Cancelling Netflix: A Lesson for my Kids

Yesterday I made the decision to cancel Netflix. I have loved receiving those red envelopes for the last 6 years, but, as you probably heard they raised their rates an outrageous amount and I was mad. Before I made the decision, I discussed it with my family. My husband and I rarely sit down to watch movies, so he had no great attachment. The kids were another story, however.
    They not only enjoy ordering the dvds, they take advantage of the instant streaming of tv shows too. My son has probably watched every episode of South Park and my daughter followed all of Glee. Needless to say, they were not happy.
    Being a teacher at heart, I had to turn this into a life lesson. I didn’t go into the comparison of today’s media versus the “good old days”. You know, the days when we all sat around the one family tv to watch the much anticipated annual run of The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz or The Great Pumpkin. If you missed it, it wouldn’t be on again until next year. Nothing like the instant gratification of today’s media.

Instead, I talked to them about principles and “putting your money where your mouth is”. Teenagers are at the age where their money starts to mean something. The amount they spend on clothes, make up, electronics and entertainment gives them more power than they realize, as long as they don’t get roped in by bad deals. I showed them the amount of money we would be charged above our current plan and we discussed what we could get for that amount instead. We figured out other ways to get free movies and shows streamed to our tv and checked out the supply of dvds at the library. With the money we saved, we could probably even get a few pay per views each month.

They still weren’t thrilled with the decision to drop Netflix, but at least they understood the reasons why and that we had the right to explore other options. As for Netflix, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a lesson in bad business, but I’m sure my kids will be checking out the stories online to see if our form of protest had any impact. And that would be a better real life lesson than anything they learned in their history books.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. stmarco7
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 20:20:27

    I like how this post draws on a current life event/decision to consider a middle generation issue and how you share weighing the different angles you could take with this (e.g. making this one about money vs new media).



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