How I learned to cut the cable cord and embrace YouTube

I don’t watch any TV shows on a regular basis.

(Illustration by Jerry Meade)

That might be expected if I’m busy during the semester, but it’s been the case for well over a year now.

Not long ago, I had shows I looked forward to watching every weekday night when a new episode released. Even a night that I wasn’t able to watch a new episode, I would record and catch up as soon as the weekend hit.

What changed this practice?

Well, YouTube ultimately consumed my interest.

YouTube’s nothing new. Starting in 2005, it’s been the No.  1 video-sharing site for a reason, and everyone recognizes the platform.

Yet, not everyone has become as reliant on it for quality content as I have.

Sure, I could catch up on episodes through various streaming services, but that can be a chore even with a series I greatly enjoy. Keeping up with shows seemed to be too daunting of a task for me.

I find YouTube to be a channel of media unlike any other, with the amount of control one has to watch a specific topic being nearly endless.

Sure, cable television has hundreds of channels to choose from. But oftentimes, even after scrolling through all channel selections aimlessly, there still seems to be nothing on.

That problem doesn’t exist on YouTube.

On YouTube, there is always something to watch, whether it’s being searched for or recommended by the site’s algorithm.

I find the engagement aspect of YouTube to be a vital part of its charm as well.

Oftentimes, content creators will engage with their subscribers, make a connection between the viewer and the video. The same can’t really be said with TV. There’s a fourth wall of viewer interaction that just can’t be crossed.

I also feel the length of videos that can be found on YouTube also factor into its accessibility.

Prime-time shows often take 30 minutes to an hour each episode, with a number of commercials throughout.

Even without having the YouTube Premium service that blocks ads, watching YouTube videos with an advertisement or two throughout is much easier to sit through than what’s on television.

Now I understand not everyone is as anti-television series as I am. Yet I believe one thing has to be acknowledged.

Cable TV is no longer needed for decent content accessibility.

Say there’s a show airing that one still wants to watch. Odds are, there are multiple ways to stream it online.

The awe of how many channels are included in a cable package is no longer relevant in today’s day in age.

What matters is the volume of content that is available, with the plethora of media on YouTube and other streaming services being unmatched. The fact that streaming services are cheaper than cable is an added bonus.

I would encourage people to really dive into the content YouTube has to offer.

Even if there are a number of shows that you have a desire to keep up with, consider switching from cable to streaming instead.

You’d be surprised at how much money you save and new media you discover.