I am one of those people; I am a millennial. I don’t watch a lot of television and I don’t have cable. Most of my allotted free time is spent with my head in an actual book, outside roaming trails or exploring the world around me. I am quasi tech-based and I’m not ashamed to admit; I have only the internet.
When I finally took the leap . . .
Once, many moons ago, perhaps I was still living at home, I had cable, and all the electronic “things” a kid could hope for. But those days are long gone. These days, my family owns a single television, a Xbox, two tablets, countless books in print and an aging laptop. When I was in college, “cutting the cord” was a budgetary response to too little money, and a desperate need/desire for electricity and perhaps some fancy food (read: pizza and beer). I made the choice to cancel my cable subscription as I deemed it unnecessary. I paid for my internet services (and kept electricity)- as I deemed them necessary for school and general quality of life. I didn’t immediately notice a difference. As many people in my generation believe, through the internet- all (read: most) things are possible.
I essentially read all my news, even the latest breaking news is available via internet. I subscribe to Netflix, first as a DVD service and then as the option became available- online viewing. As time went by, I slowly added Hulu and Amazon Prime to my subscriptions. I graduated college, and I have never looked back. I cannot imagine having cable now, I have subscriptions for Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, HBO and Amazon video- all encompassing my viewing wants and needs. I have Google news apps on my phone to notify me of the latest & breaking news both in my area and Worldwide. Instead of a bulky cable box, I have a Roku streaming device and my trusty Xbox next to my television. I do not miss a single show I want to watch and change my subscriptions at will depending on the airing schedule of the show my family wishes to watch. Instead of wading through news that isn’t important or pertinent to me or my family- we have personalized notifications from chosen news outlets.
I do not miss the idea of cable, it’s a nostalgic idea. I remember growing up with cable, I remember Saturday morning cartoons and after school specials. But in practice, cable is quickly becoming archaic for many lifestyles- not just for millennials. My mother, who is in her seventies made the switch and cut the cord last year. She now shares my Hulu and Netflix account with me. She watches her news and shows from her laptop, tablet or streams them to her television. Sure the first few months were filled with angst ridden phone calls troubleshooting how to find the latest 20/20 episode or how to cast a television show from her phone to the television. But, after she figured out the technical kinks it saved her money, and allowed her to watch shows on her schedule. She now doesn’t have to be home at six to enjoy the six o’clock news.
Cutting the cord can be cheaper and an easier viewing option than cable, provided you’re not an avid cable or premium cable subscriber. It does take some minor adjustments, remotes become cellphones, and channel surfing becomes browsing Netflix or Hulu. In the end, it is all about lifestyle decisions- for our family (and a growing number of other families), cutting the cord is the option best suited for our lifestyle.