Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cutting the Cord: Reflections on the Benefits of Delayed Gratification


About five years ago I took a job in the public sector.  My income went down but my happiness quotient went up.  But that didn’t mean I didn’t have to make adjustments, especially when the Great Recession hit.  One of the most significant adjustments I made was cutting cable television from my life.  It was a move that seemingly put me back into the “dark ages.”  Although my television is less than ten years old, it’s not digital, so I had to lay my hands on a digital converter box and find some trusty old rabbit ears to get over-the-air reception.  And to fill in those gaps that could not be filled by free network television alone, I got a Roku box and relied on my Netflix subscription.  When Netflix changed its pricing model, I went to streaming only.  My Roku box also introduced me to other great and “free” streaming sources like Snag Films and Crackle.

To fill in gaps I can’t fill through Netflix and free services, I have purchased tv passes from Amazon On Demand (also through my Roku and online) for shows like Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead.  At about two bucks an episode, I’m able to watch these two shows with one day delay.  While it’s not instant gratification, it’s better than waiting a whole season to keep up with these shows which I love, love, love.  I choose to purchase these episodes rather than wait because I love to follow the weekly online recaps during the current seasons.

More recently, I find that I’m getting much more pleasure out of watching tv series on Netflix, including older stuff like Felicity and newer stuff like Revenge.  Instead of waiting week to week to watch each episode, I can catch up on an entire season in a week or less if I’m in the mood.  I just recently watched the second season of MTV’s Teen Wolf and was very excited today to see that season 1 of American Horror Story is now on Netflix streaming.  I could have purchased AHS episodes on Amazon, but now I don’t have to go that route.  And because I’m no longer so wedded to keeping up with so many shows when they are currently airing, I’m looking forward to Season 2 of AHS down the line.  

There are so many interesting and economical alternatives to traditional pay tv.  You just have to play around a bit and find what suits you.  Take it from me, you don’t have to be a slave to your cable provider.  Set yourself free.

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