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We can't decide: Should we get TV?

Joe and I are in a quandary right now on whether we should get cable televison.

We really like watching TV, but neither of us has ever had cable – growing up or as adults – and we’re not really sure we’re ready for that to change. Right now we have a system of renting television series on DVD from the library, streaming/downloading our current shows a few hours after they air, and listening to sports games on the radio.

At our old house, we had bunny ears that gave us four network stations. But the bunny ears at our new house only give us two network stations – and they aren’t the stations that show NFL games. (A big bummer for Joe, not so much for me.)

There are a couple different things playing into the struggle. 

CONS:

1. It costs money. 
The cheapest rate we can find, for the most basic cable or satellite package is $30 per month. And that’s the introductory rate, which they raise as soon as you’re hooked. I really hate spending money. And when I do spend money, I like to get my money’s worth. To do this with a TV package, I’d have to watch it all the time. Which leads to the next con.

I caught Joe wrapping tinfoil around our bunny ears this weekend to "attract more satellite signals." It didn't work, but I love him for trying.

I caught Joe wrapping tinfoil around our bunny ears this weekend to “attract more satellite signals” so he could watch football. It didn’t work, but I love him for trying.

2. I’d watch it all the time. 
I have no self control. That glowing box would be on 24/7. I’d get hooked on tons of crappy reality TV, HBO, Bravo, AMC, TLC, all of it. 

3. I don’t want Baby G growing up with a TV
Once I was at someone’s house, and their 5-year-old girl kept disobeying her bedtime because she heard “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on in the living room and she didn’t want to “miss out.” Eventually the parents gave in and let her watch the show, and pretended like this was the first time they’d done this. It clearly wasn’t though, because the kid knew all the characters’ names. I realize there are a lot of problems with this parenting scenario that go beyond having TV, but I also feel like if we aren’t careful we could end up there too. At that age, I was only exposed to “Reading Rainbow” and “Sesame Street”. I remember feeling kind of uncool with my friends for not knowing all the “Rugrats” characters. Some of you my age will understand this. 

PROS:

1. We wouldn’t be one of those obnoxious people that talk about how they don’t have TV. It’s the ultimate conversation killer! See conversation below:
You: Have you seen that hilarious commercial, where the..
Obnoxious person: (interrupting) No I haven’t because … (smiles smugly) I don’t have TV. 

2. We wouldn’t have to invite ourselves over to other people’s houses when we really want to watch something live. Like this: Hey, we should totally watch the Oscar’s together! At your place!

3. I might get skinnier
About once a month we go out to dinner at Chili’s so Joe can watch the 49ers game. I end up eating a ton of cheap appetizers out of boredom.

I’ve been reading a couple articles from beautiful, sweet little families who don’t have TV. Aww … and bleh. I can’t decide.

So there you have it. What do you think? Do you have TV in your home? 

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6 Comments

  1. Karis on December 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Haha! Carly, you crack me up! A couple things… I never had cable growing up and we’ve never paid for it since we’ve been married (though we did have a fluke situation where we got free cable for about a year — long story). When we did have free cable, we pretty much only watched sports. But usually you can find live streams of NFL or MLB games online without cable. For MLB, MLBtv is great… less expensive and you can watch all the games.

    But if you do get cable, if you think about G it will help you not get sucked into watching too much. For instance, you could make a rule not to watch tv until after her bedtime.

    Personally, I would do without the cable… we wouldn’t watch it enough or want to watch it enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like having excuses to go out to eat every once in a while to watch a game. 🙂

    • creatingmom on December 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Thanks for the reminder, karis … this is why we are friends. 🙂

  2. Julia Anderson on December 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    We’ve had cable before and I had it on all the time. Then one day I decided no more! I have a reality TV addiction and if we have cable, it’s bad. So the best choice for me is to not have it at all. I don’t want my son growing up addicted either. I’d vote no, but there are worse things in life, so don’t feel bad if you do get it.

    • creatingmom on December 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

      You have the reality TV addiction too? It seems like every time I visit a place with a TV I come home “addicted” to a new reality show. Then after being home a few days I forget about it. Having constant access though could be a problem.

  3. Lauren Markman on December 4, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I watched way too much TV as a child. We don’t have any cable in our house, and I love it. We can use Sesame Street from Netflix and Hulu as an occasional reward for my son, but we have found lots of other activities to fill our nights. Not having TV has really worked for us and we are making memories of Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders not of cartoon episodes.

    • creatingmom on December 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Sesame Street is on Netflix? That is really cool. And a bunch of other stuff is on Netflix, so for like $9 a month we can have access to a lot of good stuff… Hmmm…

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