Just about three years ago, I called the cable company to disconnect our service.
"You want to do what?" said the customer service representative on the other line.
She couldn't understand why a person would want to get rid of cable. She asked me if I was switching providers or if there was something I was unhappy about. I assured her that everything was fine, but that my husband and I decided we didn't want cable TV anymore.
Before you assume that we are some kind of weirdos who don't watch any TV, you must know that's just not the case. We purchased a Roku streaming device and now watch shows and movies through apps like Hulu and Netflix. We spend about a tenth of what we used to on cable television and have been given a freedom we didn't know could exist.
When we had cable TV, it was on pretty much all of the time. We let our daughter watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as we were getting ready for work in the morning. We watched the news, morning and night. We set the DVR to record our favorite shows. After our kids were in bed, my husband and I spent anywhere from one to three hours watching anything and everything that was on. If we were home during the day, the TV was on, mostly for background noise. Sunday afternoons were spent in front of the television, too. The crazy thing is that we still didn't watch as much TV as most of our family and friends.
As entertaining as television can be, sitting on the couch every single day was not really living.
We made the decision to cut cable based on several different factors: It was expensive, we didn't want our daughter growing up with the TV always on and Roku was becoming a thing. But the main reason we quit was because we wanted to live life. As entertaining as television can be, sitting on the couch every single day was not really living.
Every other time I have quit something in my life, it has been difficult. It takes getting used to. I figured the same would be true for getting rid of cable. But honestly, it wasn't difficult at all. In fact, it was the opposite of difficult. It was freeing.
We replaced the background noise with music. (A vinyl record player, in fact!) We spent more time with our kids in the morning before work. We spent our evenings going on hikes, working in our garden or playing together as a family. At night, my husband and I found more time to talk and to be us — without the distraction of a silly show. We still pay attention to local news and current events going on around the world, but we are no longer wasting time watching things just because the TV is on.
Three years later, cable TV is still out of the picture for our family. We have a TV in our basement and still watch our favorite shows and movies through our Roku. The freedom we have found in saying no to cable television has been more than we could have imagined. It has helped us become a more creative family. It has given our daughters the ability to seek adventure instead of screen time. It has allowed my husband and I to have daily, meaningful interactions. It has helped us to truly live our lives and follow our dreams. TV no longer demands a presence in our living room or in our life.