More 20-Somethings Live Without Cable TV

Can you live without cable or TV? Do you know someone that does? When I first moved into my place in 2008 I had a lot of things to buy- one of them was a television. That was December so I knew it would be easy if I just waited for the Boxing Day sales. In North America I swear more people look forward to Boxing Day, which is the day after Christmas, then Christmas itself because it’s a chance to land some hot deals.

Funny thing is that I never got around to looking for one. January and February came and went and then next thing I knew it was spring. Being the first year on my own I was tight for money so I figure that if I can last a Canadian winter without TV, I could survive the rest of the year.

My friends thought I was crazy to live without cable. What do you do when you’re bored? How do you unwind? I think we fail to realize that so many of us use TV not as a time killer but we plan our lives around programming. How many times have you caught yourself saying I need to be home at 8 pm because xxx is on?

"Life's not about sitting at home in front of the TV waiting for your life to begin. Get out there and take some chances."

- Queen Latifah to STAR Magazine

Some will argue that they don’t have this problem because of PVR or TiVo which records shows so they can watch them whenever they want. But now you’re taping and watching shows you wouldn’t have made time for in the past. Your TV watching has expanded.

I read an article the other day that said more 20-somethings live without cable or TV than ever before. They cited the high costs of cable been too high and the convenience of the ability to watch programs on the internet. Cable is expensive, especially since I’m more into the speciality channels. I’m not a huge TV watcher to begin with (my parents enrolled me in a lot of after school activities during prime TV watching time) but I have been guilty of catching of the latest reality TV episode on Imagine that- my favourite television show, any episode whenever it’s convenient for me.

What are the benefits to live without cable?

1. You get more stuff done. It’s one less distraction to prevent me going to yoga class at night or getting to bed on time. After all once you plant your butt on the sofa an half an hour of TV easily turns into 2 hours. Don’t have time to take a continuing education course? You’ll be surprised how much free time you’ll free up if you live without cable.

2. Stop watching other people living life and live your own. I got scared a couple of years ago when I first started my career job. Every morning a bunch of people would spend hours talking about the shows (i.e. more than one) they watched the night before. It wasn’t like that one morning, but every morning. Is that all that people do at night??? And we wonder why families are often disconnected from each other.

3. You appreciate TV when you do watch it. I’m a huge sports fan and I use to watch as many baseball and basketball games on TV as I could. Now I make it a bonding thing with my dad. I’ll go over to my parents’ house and watch it with him. We’ll critic the game together.

4. Of course there the obvious… you save money to do way more fun stuff. It’s the latte effect - cut out the non-necessity things in your everyday life and go on vacation or anything else your heart desires.

But what if I just bought a brand new TV what do I do with that?

To live without cable does not mean to you have to live without a TV. When my boyfriend bought his first place he treated himself to a beautiful flat screen TV and the deluxe cable package. Over time he realize that he wasn’t actually watching a lot of TV- he was watching movies, sports and documentaries. He was spending more than he wanted to on cable each month.

He was the last person I ever thought that would live without cable but he did it- he cancelled it. His major concern was how he was going to watch his beloved Montreal Canadiens. Lucky for him (not so much me) there’s plenty of hockey broadcasted free on the internet.

The TV isn’t going to waste because he hooks up his laptop to his TV and he’s able to watch it all.

Do you think you too can live without cable?

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