Cancelling Cable

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who don’t watch tv. But I haven’t been able to try that yet. I still hope to someday. I noticed my cable bill was getting very high so a few months ago I decided I would cancel my basic cable channels, leaving me with only about 22 channels. I am limited to watching mostly news (which I try to avoid anyway because it’s depressing) and that’s about it, unless I choose to watch a home shopping channel.

Sometimes I miss the extra channels, like on Saturdays when I would laze around until the afternoon watching reruns of 90210 or after work when I would watch ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’ on Bravo, but mostly, it has been a good thing. I have done a lot more writing and kept up this blog where I don’t think that would have been as easy before. And the shows I do follow I just try to catch online after they air, and usually that way there are fewer commercials.

If there is nothing to watch on my limited television channels, it gives me the added motivation to do something creative, or go for a walk or do an exercise DVD, or be still and meditate, or go to the library or a cafe and write. Or get to sleep early. And those are good things. Right now I watch about 3 shows, 1 on channel 2 and two that I need to catch online. And I have the streaming Netflix plan which I should probably cancel, because it does not get used very often.

Television is OK every now and then, as long as you don’t start planning your activities and days and nights around catching certain shows, because then you become enslaved. Something like meditation isn’t as entertaining as a show or a movie, but it is far better for a person’s peace of mind to focus within, rather than always being passive and consuming entertainment. Meditation helps you be more mindful, of who you are, and where you are in life.

This world is loud, insistent and always calling on our attention. But we don’t always have to give in. We can give ourselves space to breathe and enjoy the moment, without having to rely on another distraction.

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August 13, 2013. Tags: , , , . writing.

3 Comments

  1. Greg Zeck replied:

    What if you watched a little cable (the best shows) and thought about how creativity was well used in the scripts? Most TV is junk, of course, but some of the better series on HBO, FX, etc. have some power. It’s kinda like listening to music: we can do it lazily or at least half-analytically, thereby learning a few things.

    • ksocorro replied:

      Thanks for your comment Greg. I think it’s an interesting idea, but knowing me, I’d get too hooked on too many shows and start neglecting writing! But I can see what you mean about the analytical viewpoint, it’s also like reading books and paying attention to writing technique as you do so.

      I remember back when I used to watch “Six Feet Under” on HBO and really admired the writing, dialogue, characters. It was very compelling

      • Greg Zeck replied:

        We might claim that immersion in art — whether popular or elite — trains us to be analytical. Whether or not we are poring over a text, or perusing it, we are receptive to the form of the thing — to how it says what it says, to the voice or voices we find with us in the quiet room. This is one reason I’m bemused that people want to write but don’t take the time to read or reflect. As Susan Sontag says, “… to write is to practice, with particular intensity and attentiveness, the art of reading. You write in order to read what you’ve written and see if it’s O.K. and, since of course it never is, to rewrite it….”

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