Is life without cable television really living?


Arthur Siqueira

Is a life without cable TV worth living? Senior Aisha Sowe explains why growing up without cable wasn't always the worst.

Aisha Sowe, Associate Editor

If you’re an early 2000s kid, you likely grew up with TV shows like Hannah Montana or Danny Phantom.

I have never watched a single episode of these shows.

If you’ve just figured it out, yes, I grew up without cable television for the first 11 years of my life. My parents decided to not get cable because they thought paying a bunch of money for 100+ channels was not something they wanted to do. So we just stuck with what we had and watched television with fewer channels.

Was it easy? I mean, yes and no. There were a lot of pros and cons. I didn’t complain or ask if we could get cable. But I did wonder what would it be like to watch SpongeBob every day after school. Whenever I went to someone’s house, all I wanted to do was watch TV.

There were only two kid-friendly channels I could watch: PBS Kids (which everyone knows) and Qubo. Even though there were many channels out there, I didn’t mind just having those two channels. Most of those channels were educational, so growing up they were helpful for me when I started school.

They weren’t all about learning how to spell or count. There were episodes in some shows that covered touchy subjects. Some of the shows I watched touched base on issues with bullying, insecurity, and discipline. In a way, it helped me understand how to handle those kinds of situations and their importance.

In an episode of Arthur, one of the characters was diagnosed with cancer and each of the characters were trying to figure out ways to help take care of her. I thought it was a great idea for kids at a young age to learn how to deal with situations like these when they occur.

Although I enjoyed watching a couple of channels, I wished that I had cable like most people did. I used to watch commercials with my parents, from companies like Direct TV and Verizon, hoping that they would actually consider paying for cable. I never asked or begged them, I just waited until they would finally agree. But of course, that never worked, until we moved.

When we moved houses, my dad finally made the decision to pay for cable. We ended up getting Verizon, which was likely expensive and we had to pay lots of money just to get channels that we would never watch.

Getting cable was honestly a miracle. I had discovered that you could record an episode or movie so you could watch it later. On top of that, I started watching those Disney and Nickelodeon shows that I’ve always wanted to see.

My family only had it for a few years, until we moved again and got rid of cable for good. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit upset that I had to go back to being “old fashioned,” but in the end, I enjoyed it. I learned a lot from both experiences, being with or without cable.

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