time together, or some more time to be productive. I know the channel surfing could be solved by switching to Hulu/Netflix, but I see R just flicking through shows on there, too.
I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss instead of focusing on cutting cable. Food for thought. I’m certainly not advocating that we all go and take our TV’s and throw them out the window =). I’m wondering if we should reflect more on why we seem to value TV.
Let’s talk about our TV habits! Am I in the super minority of people who don’t really care about TV? How many televisions do you have? What if sports weren’t an issue? How many hours do you spend watching TV?