Lifehacker posed the question how did you break the TV habit? Since I can’t post on the Lifehacker comments due to their screening process that I haven’t yet passed and I’m too lazy to go through I thought I would place my answer here.
I was a creature of habit that even when I wasn’t watching TV it was on and would watch TV “settling” for shows – I mean there are very few people who watch the Magic Johnson Show or Becker before they went to bed just because it was on and something to watch.
One of the major changes has been technology, both the advancement of it and the lack there of. When we purchased our new house about a year and a half ago we picked up cable immediately and the gluttony of television kicked. After the introductory period of 29.99 a month ended and the bill went up to 59.99 a month we sat and questioned if we really needed it.
It seemed that we were only watching law and order 99% of the time – since it was always on. Since I was a big DVD purchaser I looked at this as being 1-2 box sets of other DVDs that I could buy that month instead of cable. At that point we ditched cable. Our house is far enough from the major cities that we get one stations and even that is 75% snow. This meant no more live television for us. We started watching the shows we liked via streaming media on the computer we have hooked up to the television or via our laptops.
Slowly I got out of the buying a girth of DVD’s and subscribed to Netflix – this saved my money since in the 5 months I’ve had Netflix I have only purchased 3-4 DVDs that I really want compared to the 10-15 I would have purchased otherwise.
Netflix and streaming mean that there are no more late nights watching Becker or Sisters because nothing else is on. I no longer have to settle and the process of going to a website and multitasking is a bit more active than traditional TV viewing.
So by using streaming and Netflix I watch more shows that I want to watch when I want to watch them. I also save money. Netflix is 16.99 a month compared to the 59.99 for cable and the other 100.00 a month I would have spent in DVDs. My quality of life has actually improved since I don’t waste time on shows like the Magic Johnson talk show any more (yes I realize that was canceled long ago but I wanted and apt comparison to the bottom rung of television I was on).