Yeah, you read it right - we've been free of cable television for a year now! In fact, we didn't even bother with bunny ears, so we've been free of all live television for a year now (in our home at least).
When we first moved in together in 2008, we lived in a small apartment and our dining table (a worn, retro-diner style one) sat in our living room, near the TV. We started out by eating our meals happily there, visiting about our days. However, after awhile we started watching part of a movie during Friday night dinners, and watching a little more the following morning while we ate breakfast. And since the couch was so close by, we would vacate the table and lounge on the couch, snacking away while we continued to watch. Dishes piled up, and little was accomplished after meals (unless you count finishing a movie). PVR exacerbated the problem. While recording shows meant we didn't watch stuff we weren't interested in, nor commercials, it meant we could catch a bit of Grey's while we ate breakfast before work, or a little Flashpoint during lunch. We began to watch TV with EVERY meal and then some. EW!
When we found out we were expecting JC, we started thinking about cutting the cable (it was satellite at the time, actually). However, we moved into a new apartment which put our table (we bought a new used one - wood this time) in the kitchen, and the TV upstairs in the loft. We decided that having the TV and the table separated by a whole floor would be enough. And it was ... at first. But then we ordered pizza one Friday night and decided to eat it while we watched a movie (on demand). And then on a Saturday morning we ate our breakfast while we watched another movie ... and, well, you get the idea.
Finally, one night, we were flipping through the "on demand" movies and tried to order one, but we kept getting a message that the program was too busy. It gave us a support number to call, so we called them. My husband spent some time arguing with the voice on the other end, repeating that if we are going to pay for a service, we expect to receive it - on demand!! We must have spent an hour trying to get the movie between trying and re-trying and calling the cable company.
That is when we knew it was time to cut the cord (or cable, rather).
(Besides, I was terrified that I would sit down on the couch with the baby, flip on the TV, and miss her childhood because I was absorbed in daytime TV.)
Once the cable was gone, we started going for walks every night. It was good exercise in general, but it gave us a chance to chat, scope out houses, and stretch my pregnant body. We were even a little more on top of dishes!
Since JC's birth, we've bought a house and moved in. The TV is FAR away from the table, and we RARELY eat lunch or dinner in front of it. Sometimes on weekends if JC is sleeping and the weather is lousy we'll eat breakfast while we watch part of a movie, but that is sure to stop once JC starts eating breakfast with us. Also, once we finish the basement, the TV will be banished from the main floor.
We still watch Grey's and a couple other shows by watching them online from the broadcasters' websites, but only occasionally, and it's FREE! We have more DVDs than I am comfortable admitting (though we do not plan to purchase anymore and may sell a good chunk of what we own), and we also borrow movies from the library for FREE!
Yes, by cutting the cable, we've saved money, upped our exercise, and most importantly, we are LIVING OUR LIVES rather than watching other people's made-up lives! And it feels GREAT!