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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

Cutting the cord

coaxby Dale Burgos

It’s time to cut the cord. I’m feeling an unnecessary need to always be connected. Plus it costs way too much!

“Dale, what are you talking about?” you ask.

I could be referring to the willingness for Millennials (otherwise known as Generation Y) to stay home with Nanay and Tatay for a longer period of time. I can’t blame them, how does one afford real estate these days? I recently read an article that a renter of a 600 square foot apartment in downtown Toronto was facing a 150 per cent rent increase! And don’t get me started with the housing costs in BC. Thankfully, I don’t live in Vancouver, so I’m better off, but I can’t imagine paying over $1million for a tear down. I am speculating, but this could be one of the main reasons that kids are staying home longer. Added to the fact that Filipino parents love to feed their kids unlimited supplies of pansit and adobo. Why would you ever leave the nest? Am I right? I for one want them to spread their wings as quickly as possible. Get out, Mommy and Daddy need their own space! I’m kidding of course – well kind of.

The focus of this month’s article is our incessant need to always feel “connected.” In technological terms, I’m referring to “information.” In the hands of almost every human being is a device of some kind. Be it an iPhone, iPad, or Android (among many others). It now seems that the new “electronic babysitter” is being introduced as quickly as they come out of the womb.

I’ve read articles with opinions for and against the introduction of screens at such a young age. Some say that we are rotting their minds or that we are creating a sense of immediacy, which in turn causes a loss of focus. Others say that we need to show infants and toddlers how to use these devices or else they won’t be able to keep up once they start school. Whatever route you take, no judgement here. Parents always make decisions with the well being of their child in mind.

I don’t see our hunger for information changing anytime soon. Heck, if I had Google when I was a kid, I wouldn’t have had to ask so many questions, or had to wait until the school library got the newest editions of the World Book Encyclopedia. In fact, I am constantly Googling something.

Thanks to the rise of technology, I’ve witnessed major shifts in the economy. No longer do we need to run to Blockbuster or Rogers Video and hope and pray they have a copy of the new release. As for music, we say goodbye to another regular face in every mall. HMV has shuttered its doors once and for all.

Now to the main reason for my article. The TV industry has taken a big hit in the past decade. Now that I have a PVR, guess what I usually fast forward through? Yes, you guessed it, commercials. It wasn’t that long ago that the Burgos Bunch was watching live TV. Surprisingly, it took a couple commercial breaks before one of the kids asked me to fast forward through the ads. To their horror I said I couldn’t.

Skipping commercials affects advertising revenue, which, in turn, affects programming and staffing. Thus, the many layoffs of TV, print and radio staffers. It’s sad to see; as that was the industry that kick-started my career.

Cable TV was once a staple in every household. We would watch shows on the big networks: CBC, CTV, ABC, NBC, et cetera, et cetera. This is no longer the case.

We’ve all heard of Netflix, CraveTV, or Amazon Prime. The list grows daily for the billion-dollar industry. The business plan makes sense. Why do we have to wait until next Thursday to watch the next episode when I can watch the whole season on a weekend? If your favourite show can’t be found on these content providers, it can easily be found elsewhere. As for news, you can very easily find that online.

So why keep cable? Why spend an extra $50 to $100? I just don’t know. Perhaps I will finally cut the cord this year, with the money I save, I can go buy a DVD at HMV…oh wait…

I’ll leave you with a quote from Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (if you don’t know who she is, Google her).

The most dangerous phrase in language is,

“We’ve always done it this way.”

The world is changing and we must always adapt.

Do you have a suggestion on how to “cut the cord?” Send your suggestions to abitofburgos@shaw.ca. Dale is the Director of Communications for a school district in BC.

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