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I am curious about this because I wasn't even allowed to have a TV for many years as a child and didn't get cable until I was well into my teens. It was even longer before I got a VCR and my parents started renting movies for us to watch.

I feel that this made me even more isolated when I was young. I didn't know what was "in" and what was cool. I couldn't have followed the trends if I wanted to because I wasn't watching TV. I wasn't listening to music and didn't have any records or cassettes either.

If you didn't get it until later, do you think this had a serious affect on you and your ability to fit in with everyone else?
 

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My family got cable long after others because we were poor.

I have gone without it for long periods of time before but currently have DirecTV and one of the fuller packages. I like some HBO and SHOWTIME shows and love the OnDemand. I also enjoy the Smithsonian channel.
 

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We always had basic cable. Which consisted of eight channels. Nothing entertaining for a kid growing up. Saturday morning cartoons aside.

I remember getting up at 3am to catch the 50's/60's cartoons (Crusader Rabbit, Cool McCool, etc.) they played before the more mainstream shows came up.

Not too many people had a full cable subscription in my area. If they did, they were probably wealthy and they did not really hang out with you anyway..

Once in a while we would get promotional deals on weekends where the cable providers gave you all the channels for a free trial. That was the perfect weekend. Watching HBO, FOX, Nickelodeon, MTV, etc etc until they switched you off... This was back in the early 90's mind you.. The only time I could get my 'Simpsons' or 'Ren and Stimpy' fix. Unless you traded a VHS copy in school.. or in my case, one of my aunts used to mail tapes of those kind of shows to me.
It wasn't long until that was shut down. Mom did not approve at all. I don't think many generation Y kids can recall how The Simpsons used to ruffle people's feathers. Then Beavis and Butt-head arrives to jump in front of the bus.

My folks subscribed to full cable after we all moved out. I don't have a subscription myself.
 

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First time I connected my cable was back in 2000. Ive had cable and satellite for many years up until now ive decided to get rid of it.
 

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I'm 34, and my family got cable when I was about ten years old. We had it on the television in the living room, and my parents had it in their bedroom as well. I wasn't allowed to watch much of anything until I got a little older. Eventually I had cable in my bedroom as a teenager, and I think it only made me more isolated. I would lock myself in my bedroom for hours, watching cartoons and MTV. Interestingly, I dumped cable TV about eight years ago. I don't watch television at all now. It's just crap.
 

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I believe my parents already had it when I was born because I don't ever remember not having it. My grandfather was in the antennae and satellite business and I remember watching satellite at his house when I was a kid, too. The dishes were enormous back then. We didn't upgrade from cable to satellite at home until I was a teenager though.

I can't say that it ever helped me fit in any better, I had a pretty awful time in grade school and to a lesser degree in junior high. I don't think I ever really cared what was "in" until I got into junior high anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can't say that it ever helped me fit in any better, I had a pretty awful time in grade school and to a lesser degree in junior high. I don't think I ever really cared what was "in" until I got into junior high anyway.
I certainly remember one of the biggest problems I had fitting in was that many of the other kids seemed to know things I didn't. They kind of seemed to be in a club that you only belonged to if you gave a knowing laugh at a certain joke or if you could talk about what was on TV. Obviously, if you weren't watching TV, you didn't belong in a conversation about it.

Even if they just mentioned something that was popular, I felt like an outsider because I had no idea what they were talking about. This was compounded by the fact that I didn't have (or want) any friends who could tell me what it was about.
 

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A little more info about my entry into the 20th century. I had been able to watch bits and pieces of things on cable for many years. My grandmother had a very basic cable lineup but she didn't have channels like MTV (or basically any of the really good ones) and she didn't have any premium channels like HBO.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the first time I had cable for myself was around the time I was about 16. We had just moved into a "new" house. The short story about that is that I had a friend and a GF my parents didn't approve of so they moved me away from them.

Anyway, I found that the only thing I had to do in order to get cable in this house was to connect the wires in the basement. So I had cable for a few days or something and my parents being the goody two shoes they were called the cable company and had them come out and disconnect it while I was at school one lovely day.

Well, I don't think it was too much longer after that until I convinced them to officially get it back. About a year later, we moved into an apartment and actually got HBO for the first time.
 

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Got it back in 1997 in England then moved here and got it as part of the HOA, Standard cable free but upgraded to HD.
 

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We got cable when I was a kid, around 1981 or 1982. When I moved out, I never bothered to subscribe to cable myself, and I still don't. I've probably saved thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years.
 

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Didn't have cable where I grew up. Just the 5 over the air channels out of Des Moines, Iowa, but on a clear summer night we could get the channels out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was kind of snowy, but you still could watch them. Occasionally I could get a channel out of Kirksville, MO, and also sometimes I could get a channel out of the Quad Cities. One time I even got a channel out of Raleigh, NC. It was crystal clear in color. It lasted for about 30 minutes then went snowy. I don't know what was causing this. We had low clouds that day that extended clear to the east coast. Must of been reflecting the signal a long ways. Didn't have cable until I moved to the UP of Michigan which I was 25. There aren't any tv station here. The closes one is 100 miles away in Marquette. So everyone has cable or a satellite dish. Did see bits of pieces of cable programming when going to relatives in Des Moines, and hotel rooms. Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's people had set top boxes hook to the tv. To change the channels you had to push the buttons on the unit to change the channels. This is when most people had tv's with rotary dials you turned to change channels. Two dials one for VHF and UHF.
 

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weird

Big advantage not to have TV.

It was an addiction

Parents had UK co-ax aerial colour with no remote. Had to select channels by tuning in like a radio. Got some noise otherwise. Silver push buttons let me find a frequency for each button.There were only 3 channels when I was 3. I recorded the sound with my tape recorder. For Knight Rider, A-Team, Dukes of Hazard.

Think I saw cable visiting friends in San Jose, who must have had nigh royal privileges in the 1980s

Where I lived in the last 2 decades, you have to be a bit close to London to have cable

Life in a log cabin in woods with a boat for a lake and no communications might be a better life, to get an executive job in New York

Don't think you need education for that. Just laugh a lot and eat lotsa food
 
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