Do you find yourself watching too much television? Are you often glued to the television out of boredom? Do you use television as a distraction from other things in life, things you don’t want to do or face? Do you sometimes (or often feel) inadequate about certain areas of your life? If so, you are not alone.

There’s always been this rule in our house. TV does not go on until after 8pm when we are finished with dinner, dishes, homework etc. It was the same in my mother’s house, my house and now my adult children’s home. In fact, they watch much less TV than I do or did as a child. And so do their own children.

By the way, it’s not because we don’t like TV. On the contrary we do, and we each have our favorite shows. It’s just that there are so many more things we need/want to do with our time. I, for one love to write and read. I also like to do projects (like arts and crafts) many of which cannot be done while watching television. And its a scientific fact that watching TV can do more harm than good in many ways…

Here are some startling facts about watching television:

According to, the % of households that possess at least one television is 99 with the number of TV sets in the average U.S. household at 2.25.

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.

That is way too much, according to TV watching experts. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children 2 years old and under should watch no TV.

The average American youth spends 900 hours in school each year compared to the 1500 hours the average American youth watches television. 
Television (aka ‘the idiot box’) has been linked to lower communication skills, antisocial behavior, altered brain structure, overweight and obesity and poor grades in school. These are scientifically recorded dangers of watching TV, as opposed to engaging in some healthier activity.

According to these same experts, children, teens and adults are recommended to limit their TV viewing to less than 2 hours each day.

Here are 5 benefits of watching less television.

1 — You Won’t Sit as Much

You were not to intended to sit for as long as you do. Research shows that sitting is deadly, leading to a long list of unhealthy conditions that cause pain, and shorten your life. Most television is viewed sitting down, so when you stop watching as much brain-rotting TV, you are standing and active more, which is a good thing.

2 — Your Brain Becomes Healthier

As highlighted above, staring at a television set actually causes a change in your brain chemistry. It is not a healthy one, either. The negative mental consequences of staring at an electronic screen, television or otherwise, include decreased memory, a weakened ability to plan, organize and take action, weaker brain functioning and other neurological problems.

3 — You Will Find Out You Have a Lot More Free Time Than You Thought

Are you always complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to get things done? You might be wrong. Take out the nearly 34 hours that the television viewing habits monitoring company Nielsen says you are spending in front of the boob tube each week, and you have more than 1 full day of extra time on your hands.

4 — You Will Begin Making up Your Own Mind, and Forming Your Own Belief System

Television is a one-way form of communication. People you have never met, that have views and beliefs vastly different from yours, create the content that you consume. Watch enough TV, and you begin to lose the ability to form your own thoughts, opinions and beliefs.

5 — You Will Stop Feeling Inadequate

TV creates unreal unrealistic expectations. Most human beings are not perfect — slim, trim, super sexy, incredibly smart, abundantly wealthy and successful, which is how television paints the world. Television advertisers want you to feel inadequate, so you will purchase their products that promise miracle results.

And its very likely you will have better relationships because you will have the time to communication and develop those relationships beyond the latest reality, mystery or murder series.

In case you are wondering… I have on occasion broken my own rule. It’s generally when I am really stressed and need something to take my mind off whatever is stressing me out. Or I am recovering from an injury or illness. Then I turn on a comedy or a hallmark movie. Something to lighten my mood. Even taking those times into account, according to the statistics above, I am below average. And I am glad… really glad, to be.

Now, don’t ask me how much time I spend at the computer. That’s a story for a different day….

For a more in-depth view of what is watched and how it affects our mental, physical and emotional state, read

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