Every Monday Matters: Turn off your TV
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) 99 percent of all homes have at least one TV ? 45 percent have three or more.
56 percent of all 8- to 16-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom.
A person watches TV an average of 40 days per year.
Children spend 1,023 hours a year watching TV, compared to 900 hours in school.
200,000 violent acts, including 16,000 murders, will be seen on TV by children before their 18th birthday.
Roughly 70 percent of all TV shows include sexual content, with an average of five sexual scenes per hour.
On average, 38.5 minutes per week of meaningful conversation happens between a parent and his or her child.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1. Turn off your TV today. Tape a "No TV" sign to all TV screens so that you don't turn it on out of habit.
2. Designate certain TV-free times throughout the week to reduce viewing hours.
3. Remove TVs from bedrooms, the kitchen, etc.
4. Make a list of activities to do besides watching TV ? activities like reading, biking, swimming, walking, gardening, or socializing with friends. Then start doing them.
5. Avoid using TV as a reward ? this only increases its power.
6. Be more selective about programming and choose history, travel, cooking, home repair/design, and other educational themes.
70 percent of people say that no matter how hard they try, they never seem to have enough time to do everything they need to do. Are you part of that 70 percent? If you gave up TV for just one day a week, you could exercise the recommended weekly amount necessary for healthy living, read over 20 books a year, or spend more time with your loved ones. Instead of watching reruns of "Friends," go make some.
"I am a TV addict," admitted Derek Lamb of Phoenix, Ariz. "I honestly watch over four hours a day. It is one of my favorite things to do."
Four hours a day. To put this in perspective, Derek spends 60 full days a year watching TV. In other words, 16 percent of his life is spent not exercising, not spending quality time with friends or family, not reading, not sleeping, not enjoying a habit, not working ... we could go on.
"My favorite shows are 'American Idol' and any sports that are on. I even watch the same shows twice in the same day. For example, I will watch ESPN Sports Center twice in a row and it is the exact same program," shared Derek. "My favorite time of the day is getting in bed at night and turning my TV on. I watch it until I fall asleep."
Sometimes it takes something big to happen for us to change our ways. Even when we know that something we might be doing is not good for us, we don't want to change until we absolutely have to. Fortunately, Derek had that little emergency happen recently, and it has had a pretty large impact on his life. His TV in his bedroom broke. That's right. In the middle of watching his favorite show, the TV just went black.
"I couldn't believe it," said Derek. "I know it sounds terrible to admit, but I didn't know what to do. I actually tried to fix it myself, thinking that I was a TV repair person or something."
The good news is that Derek had no idea how to fix it and his 3-year-old plasma TV is now just a wall decoration.
"It has seriously been tragic. I can't afford to get it fixed right now, so I am without my TV at night and it is killing me," said Derek. "I honestly don't know what to do with all the time. It's kind of sad."
Over the past two weeks, Derek has had to make some changes in his life, but, in our opinion, they are for the better. With people's busy schedules today and the increase in stress and anxiety disorders in our culture, four hours a day can do wonders. Imagine ... what could you do with a 28 hour day? Would it give you a little more time to get places on time? Could you start taking care of things that you "just don't have time" to do?
"My life is actually becoming healthier," said Derek. "I now go to sleep earlier; my girlfriend is much happier because I don't ignore while I am watching the Suns play hoops; I started reading when I get in bed; and I can honestly say that I am starting to not miss my TV at all. But it hasn't been easy."
We know that we have kind of dramatized the breaking of his TV, but there is a lot to learn from Derek's story.
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© 2009, The Modesto Bee Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services