Cord Cutting Conundrum (The Era of Online Subscriptions)

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Cord Cutting is a term that broadly applies to individuals who choose to cut costly cable
subscriptions to switch over to a more affordable option or perhaps not renew any type of media
subscription. Years ago, it was convenient and efficient to bundle one’s TV channels of choice
with cable and an Internet Service Provider. Today most people I know no longer have cable just
internet and a plethora of 3rd party subscription services. The irony of such accessible media is
that people can have so many subscriptions that they can mirror the cost of traditional cable. I
think it serves as a reminder that more options may not always be affordable if a person isn’t

I would consider myself a late adopter of an internet-only household. I kept my cable provider for
ages, even though I barely watched TV. I wanted fast accessible internet but oftentimes
companies would give you an enticing bundle price for having both services. When I started to
look online for ISP-only options, I found them and they had pretty reasonable rates. But there’s
always an underlying nickel and dime cost with these deals. ISP providers would often let you
“rent” a router from them for $5-10 bucks a month, adding that up is $60-120 dollars out of your
pocket every year. When I did switch over to an ISP I purchased my own router for $15 dollars
and that was an expense I didn’t have to worry about. I would recommend purchasing your own
router as well. It’s very easy to set up even if you aren’t tech-savvy.

My next small mistake after I cut the cord was subbing to a lot of online media platforms like
Netflix, Hulu, Prime video, etc. When I was sitting down to look at my expenses I realized that
adding things up was reminiscent of my old cable bill. I wasn’t even watching a lot of programs
but when I saw all these fancy shows I thought “maybe I’ll watch them” but usually my attention
was elsewhere. What I now do is a sub to an online media platform subscription when a few
seasons of my favorite shows have wrapped up and then I know for sure that I will watch them. I
only keep one online media sub active to keep those costs lean.

In ending this small conversation about cord cutting it’s important to note how much media we
actually watch. The old cable providers are now in the online media space and if you aren’t
careful you’ll end up paying for cable in a completely new way. I love the freedom of choice that I
have now and I don’t have to pay for channels I no longer want but I don’t need active
subscriptions to all of them. What about you readers? Have you cut the cord? In what ways have
you saved money on your media consumption? I’d love to hear from you!


Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.

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