Thursday, February 24, 2011

Turning Off Cable TV

Today is the day! I'm disconnecting the cable on our televisions. I'm surprised the kids are not putting up more of a fight but I think deep down, they agree with me. A short list of why:

1. To save money.  We pay a few cents shy of $70 a month for an HD connection including a set-top box. Our bundle discount is $13 so if we turn it off we'll save $57 a month. There are other expenses to consider that I'll summarize soon.

2. To be more selective in the shows we watch. I've never been a helicopter parent and I never will be. I don't sit down and watch every show my kids see but I can almost always hear what they're watching. More and more lately, I've been hearing questionable content and asking "What are you watching?" and assessing appropriateness is not as cut-and-dry as it used to be. We've had some good discussions about why a show might be inappropriate but I still have to be somewhat unilateral. The thing is, they come across a lot of shows by flipping channels, to stop at whatever looks interesting. I want them to think about what they want to watch instead of letting the TV feed content to them.

3. To reduce commercials. My kids are pretty savvy consumers but the sheer volume of advertising is hard to take. I don't want the constant and repeated messages about food, gender, and adulthood to overrun my parental influence. Also, as they move to new and different providers, some of the ads become as questionable as the programming.

So, Off With The Cable! Next post, I'll talk about our setup and how we plan to cut the cord without losing access to the shows we want to watch.

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