Friday, January 4, 2013
10 Things I Hate About Having Cable TV
Recently, we were forced to change internet providers and the best deal all around was Comcast - who happened to have a bundle package that included cable for only a few dollars more than internet alone. My husband wanted it, I protested. He got the cable and I deal.
Therefore, I feel completely justified to speak out about what I feel is an unnecessary pain in the butt. Although I make it no secret that I dislike having cable in the house, it's not an argument. He compromises by keeping it to a minimum (basic cable) and helping me to monitor/restrict the television watching with our kids. We both make sure that the televisions stay off, unless we have intent to watch something (we don't channel surf, or have the T.V. on for background noise.) The children are not to have televisions in their rooms, either.
Although I recognize that television can be a positive parenting tool, and I appreciate Discovery, History and other channels that offer culture and education, here are ten reasons I hate having cable in the house:
1. My six year old asked for a pooping dog game for Christmas. The level of crudity on cable channels is far beyond what we typically see with public access television, even on the children's channels.
2. I just watched a horribly degrading episode of "The Ant Farm" on the Disney Channel, in which they used an adult little person to go "under cover" and pretend he was a child. Due to his stature, the children in the episode claimed he could not have been older than 8 years old, despite the fact that he looked nothing like a child. They also made him crawl through a dog flap in a door as part of the plot, because he was the smallest "child" in the group. I used that moment to teach my children about the unacceptability of degrading little people(a) but I'm sure many parents don't tune into their children's programming to even realize what they may be learning from it. Shame on you, Disney.
4. The so called educational channels have become much less about education and more about shock value and hype, that is so often the bread and butter of reality T.V. The focus is less on nature, history and science and more on highlighting subsets and creating series' based on danger, conflict and drama. It's common to hear several bleeped words per segment on our supposed educational channels.
Recently, while watching the History Channel, I easily deciphered the bleeped phrase said by a man who made such a disgustingly vulgar remark that I refuse to post it here. I don't understand the point of putting language like that on an educational program - especially on prime time, and can only surmise that they are catering to a younger crowd which requires that sort of vulgarity in their shows.
5. Too much news. With so many channels blaring what they call news, it feels like there is an overload of information. They compete with each other and now the internet, often employing shock-tactics to get our attention. It's no revelation that news channels are in competition with one another and that they push the envelope to try and report the rawest, most cutting edge stories that they sink to disgusting measures. Sadly, it works.
6. Having an unnecessary source of contention in my household. Having to monitor and limit the television really isn't that difficult at this point - it's not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. My kids aren't used to sitting down in front of the T.V., so it's not something that they gravitate to. I try not to engage in power struggles with my children, and to give them freedom within acceptable boundaries. The television watching is something that could easily become consuming for them and while it is not currently a problem, I worry that it could the longer it is here.
7. I miss Qubo. They have very little advertisement and they do not perpetuate inferiority complexes in young kids. I find the station to have very positive and empowering attitudes that they pass on to young kids. Unfortunately, they are not regularly picked up by cable and satellite networks in my area. My kids miss Qubo also, and their favorite shows: Jacob Two Two, Jane and the Dragon, Pearlie, and more.
8. Cable is less reliable than antenna tv. We rarely had interruptions or outages when we used antenna T.V. We've had several with cable, however, and we are never prorated or compensated on our bill for it. Also, antenna T.V. is totally free and I'm not loving having T.V. that I pay for. Especially when we watch it so little of it and only a few of the channels.
9. Having a higher level of advertisement directed at my children and myself. More T.V. means more commercials and often those commercials are shameless in their attempt to goad us into believing we need things that we don't. My children are not being raised with materialistic attitudes, and that is something that needs to be addressed when they are being hit harder with ideology that conflicts with our family values.
10. My teens now experience increased exposure to violence casual sex attitudes. We strictly monitor what the younger children watch in this regard, but my older boys are mature enough at this point to regulate themselves when it comes to programming. Of course they will watch movies and shows that I hate. I can only trust that my husband and my attitudes towards violence and casual sex - and our teachings in these regards will win out when it comes to the judgments our boys make about them.
Over time, I will either become accustomed to this intrusive element in my home, or else the novelty will wear off for my family members within a few months and we will cancel it. More likely the latter and I will only have to put up with it for a short period of time. As it is, the televisions stay off most of the day and the big tv in the family room will go days without even being turned on. In the meantime, I begrudgingly put up with it, and enjoy those few shows that don't overly offend me. I do like Pawn Stars, for instance.
(a) Mr. Woodburn [a little person actor] has developed certain rules for what he will and won't do in a movie. Like being lifted up as if he were a child. "I'm a 47-year-old man..."