I finished my week without cable, and it was both refreshing – and disorienting.
Refreshing because of the unbelievable amount of accomplishments, when there is no background noise as a distraction. In seven days, I:
- completely reorganized my computer;
- sorted through an entire storage unit of boxes and papers;
- reviewed all VHS tapes and DVDs;
- transferred all my CDs onto my computer;
- compiled new music playlists;
- updated my podcast subscriptions AND found some interesting new programs; and
- wrote five chapters on a book.
On the other hand, life without constant muttering of a TV program in the background was highly, disturbingly disorienting. I never realized just how — quiet — my apartment building can be. I knew, intellectually, that we had great soundproofing — the building is a cinderblock and brick construction, with firewalls everywhere. My next-door neighbor held a 21st birthday party in his place with 30 guests and the entire Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne playlist — and I never heard a thing!
But without the TV, it was — eerily quiet. No sound to break my concentration, which also meant that after Day 3, I was on the verge of hypervigilance. A squeaky pipe was enough to make me jump. By Day 5, I felt like I was in a slasher movie, waiting for Freddie or Jason or Michael to jump out at me!
Still, it was educational. I learned that I spend a lot of time with the TV as background noise, tuned to a program I’ve seen multiple times and for which I have already memorized the dialogue. I definitely can stop that, saving some money on the electric bill.
But I don’t think, after all this, that I will outright drop the cable. I would miss Anderson Cooper, BBC America’s international news, White Collar, Game of Thrones, not to mention David Duchovny and Californication. If only there was a way to just get the channels I watch — rather than pay for this extravagent multi-tiered package packed with fluff I don’t enjoy.