We've all fallen prey to trends or peer pressure at some point. I jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, and I couldn't resist the allure of La Croix's clever product placement on social media. While some trends have lived up to their hype, others haven't-platform sneakers, dresses over pants and cutting the cable cord.
Most recently, I caved in and cut the cord because the media told me to. I thought I would save money and keep the benefits of cable TV. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. I quickly learned that there are several things cable TV provides that streaming doesn't.
Watching infomercials at 3 am
It's late on a Tuesday and you're wide awake. Maybe you're working on a last-minute project or you can't fall asleep. Whatever the reason, there's only one solution for making the night manageable - infomercials.
The cheesiest of shows on Netflix or Hulu can't replace the wonder of infomercials with hosts selling classics like the Shake Weight and Miracle Mop.
Even the highest speed internet isn't immune to outages, and some days your router refuses to give a great signal. What should have been a relaxing afternoon binge-watching Girls can turn into a frustrating hour of resetting routers and shouting at your screen while it buffers.
With cable, you can download music on your computer and your roommate can play online games without interrupting your TV watching.
Surfing channels when nothing good is on
There's no better way to relieve stress than surfing through channels. When there's nothing good on TV, you can still find pleasure in stabbing the channel button to sift through dozens of channels you didn't even know existed. You'll find something fascinating to watch eventually.
Fighting over the remote control
If you have any siblings, you likely remember fighting over the remote control to watch your favorite show. When you have cable TV, you can take a trip down memory lane and fight over the remote control with your roommate or spouse.
Who doesn't enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with lunging for the remote control on the couch or calling dibs on the TV so you can watch back-to-back episodes of Modern Family?
There are days and times when binge-watching is OK, but every weekend or every evening after work are not the right times. Cable TV allows you to learn the value of patience.
You have to record shows and wait to watch them. This lesson in patience also prevents you from turning into a complete couch potato, which is easily possible in this golden age of TV. Once you've watched your recordings, you can return to the real world.
Watching my favorite commercials
While DVR and On Demand give cable users the opportunity to avoid commercials, sometimes you don't want to. Whether it's the Super Bowl or a random Wednesday afternoon, we all have days when we enjoy watching commercials, whether we love them or love to hate them.
Streaming doesn't give me the option to suffer through hilariously bad ads, and what's life without choices?
Rediscovering forgotten TV shows
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and thought, "How did I forget about this song? It's so good!" With cable, you can stumble upon old TV favorites. Embrace the nostalgia and re-watch your favorite episodes from the past.
You may even discover a show you would never have seen otherwise if it weren't for the fact that nothing else was on TV.
Movies edited for TV are infamously bad. Swear words are replaced with random alternatives, good scenes are cut and the commercial breaks are at the best moments.
But this makes a movie you've seen a million times seem brand new again. There's something comforting about watching Pretty Woman and not knowing which scenes you won't see and what commercials will appear every fifteen minutes.
I never thought I'd say it, but switching to streaming isn't the key to TV perfection. Since cutting the cord, I've learned that cable TV doesn't have to be overpriced and can offer the best of both worlds. You get On Demand options when you need them and good old-fashioned TV when you want it. It's time to #bringbackthecord.