I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.
If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:
101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading
“I wasn’t worried about freedom. I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV.”
– Ray Bradbury in 2001 talking about his book Fahrenheit 451
According to Reuters (September 22, 2006)The total average time per household in 2005-06 was eight hours and 14 minutes per day. I am sure that has increased much more in year 2010. We as a nation watch a lot of Television and that is nothing to be proud of.
Once upon a time Zenguy and I not only used to watch Prime time TV but also had cable in addition to Indian ethnic channels as well. Whatever we could not see, we used to record it to watch it later. We used to come home after work and crash in front of TV to eat dinner and watch late night show with Jay Leno or David Letterman.
We have cut down on TV watching to almost none. We occasionally watch PBS shows for kids and some times a rare selected programs for adults on PBS such as cooking show, documentary or master piece theater program or occasional DVD movie watching (without ads). Many people says that TV has a many benefits including educational and entertainment value. But, let us look at a few benefits of not watching TV.
Instead of watching TV for 4 hours, you can do following;
- You can start a blog or part time business
- Play with friends, children
- Have a date with your significant other
- Learn to play piano
- Read your favorite novel
- Cook delicious meal for loved ones
- Exercise, get in shape
- Clean up clutter, organize
- Spend quality time with your family and friends
- Catch up on sleep, nap
- Relax, enjoy
- Go out in nature, enjoy sunset, sunrise etc.
- Garden and grow veggies, fruits, and flowers
- Paint and create a master piece artwork
- Learn new skills
TV watching and internet are two of time wasters in our modern lives. We have fast food, fast cars, fast services only to use up that time for watching Idiot box called Television.
Here are some of the quotes by famous people about influence of TV and Media on us.
“Do you know we are ruled by TV?”
– from the poem An American Prayer by Jim Morrison
“American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV.”
– The Kaiser Family Foundation
“You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”
– Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer and Pixar, in Macworld Magazine, February 2004
According toTurn off your TV Website , The CDC notes that “one-fourth of children in America spend four hours or more watching television daily and only 27 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 engage in moderate physical activity at least 30 minutes a day on five or more days of the week.”
According to the CDC, lifestyle behaviors is one of the major factors contributing to obesity in children and adults. Genetics does play a role, however, many health risks have been proved to significantly diminish when physical activity increases and diet improves. One major suggestion by health officials is a reduction in “screen time.” The VERB campaign promotes a decrease in time spent in a sedentary-TV-watching position and replace it with positive physical and pro social activities.
“The average tween spends four and a half hours each day in front of a screen. This includes watching television, video-tapes or DVDs, playing video games, using a computer or browsing the Internet. Television is the medium with which children spend the most time — two and a half hours each day.
* 26 percent of U.S. children watch four or more hours of television per day.
* 67 percent of U.S. children watch two or more hours per day.
* Almost half (48 percent) of all families with tweens have all four of the latest media staples: TV, VCR, video game equipment and a computer.
* The bedroom of the 21st century child is a multimedia environment. Of children 9 – 13 years old, more than half (57 percent) have a TV in the bedroom; 39 percent have video game equipment; 30 percent have a VCR; 20 percent a computer and 11 percent Internet access.” (VERB Fact Sheet)
As we can TV can be entertaining but if you watch too much, it is not good for children or adults alike. If you can not kill off your Television completely, at least watch less or selected shows without violence or advertisements. Watching selected shows fromPBS , or watching selected DVDs of movies and shows will fill the need for entertainment for many.
That is way, many of us can get benefits of educational and entertainment without the disadvantages of too much Television or Media viewing.
Check out following sites for more information;
Image Source: NewYorker Cover, Thanksgiving 2006
Check out next in series101 changes: change 8 – Stretch your comfort Zone .
101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement