The phrase “Cord Cutter” came into my sphere of awareness recently. It’s an American phrase meaning people who have cut their cable TV contract and now typically rely on the internet for their TV viewing. They’ve cut the [cable TV] chord. In the good ol’ U of K, we’re more satellite and arial kinda people, but we’re still cutting the virtual chord to traditional TV broadcast, in our droves. We, (at DragonDrop towers) have been cord cutters for about 6 years or so now. Chord cutting is actually incentivised in the UK if you think about it – if you cut the cord (elect not to watch or record television as it is being broadcast) you do not have to pay for a TV Licence, thus saving £145.50 per anum.
What are we missing?
For me, the biggy, is the cricket. Even though I’d have to pay for a Sky Sports subscription to watch this, I’d still have to fork out for a TV licence on top. That aside though, I can still listen in to the arguably better BBC coverage on the Radio, which you don’t need a licence for.
The live broadcast stuff that I think I can do without though, is the Adverts. The mindless drivel. Britain’s got Strictly Come X Factor, get me out of The Dragon’s Apprentice.
All the good stuff, we can access on Teh Interntz, Netflix and/or LoveFilm. I think that’s the way it’s all going – “TV on Demand” they call it. The plain old TV, you get what you’re given days are over. We no longer live in a world where (like, when I were a lad) there are only 3 channels. (I remember watching the birth of Channel 4). We live in a world where we can choose what we want to watch and when we want it. ‘Scheduling’ has perhaps, had it’s day.
Since giving up TV, I’ve spent the thousands of hours that I used to spend, doing other stuff. Stuff like watching what I want, reading, writing, gaming, learning, going places, cooking, making, building.. and music – both live and recorded, playing and being played to. As far as life goes, I think I’ve had more out of it since we cut the chord. I’ve unfortunately, not been able to take part in several “ooh did you see such and such on TV last night?” type conversations, but again, I feel, I can live without that. Telling people I don’t watch television when confronted with the aforementioned, possibly sparks a better conversation than the one we were about to have anyway. If it was good, I can always catch it on the BBC iPlayer, or other channel’s equivalent. Only the really good stuff bubbles up to the surface that way.
The first proper live concert I ever saw incidentally, was Neds Atomic Dustbins, who’s closest thing to a hit single was “Kill Your Television”. Sage advice, Thanks Neds. I took it to heart. Not so long after this release, the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy sang the line “Television, drug of the nation, breeding ignorance and feeding radiation”. I’ve just re read their lyrics for that song. I think they were onto something.