Cable TV must die... / by Jonathan Fiero

Cable television has made the majority of us complacent with our daily, mundane lives. We live vicariously through strangers that don't even exist. Or even worse, they do exist, such as with "reality" TV, and are harming our society tenfold from traditional programming. There are educational shows available every so often, though even these are becoming rare, or they've turned to essentially mocking education for the sake of ratings. Take for example, the beloved "Shark Week" on Discovery Channel, where they now fill half the time with Sci-Fi like stories of giant ancient sea creatures, or they air re-runs and regurgitated footage from years past. Why do viewers care so much about what the Hiltons or Kardashians are doing with their lives, why watch a bunch of fools fight on a fake island setting, or several dozen men vie for the attention of one women?

Don't get me wrong, I think television can be healthy and is needed. It provides us with information from the world, or at least it used to. The 24 hour news cycle of Cable has completely bastardized the news industry and has shaken the core of honest journalism. We also need to relax and unwind, and perhaps not think about our lives for a moment and instead get lost in someone else's story. At this level it really isn't much different than reading a fictional novel. But it's 2015, we have ways of watching our TV shows and movies through companies like Netflix and Hulu for $8 a month each, YouTube has grown from cat videos and teenagers doing stupid things into a virtual library of real individuals' thoughts and documentaries that span any topic of your interest, just search for it! And there are plenty of cheap platforms we can use to watch TV without having to pay a renters and insurance fee on some archaic piece of equipment.

Sports are certainly an issue when deciding to abandon Cable, but does watching someone else win something really enrich your life to the point that it's worth spending around $100 a month just to watch. Most of the sports we want are simulcasted online already through these Cable companies or directly through the professional leagues anyway, but to keep feeding the Cable monopolies our home teams are only available for us to view through direct Cable television. This is wrong, we are being asked to subscribe to minimal programming of interest, for a large sum of money, just to watch our home teams; teams that we as citizens and tax payers support through merchandise purchasing, game attendance, and funding new stadiums. Yet for all the money we put in to these corporations, all we mostly get is better luck next year. 

I'm writing this because I recently pulled my minimal cable box from the wall once I really thought about the fact I was paying $700 a year incase something of interest might be on. And this was the cheapest plan available. If the majority decides what I have, that these boxes are frivolous, outdated, and a MAJOR ripoff, we might see a real change in the industry. I understand the industry is changing, many things are available for us to watch without Cable, but it's changing slowly because we all feel we have no choice. With many things in life we don't have a much of a choice. Our internet and cell phone service has become near necessity for modern life, we need food and water to live, gas for our cars to get to work, taxes must be paid so the government can attempt to better our roads and schools, and all of these things are becoming increasingly more expensive as well. But we need them. Cable, we do not.