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How life changes without cable TV!

 
Posts: 80
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So I decided to get rid of cable TV around a year ago.

Personally I love the decision! I don't spend hours of my life wasted on the couch listening to propaganda being forced down my throat, I find myself 100 times more productive, and now at the end of the day I have a feeling of accomplishment instead of a head full of useless TV shows.

My issue now is that I find that I loose out on a lot of social time with friends because now when someone wants to talk to me about some cool new show or some funny commercial I can't relate so I can't join in on the conversation. At first I didn't even pay attention to it but now I've been able to spot it when it happens and I keep a sort of running tab on how many opportunities to socialize I miss and it happens quite often.

I guess my point is this, how sad is it that just because I've decided to live a healthier life (without cable) I am now missing out on having more social interactions with people that I care about. Cable TV I've found has a built in self feeding cycle. If you don't have it you can't relate as much to the ones that you care for.

I think next time someone asks me "hey did you see that show (insert show name here)" I'll just politely say I don't have cable but do you know about permaculture? To them it's just as foreign as TV is to me. But this way maybe the tables will turn in my favor and I can get more people on our bandwagon here and off the propaganda machine called cable TV.
 
gardener
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The only problem is that there are usually still screens in the house. My computer screen, for instance. It doubles as a tv when we want to watch films or sitcoms.

And then there's web surfing that takes up a good bit of time. Sometimes aimless and unproductive, sometimes it's for work or enlightenment. But it's a screen none the less and a Time Vampire.

I liked the book "Better off" by Eric Brende. They went without electricity or cars in an amish village for a year.
W
 
Posts: 1131
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though i do love my internet i think if i were to make some significant change in my life, i would have to consider amish living, it seems so simple - though filled with labor and seems to be one of the most fulfilling religions ive ever seen, though i know little about it:)
 
Nathan Paris
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I couldn't give up my internet, the Internet is my knowledge base. Internet access gives you access to unlimited amounts of useful information.

I do have a Netflix account but I just use it to watch movies. I don't really follow any tv showes on it.
 
Devon Olsen
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unfortunately you will likely give up your internet the next time a serious disaster occurs due to an executive order (unconstitutional thing as it is) signed by obama the friday before july 4th
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57469950-93/obama-signs-order-outlining-emergency-internet-control/
http://www.cnbc.com/id/48151460/Obama_s_Internet_Order_Power_Grab_or_Simple_Update

whether or not anyone plans for it to happen, disasters are a governments favorite time to take the most liberties because the people are too scared to care

i should also add something relevant to the thread and say that ive pretty much grown up without cable, when younger i seemed to be under the impression i was missing out on something but now that ive had time to watch more tv when outside of the home i realise that cable really is just a total waste of money lol

 
gardener
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I havn't had a cable plugged into my tv for over 7 years, personally I found it presented quite a significant social change for the better.
Yes you'll live a life where you don't know what people are talking about, I tell people I don't live my life choking down current affairs to show I'm on top of things trivial that don't effect how we live our lives day to day.
I'll say, does some celebrity's new boob job help the taste of the dam coffee in the machine at work? Cuzz if it doesn't i'll stick to being the top predator of the office coffee grounds for my garden instead.
The joy and laughter you can bring socially just by the humor you give to being a representation of what life can be like unplugged from the forced stream of media. The other people begin to recognize your strangeness to them, is also what makes your social presentations always interesting.

I watch movies of my choosing, I don't choose from what is presented to watch. Yes I'll shout out, did anyone see star wars I just watched it this weekend and it's pretty good, "yes more laughter", but the bottom line is often you end up being the one who brings up un-accessed memories in people they have long forgotten.
When I talk about my weekend of not having any plans but a list of farm things a mile high; somebody might say wow your life reminds me of my grandparents who use to live on a farm, I use to eat rabbit when I was a kid.

You still can read the news, you just don't stream the news, you still watch things, but you have self directed education. If my daughter wants to go on a 2 day tv binge, she can do it in front of commercial free documentary after documentary. When people hear that kind of talk, they shut up and start reconsidering the choices there making in their lives, and you living the way you are fosters that.

You do not have to be socially banished, but can socially thrive as a unique and new experience for other people socially. That makes you one of a kind.
 
steward
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unfortunately you will likely give up your internet the next time a serious disaster occurs due to an executive order



au contraire. The executive order helps assure that the internet will stay up and alive in the event of a major disaster.
It is merely an update of a 1984 policy, made to keep up with changing technologies.

Its primary function, as regarding the internet, is to thwart those who would want to impede internet access.
The government relies on the internet, more than we do, to keep its infrastructure operational.

 
Posts: 210
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
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John Polk wrote:

unfortunately you will likely give up your internet the next time a serious disaster occurs due to an executive order



au contraire. The executive order helps assure that the internet will stay up and alive in the event of a major disaster.
It is merely an update of a 1984 policy, made to keep up with changing technologies.

Its primary function, as regarding the internet, is to thwart those who would want to impede internet access.
The government relies on the internet, more than we do, to keep its infrastructure operational.



You are being hopeful. The system is complex (high expensive maintainance) and requires a lot of energy. But I do understand my own reliance on the net, so I have been buying how to books from the thrift shop just in case.
 
gardener
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I got rid of my TV about 10 years ago, I've accomplished a lot without it. Though with high speed internet I've admittedly wasted a lot of time watching movies, sitcoms,etc. online.


My two cents on government control of the internet. The idea of the government "shutting down" the internet does not make sense.

No one government or power can shut down the internet because of its very nature- it is worldwide. Iran and China attempt to censor internet by filtering or cutting off access to systems outside the country, but there are a number of ways of bypassing this- proxies/ tunneling software, wireless transmissions, radio / microwave transmission, teenage hackers,etc.


 
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Haven't had TV programming for 40 years(since I was 6 yrs old) and haven't missed one socializing activity from the lack of it. I read a lot and also keep up with pop culture a little..and I do mean a little... through magazines in the library, the newspaper and here on the net enough to be able to discuss it and to do the crossword puzzles in the newspaper. As time goes by that gets less and less important to me, though, and I no longer care about "popular" culture...it's all garbage and not worth tucking into the braincase.
 
Posts: 78
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N Harris wrote:So I decided to get rid of cable TV around a year ago.

Personally I love the decision! I don't spend hours of my life wasted on the couch listening to propaganda being forced down my throat, I find myself 100 times more productive, and now at the end of the day I have a feeling of accomplishment instead of a head full of useless TV shows.

My issue now is that I find that I loose out on a lot of social time with friends because now when someone wants to talk to me about some cool new show or some funny commercial I can't relate so I can't join in on the conversation. At first I didn't even pay attention to it but now I've been able to spot it when it happens and I keep a sort of running tab on how many opportunities to socialize I miss and it happens quite often.

I guess my point is this, how sad is it that just because I've decided to live a healthier life (without cable) I am now missing out on having more social interactions with people that I care about. Cable TV I've found has a built in self feeding cycle. If you don't have it you can't relate as much to the ones that you care for.

I think next time someone asks me "hey did you see that show (insert show name here)" I'll just politely say I don't have cable but do you know about permaculture? To them it's just as foreign as TV is to me. But this way maybe the tables will turn in my favor and I can get more people on our bandwagon here and off the propaganda machine called cable TV.



I love this observation as I have done the same over 6 years ago. Though I haven't brought up permaculture maybe I should try. Personally I don't think socializing about television is actually in any way a positive social interaction. I think its 100% negative and actual degrades society. Really how much can one talk about? "ooh i like that" or "ooh I don't like that" or "can you believe what so and so did?" or "(insert most trendy catch phrase here)". Really? These are fictitious, usually incredibly badly written characters and stories that aim for the lowest common denominator with the fewest brain cells. I swear no matter what the newest most popular show is you can listen in on a conversation and hear different variations of above quotes repeated ad nauseum. When people start emotionally arguing or debating meaningless TV drivel with the same pathos as if its world changing events I can't help but roll my eyes, and especially if they just do it all over again for the next new show.

TV saps the will of the people, or more accurately redirects it into bullshit. Can you tell I hate TV
 
master pollinator
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I make my living in the entertainment industry as do many of my friends and acquaintances, so I can't hate on TV too much! It's almost impossible to get to work on anything of quality, because of the business part of "show-biz" which is all about the bottom line and not about creativity. That part I hate. Folks who work in it "below the line" are doing the best they can in spite of the horridness of the industry.

 
master pollinator
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In defence of TV.

I was raised in the cultural and intellectual desert of an overly religious family. TV was my window into the world beyond. Those in charge of the church were against children watching TV not because of time wasted but because of the very real danger that we would be exposed to ideas. (Just like the fears of the Chinese Communist Party concerning the internet)

The television can be an important educational tool. With the hundreds of channels now available, I can usually find something intelligent to watch.

About half of my TV time is concerned with documentaries, much of it on PBS type stations. I have been a big fan of Frasier, Seinfeld, and MASH. The Simpsons and South Park are perfectly tuned to my sense of humour. Jon Stewart (Liebowitz) is my favourite late night guy. Jay Leno isn't Johnny Carson. The only current sitcom that I love is called Modern Family. I've only seen three episodes but they were very witty.

I am the "Simon Cowell" of my family and circle of friends, a job I take seriously.

I don't plan to give up TV, movies, reading, internet surfing , radio or squinting at bumper stickers and jokes written on bathroom walls. I am not bored, scared of offended by any of it and my life is richer because of all of the ideas and entertainment value.

I even like the commercials, although I'm not the target audience since I buy almost everything second hand and am not swayed by them. The funniest commercials feature very young girls who claim that their great skin came about due to the featured product.
 
Cris Bessette
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Dale:

Some good points there. Sometimes TV can be a window to the wider world. I was also raised in the cultural desert of an overly religious family.
I also like a number of the shows you mentioned (I just watch them on the net)


 
John Polk
steward
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Hah. I'm old enough to remember people getting cable tv just to avoid the ads.

Entire shows & movies without ads.

 
Posts: 208
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I gave up TV about a year ago.  I don't miss it.  I can turn on the radio, and surf the internet like other people mentioned.
 
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We got rid of our cable TV about 6 years ago...way too much money for a lot of junk. We still have internet for our computer, mainly because of our business, and a Roku streaming device for our TV and we watch whatever we can find of interest that is free.
 
garden master
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We ditched pay tv a few years ago and got along just fine with the free broadcast channels, but even those are still mostly crap. Next week, we're selling our two tv's in a yard sale, going tv free. It's a day I've been looking forward to for some time now. I'll admit though, that I will miss Nature and Nova on PBS.
 
gardener
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Gave up TV about 10 years ago. Don't miss it. Sure, there were a few good shows like Nova & Nature but mostly garbage. I don't miss it one bit.
 
pollinator
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If all your social circle do is:
1) quote batting avg,
2) lyrics to rap song and
3) lines from game of throne,
and that is most of what they do, personally I think it is their lost, and I hope they find something better to do.

I don't miss talking about those think, but I do wish that we could actually carry on a conversation about homesteading, food forest, soil life.
But in lieu of that the good old standby of 1)weather, 2)kids, 3)new tech, 4)weekend events, 5)health 6)recap of the news headline from cnn.com that I spend 3min glacing on.
So I hit 6 out of the 7, because I miss out on the entertainment/tv side of stuff. It is even better if I have slightly more complex views so that it can actually be a conversation vs a bunch of yes man.

That said I still get alot of screen time (books, tech articles, anime, tv shows, movies, permies.com, etc, etc). And while I could spend more time listening & learning the lyrics from songs, watching the popular soap opera, I much rather watch my weird shows/documentary and visit my weird websites. Being my egotistical self, I just feel sorry that they don't do like I am doing. (Guys I am half joking here)
 
James Freyr
garden master
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As mentioned a few posts back, we sold those two tv's we had, and have been without tv for a few weeks now. It's great! Since not having one anymore, I realize now when looking back, the tv was on most the time out of default habit, not to actually sit down to watch a show, but just background noise, which I found would draw me to the couch to sit and end up watching something I never intended to sit and view in the first place. Good riddance, stupid tv! ;)

Now being a tv free household, I find myself reading instead or doing a little work on the computer, which is still screen time, but I think it's at least constructive screen time instead of mindless screen time. Hurray for tv free life!
 
gardener
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I dropped cable years ago as a money saving step as I found it a waste, although I still have a PC attached to the TV and have Netflix instead. I also rarely watch/listen to "news" as I find it has become a stream of negativity, I suppose because that's what gets the views/revenue. I find it all just makes me angry for nothing so I prefer to avoid most of it.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. -Eleanor Roosevelt

I found I was getting the same negative input during the holiday weekend, and just expressed my concern as "I'm not interested in hearing negative stuff about people or going over all the bad things we hear; can we instead talk about positive things?" and that helped a lot.
 
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As an alternative to inane network TV, our television is connected to the internet so we can watch youtube.
Our favorites are "how to" videos where we learn how to do useful things.
You can learn way more on youtube
than you ever could in any government school.
 
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I have not ever paid for cable TV.  I stopped watching TV around 9/11, tired of the repetitive image of planes crashing into a building over and over (without getting too much more into that topic).  I see cable TV as paying to be advertised at, and being brainwashed by propaganda (people watch the news and become afraid of their neighbours).  Television is an amazing tool for corporations and governments to get ideas and products into your house.  If you choose to watch television news, you must carefully read between the lines and see what feeling or idea they are trying to inspire with each story - they are not just filling air time.  Most of the non-news programming is drivel.  Even things claiming to be educational are usually sensationalist BS (yes TLC, I'm talking about you!).  My in laws watched a lot of TV (before my FIL had a heart attack, now they are more active), and I don't know how many times while visiting we saw the same home renovation show episode, with what felt like 20 commercial breaks.  What a waste.  I think that being sedentary and absorbing media is socially isolating.  Occasionally someone at work will ask me, "Hey, you know that commercial where the squirrel is driving a car," or some other nonsense, and not knowing what they are talking about doesn't take away from our ability to converse as a whole, we are still people with experiences outside of the media.  My husband talks about how the street here was always full of kids playing, and now you don't see them out.  Between the sedentary lifestyle of absorbing media, and the convenience food we shovel into them, no wonder there is supposedly an obesity epidemic among children in North America!

When we need some entertainment we do stream shows, and we play video games at times (more in the winter), but probably spend more time researching useful topics on the internet, when it comes too electronics use.  This weekend I've been running a fever and haven't done too much that's physical, so I'm posting a bit more than usual to Permies
 
Greg Mamishian
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Norma Guy wrote:I have not ever paid for cable TV.  I stopped watching TV around 9/11...



Intresting coincidence, Norma.

We also stopped watching TV at that same time because we had just moved onto our house and were so busy with other things it became irrelevant.
 
pollinator
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Norma Guy wrote:What a waste.  


That pretty much sums it up for me. I was also brought up in a home mostly without TV and pop culture, went away for high school (no TVs), and when I got to college I did a lot of blinking when people referred to TV and movies I had no idea about, but I had no inclination to waste my time sitting down watching TV. On the whole, though, I feel I missed nothing, and while other people were sitting down watching things, I was out doing things, so in my humble opinion I think I got the better end of the deal. Glad to see my kid is pretty much the same.
 
gardener
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My two cents here: there's just so much more to do with my time than watch TV, and I frankly think Mike Oehler is right that television rots the brain.
 
pollinator
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We don't have cable anymore, just streaming services. I like it much better. I like having stuff to watch in my down time. I don't like to rest and I get bored easily, so having tv, podcasts and computer helps me take care of my body better. I also learn a lot. I watch documentaries, period pieces, and shows in other countries. I have pickup up all kinds of information. I don't travel so this is great.
 
gardener
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We are in our 5th year of Free TV only, living so far away from any town means no cable, no internet.
When we lived in town we had business internet and Basic Cable TV it was expensive, the only thing I miss is being able to send my writing to my agent as a file, now I have to burn a CD and mail it, just takes longer.

The few channels we get with free tv are most of the ones we used to watch when we lived in town.
 
Michael Moreken
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Not cable TV, TV period for me about 2 years ago.  I do not miss it a bit.

Formula for a half hour of news: scare you for 25 minutes, then the last 5 minutes "we are all family".
 
Greg Mamishian
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Michael Moreken wrote:Formula for a half hour of news: scare you for 25 minutes, then the last 5 minutes "we are all family".



This is so true, Michael!

Network news programmers fully understand the principle that whatever can emotionally upset people possesses the power to fixate their attention on whatever upsets them.

More Emotional Upset = More Fixated Attention

More Fixated Attention = More Viewers

More Viewers = Higher Ratings

Higher Ratings = Higher Advertizing Rates

Higher Advertizing Rates = More Profit

...just an afterthought.

The TV news media purposefully cultivate
a perpetually frightened upset outraged offended angry audience.

So they deliberately showcase "crises"
for which their viewers have no responsibility
and over which they have no control.




 
pollinator
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:..... the only thing I miss is being able to send my writing to my agent as a file, now I have to burn a CD and mail it, just takes longer.



Redhawk,  I'm curious as to why you can't just EMail your writing to him as an attachment instead of burning a CD?.....

Also, a related topic as I'm re-reading some chapters of Leonard Shlain's "The Alphabet versus the Goddess:  The Conflict between Word and Image" about how literacy engages the mind in a different way than imagery.  There has been discussion here and elsewhere before about turning off the digital for extended periods of time,......but my question is whether or not anyone has tried to go for extended periods without reading/writing.....without engaging with the written word.  Clearly that is a more difficult undertaking as this is how we've mostly come about storing information and communicating it for several hundreds of years now (although to varying degrees and not true for all cultures).  It's one thing to come back from a vacation where you deliberately turned away from all digital/cellular communication for that period, but has anyone taken a break from reading as well an noted any interesting changes.....possibly better attunement to the natural surroundings or an (re)awakening of senses that you maybe did not know that you had?
 
Don't mess with me you fool! I'm cooking with gas! Here, read this tiny ad:
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars
http://woodheat.net
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