Unplugged. That’s a scary thought in this day when everything appears to revolve around electronic devices and the hundreds of options for mindlessly watching television shows — some that you don’t even like — for no other reason than to have a noise in the room, a “virtual” companion or a diversion from the difficulties of life.

I’m all about having a mindless diversion occasionally and didn’t really think I had the guts to let go of cable TV. I had toyed with the thought. After all, I “unplugged” from social media more than two years ago and survived. But somehow, TV was different. That little box in the corner of the living room has always been there, just as the black-and-white version from the 1960s and then later, the color version, had been in my parents’ living room from my earliest remembrance. Three channels, airing programs from early morning until midnight, I believe. Selections were limited, which may have been a blessing in disguise since the only remote control was your two feet walking to the set to change channels. When remotes came on the scene, and channel selection grew into the hundreds, all it took was a simple click and you could surf them all without breaking a sweat, watching the world flash by in bits and pixels until something caught your interest.

All this changed about a month ago. I turned on the TV set, it came on for a split second, and then a number code as well as “No signal” flashed on the screen. This does happen occasionally when the cable company has a blip so I thought nothing of it and went on to do something else. A couple of days later, I knew this was more than a blip and reported it by chatting online with an agent with a foreign name. He did the usual testing and finally decided that my cable box is in need of a technician. An appointment was set up for June 18.

Confirmation text and email told me the appointment was for June 25. OK, no problem, I thought. I can go without TV for a week longer.

June 25 came and went; no tech, no other communication. Being the stubborn type, I decided to wait for them to contact me. I waited in vain, and since I had other things to do, I let it go until I got the bill and found I had been charged for that month of no service. That’s not going to work out at all. Back to the messaging, back to another foreign name. This agent said he couldn’t help me and sent me to another agent with another foreign name I can’t pronounce. Yes, he said, I needed a tech to come by because the problem is with either the line or the cable box. We set up a time for Monday, and he generously offered me $30 for my inconvenience.

Whoa, there, hoss. I’ve had no service for a month, plus the other tech didn’t show, and all you’re offering is $30? What about a refund of that month as well as the credit for a missed appointment?

Oh, he said, I am not authorized to do that. You will have to call this number and they will determine what the refund is.

I’m going to postpone calling until I see if someone actually shows up on Monday. In the meantime, and I am amazed at this, I have not missed having cable at all. If I really want to watch something, I can do so online through my computer—and I’ve found that there’s very little I actually want to watch. So why keep the cable service, except to entertain the grandchildren when they come to visit?

I’ll be doing some checking into what the company is charging me and make a decision after that. Unfortunately, customers must now go through an agent to see the details of what they are paying for, and I have dealt with enough agents with foreign names for awhile.

In the meantime, I am quite content with the sounds of silence and clicking keyboard keys. Too content.

Perhaps “unplugged” will be my new lifestyle?

We’ll see.

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at

LindasInkyfingers@

comcast.net

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