Unplugging – sorta, kinda, a little bit.
Yeah, for you youngsters – it must sound downright primitive, eh? Can you imagine?
These days, almost every household in America has at least one TV (even if you’re dirt-broke poor – you’ve got TV), and little over a third of us have more than one. The average American watches close to 4 hours of TV a day. We surf through these channels as we sit on our butts – you never have to get up to change the channel. And you can watch 24 hours a day if you like. And the number of networks and channels? There’s a gazillion now.
I have an expanded, basic cable plan and I receive about 100 channels (some folks get 500). But what am I watching? I channel surf amongst maybe 10 channels at best, watching mostly reruns, movies that are edited to death (to spare my innocent ears and eyes of foul language – but not of sex and violence), and stupid news/entertainment shows. Now why am I paying a bundle of dough for 100 channels of crap when I’m really only watching 10 channels of crap? And why am I watching this crap? Aren’t I worth more than that? Don’t I have better things to do with my time, my brain?
I decided to make a change. But I work slowly.
First, I researched what shows or clips of shows I can watch online. I love the Daily Show and the Cobert Report – but I can get that online. I like Countdown with Keith Olbermann, but again – I can get that online – for free.
For what’s new and fresh with pop culture- I can go to You Tube. Again, free.
Then I investigated the radio – wow! What a wealth of possibilities the radio offers. I listen to the radio anyway- time to expand my options. And I can listen to radio either on my computer or my stereo.
Being anal, I made a list of shows online and radio productions I’m interested in. The list is posted prominently in the middle of my refrigerator. Random pictures of my kids and friends have been pushed off to the side to make room for this ever-so-important list.
And then I signed up for Netflix. I can order Rome, The Sopranos, etc. I have 100 selections in my queue: documentaries, foreign films, and yeah – reruns (some of shows I’ve never seen): Rome, The Sopranos, 6 Feet Under. I have the cheap plan, so I only get three DVDs at a time. I’m trying to be moderate.
In the Bay Area, you can’t get regular channels (local, PBS, and the basic networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC) without either an antenna (always temperamental and ready to scorn you at will) or cable. I called the cable company – and discovered they will charge me to downgrade - cause a tech has to come out and block channels from entering my home. Yeah, these channels, they just willy-nilly enter homes at will.
Of course, the tech can’t come for several days, and at that, it is a WINDOW (you know this drill – he’ll arrive anywhere between Monday at 10 AM and Friday at noon – that’s what it feels like, right?).
I am scheduled to go bare bones on the televised media next week.
In the meantime, I am watching as much crap as I can!