Saturday, July 15, 2006

Goodbye addiction

On Monday I took the big step of cancelling cable. From having a DVR with hundreds of channels and the ability to record programs at will, I went to having nothing. At the moment, I don't even have TV.

Since then, I've noticed a marked improvement in how I spend my free time. This week's downtime activities have included: reading a novel by one of my profs, reading part of a novel by Neal Stephenson, reading part of Rousseau's Social Contract, and reading the news, a lot.

See a pattern? Reading has replaced cable. And the best part is that I don't even feel self-righteous about it, because that's the way I used to be, when I lived at home with my folks. I read. All the time.

I still multitask - I often work with the TV on in the background, but now I don't even have the interruption of having to fast forward through commercials. This week featured copious amounts of Monty Python, James Bond, and some Black Adder (all, with the exception of Black Adder which is too witty to ignore, not requiring concentration to the TV and serving excellently as background noise).

I sometimes miss my old friend - I reach out to touch the remote that isn't there anymore, wonder how many times I've seen the Law & Order SVU episode that it would have taped were it still here, eagerly scroll through the TV guide to find odd and amusing programs to record...

It's a bit lonely at times.

But it's better. I feel the cogs in my head whirring ever faster as I engage in the more active activity of reading. And of course, I still have Netflix, which allows me to rent everything from Pride and UFC fights to arthouse foreign movies.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable always was one of the best and most immediately available examples of the monopolies that Rand-followers assure us cannot exist. It is totally insulting and dishonest from beginning to end, and the only time I did not regret having anything to do with it was when I could get Muchmusic, mexican music bits, Tijuana 13, Galavision, Univision and Telemundo. (Indeed had I been smarter and gotten a better computer I could get those without bothering with cable; cable at best is an inferior choice dishonestly handled and by definition far overpriced.)

12:46 PM  
Anonymous JSZ0 said...

Stay strong. TV is truly the opiate of the masses.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I did it. It's not too bad. Mostly the only things worth watching are on PBS anyway.

9:49 PM  

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