“Hello, My name is Keith and I’m a TV-holic.” Well, maybe not quite–but I could be, and if I was, I would probably have plenty of company.
According to the Nielsen folks, the average American watches 34 hours of television per week. A little statistical breakdown… (not a nerd dance):
“Children 2-11 watch an average of 24 hours of TV a week, or 31/2 hours a day.
That number dips to 22 hours for teens, ages 12-17, then goes back up to 25 for 18-24s. After that it rises steadily until people over 65 average 48 hours a week, or nearly seven hours a day.” *
Let’s do a little math. Say you watch even 20 hours of TV per week x 4 weeks per month = 80 hours of TV per month. Eighty hours! That is two full work weeks. Waking hours. Primetime hours for reading or writing the book, or painting or gardening or learning to play an instrument or getting in shape or going to the zoo with your kids. You get my drift. “But,” some say, “I do other things while I watch.” Maybe…and maybe not.
I was in the fitness room at our local rec center. There are seven screens across the front of the room and more on the other walls. It occurred to me, one day, while trying to multi-screen, that it is literally impossible to focus on one screen while trying to keep up with what is happening on the others. We are wired to focus on one thing at a time. Multiple “screens” fragment us.
Now, add one more screen to the conversation. That would be the “screen” of your imagination. That place you dream dreams and hope hopes. That place you see your potential works of art and solutions to problems. That mental Etch-a-sketch where you conceive new ideas and plans to realize them.
But on other screens across the front of your room, you’re watching The Today Show or ESPN or CNN or “Duck Dynasty” (I know, I know—I just “stopped preaching and went to meddling!”). Bottom line, the screen of your imagination—your seat of potential and greatness—gets trumped, short-circuited, upstaged by all of those lesser screens.
So, the average American watches 34 hours of television per week. Might explain why most of us are just average when we could be great. The great ones turn off the TV—or, at least, they don’t turn it on nearly so often.
* If you are interested in more stats: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/americans-spend-34-hours-week-watching-tv-nielsen-numbers-article-1.1162285#ixzz2gkUHR100.