The concept of “cutting the cord” has been getting increasingly popular in recent years, in reference to people canceling their cable TV or satellite subscriptions in favor of online content, streaming services, and in some cases nothing at all except a life free from television.
And with the rising number of people who are canceling their cable subscriptions in the United States, this can be a great time to consider how you and your family might fit into this trend. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
How Much TV Do You Watch in the First Place?
The first question is a simple one: how much TV do you and your family currently watch? Do you think you are getting good value from your subscription, or are other things taking up your time, so TV is often at best background noise?
If you barely turn on the television and have a cable subscription to have a cable subscription, it might be best to cut the cord. Chances are there’s another way to watch what you would like to on the rare occasion you have the inclination or the time.
Do You Want to Consume Content More Deliberately?
How often do you just turn on the TV and look for something to watch, as opposed to randomly search for something you know you want to watch and engages you either emotionally or intellectually?
Perhaps you can cut the cord and use it as a head-start towards something else you truly want to do, perhaps develop a reading habit or spending more time outdoors. Alternatively, if you feel your cable subscription is providing deliberate benefits and getting you access to programs you truly love, then sticking with it can be the best choice.
What Would Streaming Services Cost You?
Streaming services and other alternatives have a cost to them, just like your cable bill. Yet it likely won’t match what you pay for cable unless you get half-a-dozen services or more, which you likely won’t have time to watch. Do you think you could get everything you need for a lower price than cable?
Furthermore, do you have the necessary equipment? Many video game consoles have apps that allow you to stream from them relatively easily. Nearly every smart TV will have apps for the major streaming services. Barring this, there are boxes, services, and accessories for your TV that will allow you to stream most content. You might want to factor these small but potential costs into your decision-making.
To better inform your decision, we do recommend the quick task of writing down any streaming subscription services you would realistically use and their costs. Don’t forget that you can juggle your subscriptions back and forth each month as you finish the shows that you’re interested in.
Do You Watch Sports?
One of the things cable and satellite companies have traditionally held onto is greater access and control over sports broadcasts and sports content. Their hold over this sector has reached the point where households often must pay extra for packages for Football, Baseball, and other sports content.
While there are other options to watch sports, especially in recent years as some streaming packages have arisen, this is a factor you’ll want to investigate further before you cut the cord, if only so you’ll have a plan of action.
How Difficult Would Cancelling Be?
Are you currently at the start of a contract that would be difficult to cancel? Is your cable bundled with your internet service, and are there no reasonable alternatives for this necessary service for life in the modern era? These are a few other factors that you need to consider, as for some people it might be more economically feasible to wait out the contract or wait for a better opportunity to come along.
Conclusion: For some people, especially people who have lived with cable all their life, it can be a difficult choice to cut the cord and adjust to a new method. Some of you might be on hold to cancel your subscription right now as you read this. Either way, we hope that the above questions have spurred you into thinking about the cost of your cable and perhaps having a discussion with your family about the next steps forward.