12 May 2018
Winchester Public Library
Winchester, MA, USA
CtCD – 9*
*”Cut the Cord Day” minus Nine
To paraphrase a well-known saying, “No one ever looked back on their life and said, “I wish I had spent more time on the internet.”
Well, I don’t want to look back on my life and say that I spent too much time on the internet. I’ve already wasted too much time. Oh, my friends and family will say, “But what about all those adorable baby pictures? And those pictures of so-and-so’s trip?”
They’ll still be there whether I slouch onto my ‘social media’ sites every day or once a week or once a month.
One of my dreams was to find a place to write without distractions: no TV, no internet, no phones. And for a long time, I knew of just such a place. Until now, I was, in my heart, fearful of that place, not because it was unfamiliar, but because it was very familiar.
That place was my home. All I would have to do is get rid of my cable bundle. If I did need the internet to, for instance, upload this article to my WordPress site – the free one, of course – I would have to plan my week so that I would be at a place that had free wifi.
My work has free wifi, but I don’t want to spend any more time there than I had to. My first choice is the library. I could go twice a week, on Wednesdays (after work) and Saturday late morning, and take care of all my internet needs: mail, social sites, etc. I could also upload any articles I had written. Finally, I would post the link to my articles on my social sites. And that’s about all I’d post to my social sites.
My blog site also allows me to ‘time’ my posts. For instance, this post probably won’t be uploaded for a couple of days, but I can set the posting date for today.
At this point in time, the internet is little more than reality-TV on steroids. People stroke each other or bleat at each other, self-perpetuating the cesspool it has become. “Look at this! Isn’t it wonderful?” Or, “Look at this! Isn’t this horrible?”
“This just happened, and it’s wonderful / horrible. But you’ll have to click on the link to find out where it is. And when you find out that it’s in China or Australia or India, you’ll be pissed. But we’ll keep posting this click-bait, and you’ll be back for more.”
But it took a relatively minor occurrence to finally get me to make the decision to go bundle-free at home. My cable provider took away my Adult Swim. I don’t even watch it that often. I like to watch King of the Hill and Bob’s Burgers occasionally, but that’s it.
And that’s not the only reason I am finally going to ‘cut the cord’. Another go-to network, Turner Classic Movies, has been showing either really crappy movies or the same movies over and over and over again. I could recite Sunset Boulevard, backwards and in Latin.
My Friday night habit, Live PD, is nothing more than a vehicle for cross-promotion, not to mention that fact that it has become very boring. How many times can one watch cops hassling black people – yes, cops do hassle black people – or watch them pick up yet another drunk off of the sidewalk?
As for my telephone, the only people who call me are telemarketers. There’s one person, I’ll call them Leslie, who is nice enough, but can be a real soul-sucker. Leslie also loves nothing more than the sound of their own voice. They’re the type that says, things like, “Someone should do something about X, Y, and Z.” Never will they say, “I did something about X, Y, and Z.”
So, nine days from now, I’ll call my cable provider and spend the better part of an hour cancelling my service. I’ll have already loaded the equipment into my truck so I can take it directly from work. And I will have already installed an over-the-air (OTA) antenna so I can watch my free TV, like I used to do when I was a kid.
On my library jaunts, I could also get DVDs out. And book – remember them?
I’ll have to pay the early termination fee, which pales in comparison to the $140+ I’ll save each month.
“Cut the Cord” Day is 21 May 2018.