Can you recall floor model television sets with knobs missing from the top and bottom? Do you remember staying up so late that “TV went off”? Is your memory capable of conjuring up the names of the channels you had to choose from when you had less options than fingers on one hand? Fast forward decades later and the limits are more proportional to your willingness to spend hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis. Movie channels, news channels, children’s channels, sports channels, music channels, and the list goes on. All at your fingertips if you are willing to enter into a contract with one of the providers for this modern day marvel that includes all the entertainment you can handle. I am not. At various times in my life I have been willing and able to pay various amounts for some type of cable serivce, but present financial constraints and the practical but boring wisdom of a responsible adult will not afford me such luxuries currently. I have outgrown my dependence in the institute known as “Cable Television”.
Early on I compensated for my lack of regular entertainment programming by purchasing DVD’s. As a result I currently have a collection of over 400 DVD’s. I would guess that over half of my collection are well recognized film industry classics that cover a wide range of genres and interests. Others are movies that I cherish for my own selfish reasons but either way I enjoy them all. There is no comparison to having guaranteed instant access to a movie that will allow you to revisit a unique time or experience or even trigger specific feelings and emotions that you associate with a particular film. Most recently I have further evolved and the DVD purchases have since slowed to a screeching halt with only sporadic spikes occurring when met with an, “offer I couldn’t refuse”. I have limited experience with one of the two most popular companies that provide streaming content and while I enjoy those services, consumers with a thirst for more current or “in the now” entertainment could still easily find themselves less than amused. So what does one do when social media interaction and the conversation around the watering hole at work are all relative to entertainment sources that you are not privy to? The answer is simple and defined, yet surprisingly elusive. Live life!
I can acknowledge being amused when viewing people make fools of themselves on reality television and I would definitely enjoy the convenience of being able to watch my favorite shows when I want to, but I refuse to suggest that either are substantial enough to warrant a reflection of my life’s contentment. The same level of accessibility and recognition of how much our society spends on entertainment that makes cable television the gargantuan that it has become is also real enough to make various “real life” experiences more accessible as well. Imagine the activities you could participate in each year if you saved that $129.99 per month and used it towards some sort of actual encounter that intrigues you. Good seats at a sporting event, a race car experience, swimming with dolphins, up close and personal with “wild animals”, or even the VIP experience in an Atlanta night club to see glimpses of that life from an unfiltered vantage point. The possibilities are almost as vast as your imagination and the experience would likely be worth more than two seasons of your favorite show. As I write this I am fully aware that there are those who can access the best of both worlds, but those people will likely have little interest in an article of this sort. I am speaking to those who have to decide between the two. In the end the final sticking point is determined by personal preference. Would you rather observe from a distance or experience life in the world we live in with all of your senses in use and on one accord? Life is to be lived, not witnessed, and especially not “TiVoed”. Get out and live a life worth living! Life without cable is no different than life without fast food, or life without electronic key fobs. As a society we have become accustomed to these necessities, but they do not increase standard of living, and they are only as important as we allow them to be.