I’ve been confused, amused and curious about cord cutters. The idea that you could navigate modern monthly bills without the Cable Company seemed beyond me. I’ve grown more dependent on the cable company.I remember free. It was over the airwaves. TV and radio were public goods – and free!
Now that seems like a quaint concept.
If once you could connect to the “passive” world of entertainment, news and information by simply buying a $79.00 television that would last for a decade – not so once everything has gone digital. Although today the cliché is you can get everything free – I have found I have been paying a lot more. I now have a package from Time Warmer that includes my hard line phone (I’m of the age that I’m afraid NOT to have a landline) my Wi-Fi and my television. It is one of my most costly monthly bills but I would never cut the cord…Time Warmer is my lifeline to the world.
Now that Time Warner will merge with Comcast, I have a new corporate relationship. I know that of the merger is about getting bigger – they will have dominance in the negotiations about he future of information, news, video and TV. I read about the criticism of and the case for the merger. I want to understand it – but it feels like it is a “go.” Both companies are sophisticated media companies that are strategic, huge and dominant.
I feel like Ma Bell is back. I never had a problem with Ma Bell. It controlled my childhood cord to friends and the outside world. I kind of liked her. I “got” the debate when the courts broke up the monopoly and creation, disruption and the modern world of communication emerged.
I love most of the world that I now live in – phones that travel with me, news at the click of Twitter, the ability to “talk” by messaging those that really matter just about anywhere in the world.
But I know I’m paying for it. I’m paying a pretty huge cable bill since it offers all my needs at home – and I’m paying my daughter’s college cable bill. She meanders through this brave new digital world better than most I know, but while I’m willing to pay to cable her she isn’t cutting anything out. We also have the family monthly wireless phone bill that keeps us all linked outside the home.
It’s great. But it’s not free.
I remember that all I needed when I got my first job was enough money to pay the rent, the basic Ma Bell phone service and 50 cents for a subway ride to and from work.
Cable and the connection to everything the world offers is not an option in 2014. It’s a must that every new graduate must put in his or her monthly budget. Or is it?
Cut the cable? Not for my life.
No wonder these very smart companies are combining forces – Comcast and Time Warner will be stronger than ever. More indispensible. More powerful. More central to my life. I don’t pay for CBS or NBC or Google or Twitter. But when it comes to anything visual and digital I’m linked to my cord.
Cord cutters? They must just be more organized, strategic and determined than I am. But I also wonder if they are a named group of adolescents – like middle schoolers – a phase you pass through until you become a monthly bill payer.