I Went 30 Days Without Netflix — & Here’s What I Learned

The CW, Netflix, HBO, Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock.
Here at Refinery29, we love personal and social challenges. Whether it's wearing different lipsticks for 30 days or going a month without using credit and debit cards, we're never afraid to try new ways of simplifying our lives.
For me, it was a no-brainer what kind of 30-day challenge I needed. In all of my circles (other than the R29 entertainment team), I'm always the one who watches the most TV and is constantly pestering people to try new shows. (I'm still trying to get my parents into Broadchurch, and my fiancé to finish the first season of Superstore — we're working on it.) I stream TV shows in bed, at the gym, and sometimes for entire Saturdays at a time. I usually watch more than one episode of TV every single day.
So, it was only natural that giving up TV and movie-streaming services — Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and the Comcast Xfinity TV Go app (I use my fiancé's login for that one) — would be a worthwhile 30-day challenge for me. I agreed to do it.
The fine print? I was still allowed to watch TV live, as it aired. I don't have cable, but I get public networks like ABC, so I could still watch shows like Scandal at their original air times. I could also still watch clips on YouTube.
When I first went over the assignment with my editors, I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I start reading more? See a ton of movies? Actually start having dinner with other humans? Some of these things did happen — but the whole experience was definitely different than what I'd anticipated.
Ahead, here's a breakdown of what I learned from my streaming-free month.

More from TV

R29 Original Series