Too Much Time? Apparently So.

The average American watches an astonishing 4.3 hours of TV a day, according to a new report from Nielsen. Add in DVR time, and that number gets up to 5 hours a day.

—  You are still watching a staggering amount of TV every day, Recode (June 27, 2106).

If you haven’t heard, television–or, more precisely, the absence of television–has become a status symbol of some middle class families.  As a parent to a two-year old, I understand the desire to ignore the large-screen elephant in the room.  Study after study finds that watching television is a detriment to little minds.  The act of watching a screen, be it television or tablet, provides instant gratification to young children, who, in turn, become addicted to screen time.  Of course, other issues flow from too much television time:  sedentary lifestyle, lack of fresh air and vitamin D, obesity, etc.

On occasion, [S] watches a brief portion of the morning news and/or major sporting events.  But, by far, she is a television-free kid.  Some days, I want to sit her down in front of the boob tube and have the ever-elusive “me” time.  But that would be cutting off my nose to spite my face.  Indeed, [S] is an easy kid, ready to leave the house at a moment’s notice, be it to go to the bank or find a new playground.  But the recent Nielsen study has less to do with our daughter than us.

Russell and I watch a maximum of an hour of television a day.  Days go by with us never turning on the television.  Why?  Because there is nothing worth watching.  Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration.  But not much.  Yes, PBS NewsHour is worthy of my time.  And so was The Good Wife.  But four or five hours of television a day?  I’d prefer to spend my free time exploring or, even, reading, writing and working out.

Regardless of what programs are being watched, I am now better able to understand the genesis of both the obesity epidemic and the dumbing down of Americans

2 thoughts on “Too Much Time? Apparently So.”

  1. Amen to that! I watch very little TV myself. I do enjoy an occasional movie and sometimes turn on the news to see what’s going on in the world, but that’s about it. I wholeheartedly agree with your message here.

  2. Great article! That is why your daughter (and I was with your family 24/7 recently for twelve days) is creative, verbal and has a longer attention span when engaged in an activity than some of the seventh graders I used to teach. I watched her spend 15 or 20 minutes on ONE activity – stacking building blocks, pretending to bathe her baby doll and herself in a blue collapsible tote, playing with a talking pineapple and a shoe box, and an envelope and its contents to name a few. I checked on the attention span expected for the average two year old on one activity and it was 8 or 9 minutes. Your daughter far exceeds that.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD PARENTING, Russell and Kimberly, and continue to keep the TV, iPad and iPhone use to a minimum!

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