I am as guilty as anyone else of over-using my television set. I leave it on Paw Patrol to keep my kid entertained while I shower, and I turn on a sitcom when I want to zone out for awhile. Am I ever going to get rid of my TV completely? Probably not. However, I am definitely going to cut down on my use by at least half this summer. Here’s why:
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Your Television Set is a Time Vacuum
Over the next week, add up the amount of time you spend watching TV. You will be amazed. I don’t know how many times I’ve wasted an entire afternoon zonked out in front of Game of Thrones or The Office. I often hear people complain about how there are not enough hours in a day – and this is absolutely true – so, why do we choose to spend so much of our precious, limited time essentially doing nothing? According to a Nielsen report, the average American watches an astounding five hours of television each day. This adds up to a mind-boggling thirty-five hours per week. That’s almost the equivalent of a full-time job. Just imagine what you could accomplish if you took those hours back! You could write a novel, learn a language, or plant a garden. The possibilities are endless.
Too Much “Screen Time” is Making Kids Angry, Lazy, and Moody
Television is Desensitizing
TV shows are designed to get our attention. The vibrant scenery, beautiful people, catchy music, and constant jokes and plot twists certainly do a good job of holding our interest – but can they be over-stimulating? It is widely acknowledged that this is true for young children. However, this same concern can also apply to adults. By overloading our senses with entertainment, we are numbing ourselves to the beautiful things around us. A bird chirping, a child laughing, and a thunderous storm are all magnificent and miraculous sounds to take in – but when we are deeply engrossed in one of our shows, these seem like nothing but background noises, or even distractions. Shift your focus away from the TV, and the things that really matter will start to become more vibrant and melodic.
Too Much Television can Make You Fat
Most of us snack mindlessly when we watch TV – and this is not a good thing, especially when it goes on for five long hours of the day. We also tend to overeat when we do this, because our focus is on the television show and we become so zoned out that we do not realize we are full. Furthermore, we are sedentary when we watch TV. It has been said that sitting is the new smoking, as a sedentary lifestyle puts us at a much higher risk for obesity, heart disease, and a myriad of other health problems. Use one of the hours you take back from your TV to go for a run or hit the gym. Your body will thank you for it.
Your Television is Distracting You from Your Loved Ones
Every moment I spend watching Parks and Recreation with my husband is a moment that we could be having an actual conversation. Of course we all need down time and quiet – but why not take half of your family TV time and use it to play a game? If you want to be extra productive, you could even use this time to go for a hike or help your children to learn a life skill. In the end, playing catch with your son or teaching him how to make pancakes will be a cherished memory, while watching The Middle with him would have just been lost time.
Whether you are planning to give your television away or just cut down on the time you invest in it, this is a decision that is sure to pay off. Commit to a TV time limit, and stick to it! Your body, mind, and relationships will be better off.