Remember Mel Gibson in Brave Heart when he was being persecuted and yelled, “Freeeeedoooom!” in his last dying breath? That was me yesterday. I cancelled my cable service.
After years of tyranny and oppression I broke the chains.
That’s right, I’m a free man with $120 extra per month in my pocket. The cable dictatorship has been shaken by two major advances: My family’s total disinterest in cable programming and the increased availability of media online.
I was in captivity for years, moving house to house, making the important first calls to activate service at each new locale. I was addicted. Not to TV programming but to having it available.
We rarely watched TV.
The First Step: The kids watched the occasional show, hand picked by us and always prerecorded via DVR or online streaming. The adults consumed a show or two a week, older seasons or the current season via DVR. I realized the media conglomerates might be able to shape what we watched but never where and when. This was the first step to realizing my independance.
The Key: Thank you Steve Jobs for showing me the way. Because I am American, I came to understand that I couldn’t live without programming altogether so I needed a mechanism to consume media from my couch while eating chips and salsa. Steve Jobs provided me with Apple TV, I use Hulu and Netflix to choose what I want to watch anytime; I get news and time sensitive media (like this blog) via any of our several internet worthy devices.
The 40 minute wait on hold with Time Warner Cable was a pleasure. The consistent call backs to ask me if I was sure I wanted to cancel were invigorating.
“Yes, I’m sure Time Warner, you no longer own me or my people.”