That's right, you read correctly, we have gone an entire year without cable or a TV. The initial decision came as an economic one. Israel charges each household the equivalent of $125 per year (500 NIS) to own a television regardless if you subscribe to cable, in order to fund the public broadcasting stations. This, plus the high cost of electronics and cable in general, we decided to forgo this luxury.
This was a huge decision as TV had always been something VERY important to me. In college, I lived in a teeny tiny apartment with a roommate and we had a total of 3 TVs all hooked up to cable (living room and each bedroom). I would often fall asleep with the TV on. When I moved in with my husband, he previously had not had cable, but I insisted that we get it because, for me, it made home feel like home.
Now, after a year of TV rehab, I have no desire to get cable at all. I realized how much time was actually spent channel surfing instead of doing things that I really wanted or needed to do. I was using the television as a stress reliever, almost like a drug. This year I was able to turn to other things such as reading, writing, or getting together with friends instead of searching for the latest reality show episode to watch for the 3rd or 4th time. Don't get me wrong, we still watch the shows we want to watch, but instead of channel surfing for hours on end, we make time to sit down and watch an episode or two on the computer and then move on with the day. Getting rid of the TV watching has helped me simplify my life and has given me back hours and hours in to my days and weeks. After our next move we don't plan to get cable and I am interested to see how it will fit in our lifestyle in the U.S.