3 Reasons to turn off the TV
According to the American ‘Time Use’ Survey, consumers spend 11% of their lives sitting in front of a television. A German survey says 7%. Others put it even higher at 15%. Let’s put that into perspective shall we… Statistics are telling us that the average TV watching person is sitting in front of the Telly between 2 and 4 hours per day. Let’s call it three hours. That works out to 21 hours per week; or 95 hours per month; or 1140 hours per year. Wow!
That’s fairly impressive if the TV is improving our lives… but as you’ve probably guessed already, it’s not. The reality is that billions of people are sitting and staring at a noisy glowing box every day that is stealing their time, dulling their senses and blocking their opportunities for success. Here are 3 reasons to turn off your TV and take back your life – or at the very least knock down your zombie-TV-staring hours from 21 hours to 4 hours per week. I dare you.
TV turns your brain off.
There are numerous studies that show the negative effects of watching television on your brain. Click here to read an article about the neurological impact of television published by the Centre for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics.
TV is not making you smarter, despite the fact that you may be watching hours and hours of Animal Planet. Have you ever had that dull feeling after watching a few hours of TV, like you’re not all there? It’s a type of catatonic state that slows your senses and makes you feel like reality is far away somewhere… not unlike many drugs – this may be the very reason so many people spend so much of their lives doing it. Here is a sample of lyrics from a song called ‘Television, the Drug of the Nation’ by the group ‘Disposable heroes of Hiphoprisy’…
our United States of Unconsciousness
Apathetic therapeutic and extremely addictive
The methadone metronome pumping out
150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there’s nothing worth watching
TV is the reason why less than 10 per cent of our
Nation reads books daily
Why most people think Central America
Socialism means un-American
and Apartheid is a new headache remedy
absorbed in its world it’s so hard to find us
It shapes our mind the most
maybe the mother of our Nation
should remind us
that we’re sitting too close to…
- TV steals your time. It seems that almost everyone I meet these days tells me, “I don’t have enough time”, and yet they can spend in excess of 1000 hours per year watching television. What could you do with an extra 1000 hours each year? Learn to play a musical instrument? (Improving your creativity and relieving stress). Start a small business? (Improving your finances and getting you out of debt) Write a blog like the one you’re reading now? (Potentially increasing your finances and improving your networking opportunities). Make a few new friends? Join a club? Write a book? Read a whole pile of books? Get a diploma?
There are any number of life-improving things you could be doing with your time rather than watching TV but instead we just have to find out what the latest scandal is on the Bold and the Beautiful or Grays Anatomy or Big Brother. People actually sit for hours watching other people brushing their teeth and washing dishes… go figure. Let’s take our little mathematical projection further. 1140 hours per year means that in the 60 years of your life between ages 13 and 73 you will have thrown away EIGHT YEARS of your life sitting on a couch and passively staring at a box!
- TV is antisocial. It is really annoying to walk into someone’s house and the atmosphere is filled with the sound and light of television. I have had people invite me to their homes so that I can advise or counsel them on personal matters only to have them sit me down in the lounge and chat to me with the TV blaring in the background, and then when asked if we could turn the TV off they turn the volume lower or just look at me as though I’m crazy… “What? Turn the TV off? You can’t be serious!”
Improve your family and love live by turning off the box and sitting around a table playing games or reading to each other or discussing life or dare I say… have sex!
For your health, your mind, your body, your relationships and your future, I challenge you to cut down your current TV watching time by half. Even better, have a TV fast for a month. Make a deal with your family that for one month you will watch absolutely NO TV! Unplug it and put it in a cupboard. This little exercise will demonstrate to you that you can survive without TV and you’ll be surprised how many other great and productive things you’ll end up doing with your time, not least of all – talking to people. Just remember though, TV is like a drug, so for a few days you might be tempted to stare at the empty space in the wall where the TV was because your body and brain are conditioned that way. In time you’ll find that even when the TV is there, you seldom turn it on because you’re too busy doing meaningful things. Let me know how your TV fast goes.