Thursday, October 28, 2010

No. More. Election. Ads.

For the last few weeks my friends and family have complained about the incessant election advertising constantly bombarding them.  Most ads are mean spirited, all are annoying and according to NPR's fact checking, most of them are "Barely True."

It's a problem I have a great deal of sympathy for, but one that, thankfully, I no longer have to deal with myself.  In fact, it's been many years since I've seen an election ad and now I only see them when I purposely choose to go on YouTube and look at one being ridiculed on a national (or international) level, such as Christine O'Donnell's recent (and I must say, HILARIOUS) "I'm Not a Witch" ad:

How did I get so lucky? Well, when my daughters were very young, we chose to eliminate cable television.  We had many reasons for this, and certainly an important one was keeping them free from advertising assaults.  I knew though, that the greatest risk was that I might use the "babysitting" benefits of TV a bit more than I ought.  It was just too easy... always there, always on and a guarantor of instant peace from wailing toddlers.  Now, I'm no saint... I kept the DVD player!  Occasional peace is something I value quite highly and there was no way I was going to go cold turkey.  Nevertheless, this decision gave me a measure of control I'd forgotten about.  I chose the DVDs and I chose when we watched them.  This has worked out amazingly well for my daughters.  They still watch plenty of TV, but very little of it is advertising and I choose the content.

Everything is on DVD or netflix, so we don't feel deprived in the slightest.  In fact, when my kids watch a show like "I Love Lucy" at their grandparents' house, they can't figure out why said grandparents put up with those stupid commercial interruptions every few minutes.  How can they stand it?

When I tell people we don't have cable, they often look at me as though I've told them we don't breathe air.    It's a hard concept for people to grasp at first, but it really has made our lives better.  I now make election decisions based on my own research.  I get my news on the internet, on the topics I'm specifically interested in -- which means that if I don't consider finding out who got voted off Dancing with the Stars last night to be NEWS, I just don't click on that particular news byte J.  Yippee!  I still watched EVERY SINGLE episode of "Lost" and "Mad Men" is an obsession I won't easily give up.  But, come November 2nd I won't need to celebrate the end of election ads -- I can just celebrate... well, my birthday, which happens to fall on election day!


  1. we don't have cable either... I don't WANT to spend $20-$30 a month on it & netflix instant is cheaper & has lots of good stuff... ($10/month)... and Hulu and other free tv/movie sites are pretty good, too...

  2. You're right Jessica -- there are so many options now -- you can really just choose ONLY those things you want to see. I'm guessing it'll just get better too.

  3. If only I am so lucky:(
    I have Comcast for broadband internet access and, for some reason best known to this company, I will pay MORE for internet service if I do not have basic cable bundled with it than if I do. So, every month, I fork over $17 for basic cable I really don't want. And another $50 for internet access.

  4. -- You make me grateful I don't have Comcast. We have CalNeva (which basically means the internet is down half the time)!