I think I mentioned it back before the holidays, but in case I didn’t, one of the things Mr. LJ and I decided to do for the New Year was to become “cord cutters”.
For anyone who isn’t sure what that is, a cord cutter is a person who doesn’t have any connection to cable companies or telephone companies. They’re people who don’t have “bundled” cable tv, telephone and internet services. In many cases, all they have is a cell phone and internet.
We finally got rid of our cable television subscription last week. It was liberating! We got tired of the companies bundling the channels we wanted into packages with 700 channels we never used, and we also found that alternatives to cable were just plain better options for us.
We are buying 2 Roku boxes, and one WD Live box. The two Rokus are for the living room and bed room. They have tons of apps for watching television including Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. My kids have an XBOX 360 which have the very same apps. For Zen, we’re buying the WD Live box. For him, my major concern was being able to stream movies from my computer stash to his TV. WD Live can do this.
In order to make this decision, because it is a major one, we did a little experiment for the last 6 months or so. We kept track of just how much we actually watched television. When we did watch it and it was something we watched ON THE TV, we took note of what it was and then searched to see if we could find it online instead.
In every instance, we could.
We found out that we stopped turning the cable box on at all and we were hooking the laptops up to the TV and watching things that way. My kids have not actually watched LIVE TELEVISION for almost 3 years. Even when they did watch it, it was so minimal that we stopped putting cable in their rooms 4 years ago. They have been streaming Netflix and recently Hulu directly from their game systems. No live TV required.
We turned our landline telephone off in March when we moved. We haven’t missed it even once.
Being a cord cutter has had several perks.
1. We are n0 longer tied to a live TV schedule. We can watch what we want when we have time, no need to hit a record button or scramble to the TV.
2. We don’t have to page through 700 junk, garbage channels to get to the 4 or 5 we watch.
3. No more ASPCA commercials. This might sound hilarious, but we were getting down right HOSTILE about those fucking commercials. On Christmas Eve as we were getting ready for our winter meal, Zen got sick, sick, sick! I don’t mean lie around moaning with a fever sick, I mean “projectile, Exorcist vomiting” sick. As we were all scrambling around here because we had people coming to eat and needed to get Zen cleaned up, comfortable in bed and bed changed, Mouth came out to the living room where we had the TV on (I don’t remember why, even. News I think, background noise.) and one of those ASPCA commercials was on. For some reason they play those bitch ass things louder than anything else on television and Mouth lost it . He yelled very loudly, “WTF?! Turn this fucking shit OFFF!!” He grabbed the remote and turned off the TV with one of those looks on his face like he just smelled shit or something.
Those commercials made television watching puke inducing and ruined your entire day. We all know animal abuse exists, but those commercials are as bad as those early 80′s starving Ethiopian children commercials (which they’ve revived, by the way). They make you feel guilty for even living and Sarah McLachlan and the ASPCA can kiss my ass for fucking up my day.
So, no more ASPCA bullshit. No more Unicef, no more relentless advertising campaigns for whatever new viagra is on the market, or some new pharmaceutical, it’s BLISSFUL.
We still have commercials on Hulu, but the kicker here is they let you give them feedback on whether or not they’re relevant to you. If they’re not, they don’t show them again. Also, if you use Firefox you can block them.
I’m enjoying our new cord cutter status and am encouraging my kids to be “cord nevers”.