If you spent any time in my living room, you’d find it hard to believe I survived three months without cable TV.
Actually, without any TV.
I moved back in February to a place that didn’t have a cable subscription. The most I could do was connect my WiFi-enabled TV to an online streaming service like Netflix and watch old movies and TV shows.
Which I wasn’t about to do.
I was relegated to catching up with my favorite shows — yes, mostly on Bravo — on my laptop. It’s not as fun watching the reunion of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” in five-minute segments, trust me.
Back in my old apartment, I had three TVs hooked up to cable. Three. And it was just me living there. It’s not like my dogs were partial to any particular TV program.
I guess you could say I was addicted to my television. Not in a super unhealthy way. I just liked having it on, whether I was watching it or not. I took comfort in Ina Garten‘s voice, explaining to me how to cook a perfect roast, or catching up with the latest news from the crew on NBC’s “Today.” It made me feel normal.
So when I moved here without cable TV, I thought I wasn’t going to last a week.
Turns out, I actually can live with it.
I found myself cooking more, reading more, and working more. (Not that I’m happy about that last part.) I took longer walks and surfed in the early evenings — not things I did before.
It was no surprise to me that the number of Americans who paid for TV through cable, satellite or fiber services fell by more than a quarter of a million in 2013, the first full-year decline. We’re using more online streaming services because we can, it’s free, and we’d rather pay for Internet than cable.
So even though 99 percent of U.S. homes have at least one television set, it doesn’t mean they’re all hooked up to cable services. (Just 56 percent of Americans pay for cable, actually.)
I still find comfort in flipping on the TV, though browsing the dizzying number of channels on digital is a bit daunting. It’s just nice to know it’s there whenever I need a distraction.
I just get way less done now.