Don’t I Have Anything Better to Do?

25 Nov

A new study out Monday said that more people are watching TV than ever before. According to the study, by Nielsen Media Research, the average American watches 142 hours of TV in a month, five more than last year. Yes, I said one hundred and forty-two hours. That’s a lot of TV, and it got me thinking about how much TV I watch these days. Let’s see: On Mondays, an hour and a half (Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother); Tuesdays and Wednesdays, nothing regularly (no more 90210 for me , thanks); Thursdays, two hours (The Office, 30 Rock, and Grey’s Anatomy); Friday, nothing; Saturday, four and a half hours (Beverly Hills, 90210 reruns and Saturday Night Live); and Sunday, two hours (The Amazing Race and Brothers & Sisters). Throw in (at least) three hours of Countdown with Keith Olbermann each week, and maybe an hour total of the Today show, plus the nightly news, and that’s … about 15 hours a week. Figure there are four weeks in a month and that brings me to a total of, let’s say it’s about 55 hours of TV watching in a month — waaaaaay below the new average. Phew.

Of course, the study includes more than just time spent watching a television; it also includes time spent watching content on computers and on mobile phones. I watch my daily dose of YouTube and other clips, but please. There’s no way I watch 90 other hours each month. And it’s a good thing, because there’s this other study that came out recently showing that the more TV you watch, the unhappier you are. “Happy people spend more free hours socializing, reading and participating in religious activities, while unhappy people watch 30 percent more television…. On average, the down-and-out reported an extra 5.6 hours of tube time a week, compared with their happiest counterparts,” says a Washington Post article about the study. Thankfully, I consider myself a happy person, and don’t consider my TV watching to be excessive. (And no, that’s not denial.) After all, it’s not like I watch all of that TV in a week; the DVR allows me to watch it whenever I want, and to have a life outside of my living room.

Which brings me to another recent study you may have heard about, the one that said teens who watch more TV are more likely to have sex. Well … um … how about I not even comment on that one and let you assume what I’m going to say about it.

Point is: how much TV do you watch? Am I watching too much? Or maybe not enough?

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