My Deadbeat Television

I called my satellite TV company to ask why my bill was so much and learned a couple things. 1. It’s always been that much, didn’t realize it because I missed a month, and 2. My contract is up. I’m free to cancel.

I switched from cable because I thought the satellite offer was much cheaper. And it was, except the channels I needed (ie, Nickelodeon, Disney etc.) weren’t included in the cheap package and I either upgraded or had them added. I don’t remember. My bill is almost $70 a month. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much.

Except my television isn’t pulling its weight around here (neither of the two are, actually). I don’t watch TV except for the occasional “end of the world” or “Bigfoot” story on the History channel before I go to sleep. The rest of the time, the TV is on Nick Jr. or Disney-which makes it worth even less because my daugther isn’t getting anything useful out of it either.

So, like everything else in my life, I’m debating whether I even need cable or satellite TV. Anything else that I feel is useless gets axed without a second thought. I get the news from the internet and honestly I can live without the History channel. I think my daughter could live on DVDs. It’s not like television is good for her either. Why can’t I just pay for the 4 or 5 channels we use? If I calculate my bill according to the channels that are available, it comes to at the most .15 cents a channel. I’d be okay with paying .75 cents a month for my satellite service.

My question is, am I being moronically cheap? Will not having a television turn my daughter into some kind of deprived weirdo?

I don’t know. I’ve kicked people out of my life that cost less than 70 bucks a month and although I don’t really remember, I’m pretty sure they were far more useful (most of the time).

Maybe I need to have a heart to heart with the television.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted August 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Ah hah! The light dawns on another wily consumer!

    You’re absolutely NOT being too cheap to consider dumping the satellite or cable connection. Really. Does anyone need the Disney channel or Nickelodeon? And whose child really needs to be blitzed with advertising every day? What child wouldn’t benefit from finding creative ways to entertain herself, instead of spending all her spare time sucking at the electronic teat?

    Get a digital box. Costs less than a month of cable or satellite service. Tune the idiot box to PBS during the day — it’s awash in kids’ shows, and it’s free. The new digital system allows PBS to broadcast on four channels, so if there’s an eyeball-glazer on its main channel, you usually can find something more interesting on one of the other three channels…all of it pretty much free of advertising.

  2. katy
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Funny – A digital box – dumb question, but where do I get one? We don’t have cable and can’t afford even basic; we don’t have any reception unless we subscribe to cable – right? thank you for any and all help.

  3. Susan
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Will your daughter turn into some sort of deprived weirdo without TV? Not unless you consider kids who have wonderfully active imaginations and can entertain themselves without benefit of electronic media, who love to read and actually beg to go to the library, and who truly appreciate a “movie night” with the family watching a favorite DVD, to be strange!

    We have not had ANY TV reception at my house for 13 years! I have a 19 year old son and a 12 year old daughter. They have managed to grow up quite fine without the influence of TV. We do watch DVDs on our TV, but that isn’t every day. My kids have grown up as avid readers who LOVE to go to the library; they both have terrific imaginations and can easily figure out ways to entertain themselves without parental suggestions; they have only rarely ever asked for some toy or gadget because “everyone else has one;” neither of them cares about the brand of clothes that they wear. My husband and I credit the lack of TV for much of these behaviors! I think it’s a terrific step toward raising great kids!

    Susan

  4. Posted August 6, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Ah ha! Vindication! People look at me with pity and shake their heads when I tell them we pulled the plug on TV when my kids were toddlers. I must say it is THE best decisions we ever made for our family. We used to flip mindlessly through channels for HOURS- such a waste of precious time. My kids are not being bombarded by commercials for stuff they don’t need but would think they did. (and neither am I-whew). We went through 2 weeks of withdrawals- couldn’t find a thing to do without the box. Then suddenly we couldn’t believe we had ever had any time to sit there and do nothing because our time was filled with so many other fulfilling things. Plus- no cable bill which really is helpful. I cannot even fathom PAYING for tv. Remember when it was free??

  5. katy
    Posted August 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    huh?

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