We did it last week. We cut the cable. Our discount intro package expired years ago. The one where they hook you with a $99 package deal and then somehow 5 years later you realize you are paying over $300 a month. Actually it was $324 a month to be exact. The package was Internet, 1 phone line, cable, plus the movie channels. We realized we were using Netflix and Amazon Prime more than our actual cable box. Much cheaper options! I believe it was $99 for the entire year for Amazon Prime and Netflix is $11 a month after tax. Good deals! We decided to remove our cable box, but keep our internet (100 MBPS) and the 1 phone line and our bill is now $71.99 a month. That means we are saving over $250 a month! That is a huge deal!
We found that there are some other options out there, where you can still get channels and they are free. We went with a digital antenna for each TV in the home where we wanted the Network stations. It turns out that we get the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBC, FOX, and PBS) plus about 30 other random channels via the antenna. We bought several digital antennas, even one with a DVR! All these new antennas for the house at less than the cost of one month of cable. The cost for the channels per month with antennas is zero. That’s right, Zero. You can get the networks free! I watch the Today show in the morning and sometimes a sitcom in the evening. The kids watch the cartoons we allow from Netflix and Amazon. We get PBS on the antenna as well, and they have plenty of good shows we can record with the DVR. Gosh, what will my kids do growing up without MTV and movie channels? I think it’s a parenting win in the long run. I think we can live without “16 and Pregant” and “My Super Sweet 16”.
We are reading more and more about how kids are now more detached and having more emotional struggles. Suicide rates are at an alarming high. A link between high screen time and depressive/suicidal symptoms is shown in recent research: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171130170212.htm
I am happy to dial back the digital intake, for both parents and kids in our household, to promote interactive and creative activities that help our kids developmentally. It’s hard to reduce these things when they become teens and are more dependent on technology. We will take steps now to dial back screen time in childhood and create healthier activities and habits outside of technology. They only get childhood once. They have their entire lives to binge watch pointless TV programs (I do it myself). Keeping them on a shorter digital leash during these formative years can only help them emotionally in the long run. We arent throwing out our TVs or IPads. Don’t get me wrong, we still use technology plenty in our household. I am just going to be more cognizant of how much technology my kids are taking in during childhood. Smart phones won’t happen until 8th grade in our home. I will write about that in another posting. Even Silicon Valley execs are abiding by the “wait until 8th grade” policy for their own children when it comes to cell phones.
There are now indoor antennas (they don’t even look like antennas anymore). They are compact, usually sleek looking, and they deliver HDTV digital quality. There are many on the market now, with most costing under $50. They hook up directly to your TV indoors. Easy to use and it will pick up local stations and networks free for your viewing. If you are thinking about buying an antenna here is the link for an article about the best on the market right now. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/best-indoor-hdtv-antennas/