Approximately six weeks ago – after months of deliberation – I cut the cable cord and switched to a streaming service that offers live TV as well as access to a library of shows and movies.
I can’t describe the process as painless. Indeed, there are aspects of cable that I miss including their handy onscreen guide and the old people TV stations. Otherwise, streaming and I were getting along fabulously until last Sunday night.
With a baseball game on the TV and the laptop in my lap, I was living the dream. Suddenly, an alert popped up on said laptop. It seems my Internet company was warning that I was danger of reaching the limits of my Internet usage.
The company offered an upgrade – for a price – but any longtime reader of this-here space can predict my reaction to that offer. As soon as the game concluded, I stopped streaming and did not resume until my next billing cycle began six days later.
Yes, that means I missed Aaron Rodgers’ second week as guest host on Jeopardy!
At this point, you might be asking yourself two questions, “Self, didn’t she realize all that extra streaming would result in more Internet usage? Also, self, doesn’t she have unlimited usage?”
As for the first question, apparently, I hadn’t realized it.
As for the second question, I’m assuming you’re new around here. On the other hand, one of my besties, a person who has known me since college, asked the same question. As if I would pony up the money for unlimited usage.
For the final week of the billing cycle, I checked my usage obsessively. Thankfully, regular net usage doesn’t utilize many bytes. To be on the safe side, though, I didn’t watch any social media videos of cats and only accidentally shared gifs last week.
But I can’t live in a silent house. The over-usage was caused, in part, because I had been utilizing streaming music services during work days instead of listening to my music. I will not make that mistake again.
A bigger problem is that I was streaming nonstop the rest of the time. In fact, occasionally I streamed on the TV in the living room whilst simultaneously streaming music on my iPad as I walked on the treadmill in the evenings. I also streamed on the TV whilst reading. And cleaning. And cooking. And weed eating. And showering. And, well, you get the point. Such is my need for background noise that one weekend I streamed a lacrosse game. Or was it a match? Beats me because I know nothing about lacrosse.
I did have the good sense to turn off the TV and the streaming device when I left the house or who knows when I would have received the alert from the company.
Thanks to that alert, I didn’t go over. But if I had gone over because of, let’s say Aaron Rodgers, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But if I had gone over because of a lacrosse game/match that I didn’t even watch? Oh, I would have kicked my own expletive for that.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.