Going Through Withdrawl

So I mentioned a few months ago that we had shut our cable off. Yep that's right no TV in the Heskett household. We have netflix and occasionally we can (with permission) use the wireless internet of a neighbor.

The intent of our original choice to unplug was to see how the summer went. This served a couple of purposes. First it allowed us to spend some much needed time together as a family playing games, going for walks, and anything beside watching TV for the those few precious hours together in the evenings. I am not sure either Bret or I ever planned for it to be a permanent choice. The other reason we decided to unplug was because of the bill. We had originally signed up for a promotional package deal (phone, internet, cable) and when it expired the monthly cost skyrocketed. We figured if nothing else shutting off the cable for a few months would allow us to figure out what we wanted and possibly sign up for a new promo package to get through for the next year and a half.

To be completely honest we haven't missed it. Yes it was sad the first week when the kids would come home from school and sit in the living room staring at a blank TV wondering when daddy was going to "fix it" but it didn't take long for them to rediscover "playing" outside and the many many toys that hadn't been touched in forever. It's kind of funny to watch how much they treasure time with the TV when we stay in hotels or visit family or friends. They go right back to sitting in front of it for as LONG as possible. However, I don't honestly think they miss it very much at home. They have adjusted to a new norm and when they need a fix they have tons of movies they can watch.

Bret and I, on the other hand, are a different story. Although we survived the summer (oh how I long for the new season of True Blood and other HBO/Showtime shows to come out on DVD) we are both definitely feeling the pangs of no cable. Bret has tried watching his precious football games on the Internet, at the bar, listening to the radio, and watching updates from his phone. It's just not the same. I keep seeing sneak peeks for my favorite fall shows and some new exciting ones and it makes me sigh.

It has come down to weighing the pro's and con's for us. While we love the money we are saving (aka paying off debt) for the most part our entertainment budget is pretty small and there isn't a lot we use it for. Yes Bret and I enjoy the occasional date night out (with of course a babysitter) but otherwise a movie with the kids now and then about covers it. We love the "idea" of not having cable but the reality is that Bret and I miss it tremendously and are not sure how much longer we want to go without. If that makes us shallow then so be it. I am just not sure I can handle trying to watch the season premiers of my favorite shows the next day on my lunch hour along with millions of other trying to download at the same time (read: SLOW feed) and that is just for the shows that have full episodes on line (hello why can't I watch Biggest Loser online?)

We shall see what happens. It's a lot harder of a choice than I ever thought it would be.


Anonymous said...

I have never gone totally without TV. I have gone through periods without cable, where I had antennae, but never totally without TV. I've always been a sucker for it. I try not to spend all my time in front of it, but I definitely have my shows that I can't miss.

PS When you get your promo deal, try and get a DVR. You'll never go back!

Let it Shine said...

Wow. It is awesome that you gave it a try. Good for you for doing it. I am totally with you, I love the HBO shows and would really miss them!!!!


countrygirl50 said...

In today’s society I think most people are TV watchers even if we do not want to admit it. Yes it can be expensive but you can not rely on the internet and netflix to feed your addiction. I think most people who try it this way do not succeed. I think it is the way society has evolved.

I think it is neat you tried to spend more quality time with your family this summer with out TV. Let’s face it you live in Pennsylvania. What are you going to do this winter when it cold and snowy out? If you are like most people you will want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and find something good on TV. As a fellow Pennsylvanian I know this winter routine all to well.

Why don’t you look into a satellite dish? My husband and I live in the country and do not have the option of cable. We get quite a few stations (not that they all interest us) our locals, and the insurance policy incase something breaks for about $55 a month. There are some things I do not like about having a satellite dish but over all it is not so bad.

Adriana said...

You guys are great at easing my guilt! Thanks!

Melisa said...

I hear ya! We can't afford cable, and our TV doesn't get good reception, so we've been without TV for awhile now. I hate it. I can't wait until we have a real job.