TV Time: How much television do you really watch?

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I don't watch that much TV!

"I don't watch that much TV," says the average person, "just a few hours here and there." Unfortunately, the average person, according to the most recent figures from Nielsen Media Research Inc., watches TV for 4 hours and 35 minutes every single day. Worse, the average household has a TV playing for 8 hours 14 minutes every day.

4.5 hours isn't that much!
Let's add that up. Perhaps 4 hours and 35 minutes does not seem like that much time. It probably never feels like that much time, since the hours seem to fly by when you are engrossed in a program - or two or three.

However, per week 4.5 hours adds up to just over 32 hours. That is 32 hours EVERY week. Think about that. Adults are spending almost as much time in front of a TV as they are working a full-time job. Children are being educated by their TV sets more than they are being educated by their teachers.

Per month, that adds up to 136 hours, or 5 days 16 hours. The average American is spending more than 5˝ solid days EVERY month watching TV.

Over the course of a year, the average American spends over 69 solid days watching TV. That is over two solid months every year. Over a lifetime of 72 years, that adds up to over 13 years.
Not only is that a lot of time, it is an insane amount of time.

Could Nielsen be Wrong?

Other studies have reported that people watch between 2 and 2˝ hours per day, which is significantly smaller than the 4˝ hour Nielsen figure. Could Nielsen be wrong? This is unlikely for several reasons.

First, the networks depend on Nielsen's ratings for marketing and advertising. They need that information to know how much to charge their advertisers. Nielsen would be out of business if their basic figures were inaccurate.

Second, other studies, which meticulously document the amount of TV people watch, report figures similar to Nielsen. For example, The Kaiser Family Foundation did a study in 2005 carefully documenting the media habits of 8-18 year-olds. They found that kids watched an average of almost 4 hours TV per day.

Are people lying about the time they watch TV?

Either people are deliberately lying to researchers about the amount of TV they watch or they are grossly underestimating the time they are spending in front of the boob tube. It is certainly possible that people are lying en masse.

However, it seems more likely that they unaware of the amount they are actually watching. I remember how easily the hours could slip by while watching TV. This may be because your brain slips into a relaxed, hypnotic, alpha brainwave state when you turn on the TV. Next thing you know - several hours have flown past. You can barely remember the details of the shows you watched and have no recollection of consuming that bag of potato chips.

But I really don't watch that much TV!

The amount the abstract "average" person watches does not mean that everyone watches exactly 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV every single day. Some people watch more. Some people watch less. Maybe you really do only watch TV for an hour or so per day.

However, as you can see, it is not enough to estimate the amount. In order to get an accurate view, you need to carefully document the amount of time you watch during a week. Get a journal and record every single show you watch for at least a week. Add it up. Then you will know if you are watching more than is healthy. You will also be in a more empowered position to decide how much of your valuable time you really want to spend in front of the TV.

About the Author:

Katherine Westphal is the founder of Download her ebook "The Awful Truth About Television" at Read it and you will never look at your TV the same way again.   Article Source: Free Article Directory - Search And Submit Articles

Article By: Katherine Westphal

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