You may remember that we were about 22 months without a TV . Then, back in April, right before I headed to China for a few weeks (and Sara was in her last two weeks of pregnancy), we caved, bought the TV and DVD player, hooked up the cable, and rejoined the ranks of the Mainstream American Television Consumer.
Well, after six months, we're pulling the plug again. Technically, not on the TV, just the cable. This time around the reason is not due to a lightening storm. Rather, it's a combination of things: part financial (really, $75 to watch TV in my own home every month?), part dissatisfaction with garbage programming, part avoidance of all those commercials.
Don't get me wrong, we were very select in what we let the kids view: primarily PBS, sprinkled with a dose of the National Geographic, Science, Green, and Discovery channels. But even still, we were amazed on how influential the few commercials they saw were. Case in point: My four-year-old daughter telling me out of the blue one day "Daddy, don't hide it, solve it." in reference to my graying hair and some men's product she saw.
No way are we going to have our children be the foot-soldiers for a legion of advertisers. We have a responsibility to protect our children from succumbing to the lure of consumerism so early in life. Our little planet cannot afford to raise yet another generation of "stuff"-mongers. We must do more with less; be satisfied and thankful for what we have; not yearn for the empty happiness that buying and using more brings; avoid being another cog in the wheel of planned obsolescence.
Alas, we look forward to the blank stares and silly questions from people who cannot fathom the thought of no cable (even the Cox representative on the phone asked Sara, "What are your going to do for TV?" when she canceled in). We are OK with it and so are the kids. Not once have they inquired about why they can't watch their shows anymore. Instead, we've been busy dusting off some board games, popping some popcorn, and having a healthy dose of unplugged fun together. Cadoo anyone?