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Fifty-Seven Channels and Nothing On

The downsides of TV

Don’t you love television? We all have our favourite programmes. It’s part of life in the modern age. So, are there any downsides?

Well, firstly, we need to take on board the uncomfortable truth that TV seems to be reducing our attention span. Even politicians have to make sure they sell their message in digestible soundbites! And then we are being bombarded by consumer messages selling us the latest this and that. But these are just minor grievances when we consider the biggest downside of all. The average adult spends just under four hours a day watching TV, and over the course of a lifetime this adds up to around ten years. Mostly we assume this as normal. We grow up with the TV providing a warm background chatter in our lives. But, wake up for a moment! Is this really how you want your life to be? Do you want someone to read your eulogy and celebrate that you had watched every episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ twice over? Or that you never missed an episode of EastEnders? Let’s face it, most people want their lives to be about something else. They want to connect with their friends and family; they want to explore their world and learn new things. And most of all they want to stay healthy. Unfortunately, our addiction to TV is stealing our time, our potential and our dreams. TV can turn us into second-hand observers of our own life and robs us of the vitality of living. Research tells us that we become more depressed the more we watch.

Going cold turkey on TV-watching is hardly realistic for most people. But you can watch only what you have planned to watch. Experiment with setting limits on your screen time. Just watch less!

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