Perhaps you’ve heard people say:
“We don’t watch that much television.”
The truth is that many of us watch far more television than we realize.
In some homes, the television is always on. Literally! The first person who gets up in the morning turns on the television and it may stay on until everyone leaves for work. When they come home in the afternoon, they turn the television on again and it stays on until bedtime.
Really? Do we really want to live this way? Have we thought about this?
Hour after hour the television blares. In some families, they do not have real conversation at dinner because the television is on. Who can have a real conversation when the other person is keeping one eye on the television? What are we shaping and forming in our homes when no one has the other’s undivided attention? What does this say to our children when we seem more interested in a television program than experiencing real conversation with people?
Note these realities from the Center for Screen-Time Awareness :
How many televisions do they have? 2.73
We are a society of more televisions than people!
50% of American homes have at least 3 televisions or more
19% of homes have only 1.
In 1975 only 11% of US households had more than 3 TVs…and 57% only had 1!
The average American home has the television on for well over 8 hours every day. That is an hour more than just a decade ago.
The average American watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of television each day.
Young people 12-17 years of age increased their television viewing by 3% just this year…a pretty big increase in just 12 months.
Teenage girls have dramatically increased their television viewing late at night and early in the morning…maybe they just don’t sleep anymore?
All the above statistics are from Nielson 2006
1. For one week, make a note of how long the television is on each day. You may be surprised to know how much television you really are watching.
2. If you are in the habit of leaving the television on each evening, consider having an hour in which you turn it off and your family does something enjoyable for the evening.
3. Consider turning the television on for specific programs instead of just leaving it on throughout the day or evening.
4. Any other suggestions?