I recently had my wallet stolen, well not actually my wallet, just the money that used to reside there. I know who took the money, in fact I’m sure most of you would recognize their names, Verizon and Comcast. The worst part about it is I can’t even call the police since the “theft” is entirely my own fault.
The conveniences modern technology has afforded us all comes with a price, literally. We have become a society that pays for services brought to us in a more advanced manner than was available when our parents were our age. The cell phone we all take for granted was not used by our elders. Television, while having only a limited number of channels, was free. The internet didn’t even exist, let alone being wireless. Then companies like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision and more came into our lives.
I am as guilty as anyone of not being able to survive without my cell phone. What I could do without every month is the envelope I receive in the mail from Verizon. My parents had a phone bill like everyone else, but that was just for a house phone. Something, ironically, I no longer have, yet my bill for a month of service is probably about what they paid for an entire year. I pay Verizon for not only my phone, but that of my fiance. We both have wireless internet on two separate laptops as well. I’m not complaining, much, these are all convenience I chose not to do without.
Television is not as much my fault as it is those who live with me, my fiance and three year old son. She loves to be able to unwind with a movie after a hard day at law school, and my son loves his cartoons. I would be totally satisfied with some Nascar, NFL, and CNN, and those aren’t entirely free so I guess I am a little to blame, but nowhere near as much as Comcast is.
Cable television is the best option for television where I live. The cable provider is Comcast, who like every cable provider offers packages. The problem is, and Comcast and Cablevision know this, is unless you live alone you are going to need to purchase one of the more expensive packages to satisfy everyone. The more diverse your household the higher priced package you will want. Again, like with my cell phone, I’m the guilty one for wanting to make those around me happy, but it’s Comcast who took my money.
When our parents talk of a simpler time we envision porch swings and lemonade stands. Maybe what they were actually talking about was a time when the phone bill was relatively cheap and television was free. Maybe the reason we have so many two income households is to pay for these expenses our parents never had. Comcast and Verizon are both a substantial expense in my household. I really do feel like I was robbed every time I send those payments off. Maybe as much of my money as that simpler time my parents talk of fondly.