Television is a crutch for me. I’ve watched too much TV for most of my life, and while this has allowed for a vast knowledge of pop culture that is very useful when playing trivia games I know it’s not good.
The fact is that I have gotten used to having the TV on as background noise, and while I’ve been turning it off more lately, it’s still on most of the day and night.
When I’ve moved away from home, cable was always the first thing I set up, because my TV shows were consistent wherever I went and it made things easier for me. But I also probably lost out on close friendships and socialization because I was happy to go home and spend the night with Lorelei and Rory, Buffy and Willow, the Huxtables, the Tanners, the doctors in the ER, Paul and Jamie Buchman, and countless other characters that passed through my life.
I used to watch TV while I did my homework. Now I watch TV while I knit, while I play computer games, while I feed the baby.
Frankly, one of the reasons I want to get rid of cable is because I’m so scared to live without cable. I don’t know what I would do with the quiet. I’d probably turn on the radio, which would be better for me and more educational for the baby girl. I would dance to music. We would get outside more. We would sit and read. We would come up with other activities to fill our time instead of just sitting in front of the TV. It sounds like a great idea.
But what of the shows we love to watch?
When I try to think of what I’d miss, not a lot comes to mind. I hate missing an episode of Bones, and we’ve really gotten in to Castle. We watch Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother on Mondays. I get excited for every new season of Project Runway. I’m getting in to Parenthood.
The fact is that if we cancel cable and I really miss these shows, we can buy or rent the DVDs to find out what’s happening to our favourite characters, or watch online depending on the network.
Another thing that’s making me think twice is the fact that our neighbourhood isn’t great for activities. There’s a park next door that’s under construction, there’s a Chapters a few blocks away, but other than that not much is in walking distance for the day that Joe takes the car to work. We made the trek to the library once, but it’s certainly not something we could do every day (in fact, Joe picked us up and drove us home so I wouldn’t have to carry all the books we were taking out).
If we get rid of our cable, am I going to go mental with boredom, or are we just going to listen to more radio and music, go for more walks, read more and spend more time in the backyard?
The more I think about it, the more I want to try it and find out.