Television has become such a staple in most peoples day to day lives, it has taken over so many other things as the way to relax or as a way to superficially connect or for entertainment or even as a baby sitter for kids. It brainwashes us with advertising and messages about how we should live our lives and what we should aspire towards and literally and I mean literally sucks our life force away.
Based on a 2013 survey, the average Australian watches 3 hours and 14 minutes of television per day. The older the generation, the more hours they watch.
Younger adults (18-24 years old) however, spend more time on technology.Time in front of a computer surfing the Internet takes up 3 hours and 49 minutes each day for the average Australian.
Use of smart phone accounts for 1 hour and 12 minutes per day. Combining it all together gives you a total of 8 hours in front of digital screens each day, or 50% of your time awake.
WHAT DO YOU GAIN BY WATCHING TELEVISION?
Maybe you’re not like the average Australian and you spend more (or less?) time in front of the tube. Whether it’s 2 hours or 6 hours, the longer the sedentary activity, the more you’ll experience the following:
Increased health risks for obesity, heart failure, or premature death. According to a study published on the Journal of American Medical Association, “…researchers suggest that spending just two hours a day in front of the TV raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 20 percent. Add another hour to your viewing time, and you also significantly raise your risk of premature death from any cause…”
That is, by the way, just one of several studies made that correlates this TV viewing habits with poor health.
Increased procrastination. We postpone our other activities just to make room for that show we can’t miss. Why? Because watching TV becomes our priority the moment that show goes on air.
Commercials to get into your brain and unrealistic shows mess up your view of reality. Of course we’re smart enough to know it when we’re being tricked, but how well are we in control of our subconscious minds? Unless we’re extremely careful, the shows (or commercials) we watch slowly but surely influence our value system.
WHAT DO YOU LOSE WHEN YOU GET HOOKED TO WATCHING TV?
It is surprising how many of us feel we do not have enough time for family, fitness, and the pursuit of our dreams. We blame our work, house chores, domestic favors, etc. However, according to statistics, “watching TV” comprises 50% of recreation time amongst Australians and Americans. And we wonder why we’re less productive when we spend much time watching television.
If you truly want to relax and rest, there are better and healthier alternatives to the tube.
Here are some alternatives to watching TV:
A Fitness Routine
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only 43% of adults have sufficient exercise or level of physical ability required to stay healthy.
“In 2011-12, adults spent an average of just over 30 minutes per day doing physical activity. However, against the National Physical Activity Guidelines for adults “to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days”, only 43% of adults actually met the “sufficiently active” threshold.”
Moreover, physical activity levels tend to decline for older individuals.
Getting into fitness will not only lengthen your days but it will make you stronger and sharper mentally. Likewise, sedentary activities like watching TV does the complete opposite!
Quality time with your partner, friends, and/or kids
According to an article published in The Australian in 2010, “despite spending nearly four hours together a day, only 6 percent of parents reported the time spent as a family was more than enough,”
Mend bruised relationships, reconnect with old friends, invest quality time with your kids. Have a lengthy dinner with your family. Play board games afterwards, do things that make you more alive and present!
You can also start that project you’ve been thinking about, learn a new skill, enroll in a course, or spend more time meditating and reading. You can form best habits for success instead.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU KEEP THAT FLAT SCREEN UNPLUGGED FOR A WEEK?
Perhaps, there are some good shows here and there, or a really enriching DVD worth your time. But I’m sure most of us would agree that once we turn on the television, it’s so easy to get hooked, end up wasting time and feel guilty afterwards. It’s as if it’s 9 percent synonymous with wasting time and opportunities.
Most individuals spend at least two hours a day in front of the TV. That’s 7 years of a person’s life if he lives to be 80 years old. Some spend 6 to 8 hours! Isn’t that crazy? If we’d have more self control and foresight, just imagine how much better our lives would be.
What will happen if you keep that flat screen unplugged for a week? Answer’s actually quite simple. Like the studies above show, you’ll be healthier, you’ll live longer, you’re kids will love you more, and you’ll have more time for the things that actually make you happy.
I have a challenge for you that I can almost guarantee will put you in a more positive frame of mind and improve your life. Go on a media detox, yes that is right; turn off the tv and radio and leave it off for a month and see how your life changes. See what different ways you will spend your time, how you connect more, how your productivity sky rockets, how without all of the negative crap and advertisements we are bombarded with we become more positive and our outlook on the world changes.
Give it a go, nothing to lose and a lot to gain out of this one.