User Input

User Input: Cutting The Cord (Again)

Once upon a time, we did a post about the wild, crazy and revolutionary idea of cutting the cord. At the time, we were talking about the idea of getting rid of your landline telephone. Amusingly, when we wrote that, it was still a pretty weird idea, and a great many people were still insisting on keeping theirs. Now, though, times have changed. In fact, I think Techie and my elderly parents are the only people I know who still have one.

Oh wait, actually, that’s not true. I actually have a landline now as well, although I have no idea what the phone number is, and I think I’ve only ever received one phone call on it. I only have it because my internet provider gave a percentage discount on my overall bill if I bundled multiple services together, and the amount of the percentage they would deduct was greater than the cost of a basic landline. So by adding a service, my bill got cheaper.

And in fact, the reason I had to go that route in the first place is the simple fact that I’ve cut all other cords altogether. I was reminded of this fact when I received a phone call from my cable internet provider, asking if I was aware that I seemed to have “accidentally” cancelled all my television services — almost three years ago.

Don’t I realize, they asked me, all the magnificent programming I was missing? No, I explained, I have Netflix.

Ah, they countered, but the news! I couldn’t watch the news! To which I explained that you could actually find the news on the Magical Mystery Internets.

Ah, but sports! Surely I missed watching all my favourite live sports! 

After a lengthy argument where I attempted to explain that I had precisely no interest in any of those sportsball matches or even the slidy-fighty-icy-punchy stick-disc game that’s so popular up here in Canada, they gave up, apparently quite angry with me.

Which begs the obvious question: How far have you gone in cutting the cord, and how attached do you remain to any other anachronistic throwbacks to the early days of telemedia?

[Image Source: The Designer Monologues]

  • Victor

    Gave up cable TV years back, use an antenna for the local weather and PBS. Put together a massive movie collection over the years and that keeps me amused. Have not had a land line in fifteen years. Have a cell phone but few have the number. Still pay too much for internet service but nothing I can do about that.

    • My girlfriend got one of those new digital tv antennas. Works great! Every now and then I’ll record a program she doesn’t get on my DVR and transfer it to HVS to watch at her house.

      • Victor

        That is what I,a have flat thin piece of plastic that works well.

  • (1) I still have a land line but no cell phone.

    (2) My television died in the late 1990s and I’ve never bothered to fix or replace it.

    In both cases, so far, so good.

  • 0A5599

    I have never had a cable subscription in my name, though I have lived in apartments where cable was included, and I watched it.

    I don’t generally watch much television these days. Sometimes I go a month or more without powering it up. Sometimes I find a great sale on a television with much better technology than my old relic, but then I remember it will barely get used, while adding the old one to a landfill. My wife has Amazon Prime for the free shipping, and I’ve never bothered using the password for TV.

    I do have a landline, but it’s basically used to receive voicemails and as a phone number to give out when you HAVE to give out a real phone number to people you don’t want to talk to. Warranty registrations and loyalty discounts–things like that. That phone is never answered.

    • …I should look up what my phone number is for just that purpose. I don’t have to give out a phone number unwillingly very often, but in those rare instances when I do, that’s probably the best number to give, and a worthwhile use of an otherwise-unused landline. There’s no voicemail, no caller ID, nothing, and the phone connected to it is a half-step above an old rotary-dial phone, so they can call it all they want, I’ll never know.

      • Q. I tried to call to see what kind of food you wanted, but the phone kept ringing.
        A. I took the bell out 20 years ago.

  • I have a triple play with Verizon for about $120 a month. I get super fast internets, most mid-level tv channels with a DVR, and a land line. My library had most DVDs and Blu Rays that I could ever want. Every now and then I hear of some show that’s only available on Netflix or Hulu but at the end of the day, I probably watch too much tv already. I’ll probably switch over to Cablevision soon for the signing bonus as they offer an essentially similar program. Since I don’t “buy” any of their movies online, I have no reason to stick with any one provider.

    I have never had a cell phone but when my job needs me to have one, they let me use theirs. All friends and family are advised to act as if all calls and texts are 100% monitored and to call me on it only in the case of emergency. I am not a medical doctor nor am I that interesting to talk to so trust me, leave a message on the land line, it can wait.

    So my question is this: Is anyone paying less than $120 a month all in for their communication and media package? By my maths an off brand cell phone, premium internet and a couple of streaming services would put me right in this territory. Plus, people would be able to call me when I’m not home! The horror!

  • Victor

    Tried to have a computer free day last week,did not make it until noon.

  • Fuhrman16

    I haven’t had any sort of television provider since I left tech school back in 2010, and even then that was because it was included in my rent. There simply not enough programs on the air that I enjoyed to warrant buying cable or anything.
    Haven’t ever had a land line, just a cell phone. I wound up getting a smart phone four years ago when my old phone started having issues. It seems to be pretty mediocre at everything it does.
    I do have the internet, but no wifi or anything. I prefer to use a desktop computer.

  • P161911

    Just realized that this wasn’t an ancient post.
    6 or 7 years ago I dropped cable TV for 2 or 3 years. I put up a big antenna and got all the local network stations in HD. Then I got creative and ran a LAN cable to each of the three rooms in the house with a TV. None of these were smart TVs at the time, but I hooked them up to various Roku boxes, video game systems (PS3, XBOX360, or even Wii) and was able to watch streaming programming. I even got a program called PlayOn that allowed someone not so familiar with torrents and such to watch lots of TV shows that might not otherwise be available. There were a couple of cable TV shows that I wanted to stay current with and watch, I was able to purchase a season subscription via one of the video game systems for about $20, much less than a monthly cable bill. Eventually my cable/internet company called and offered me non HD TV service for an extra $5/month, that was about what it was worth to me. Then we moved and my daughter got older and wanted to watch more kids shows, I went with a much bigger cable package that included a DVR. The DVR is the only way that I am able to watch current TV shows now, there are some TV shows that I want to watch that my 5 year old either doesn’t want to or shouldn’t watch. With the DVR I can watch after she goes to bed.