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Americaís TV addiction: Itís a matter of time, a lot of time.
By Katherine Westphal

Americaís TV addiction: Itís a matter of time, a lot of time.
By Katherine Westphal
In September 2005, Nielsen Media Research, Inc. reported that Americans watched an average of 4 hours 32 minutes of television per day. Amazingly, very few alarm bells went off in America, warning of the potential consequences of this huge amount of time.

Thank about what that little fact means.

4 hours 32 minutes per day.

4 hours 32 minutes EVERY day.

4 hours 32 minutes EVERY day for 365 days per year.

Letís add that up. Perhaps 4 hours and 32 minutes does not seem like that much time. It probably does not feel like that much time, since the hours seem to fly by, when you are engrossed in a program. However, per week that adds up to 31 hours 44 min. That is 31 hours 44 min. EVERY week. For adults, that looks like nearly a full time job. For children, that means they are being educated by their sets more than they are being educated by their school teachers.

Per month that adds up to 136 hours, or 5 days 16 hours. The average American is spending five and 2/3 solid days EVERY month watching TV.

Are these numbers starting to look a little more alarming yet?

Letís look at the time one average American spends watching every year. 365 days at 4 hours 32 minutes every day adds up to 1,655.8 hours every year. That is 69 days every year. That is almost 10 weeks and over two solid months every year. Over a lifetime of 72 years, that adds up to over 13 years. That is an insane amount of

time, and that is just for one person. Consider the effects for society as a whole.

Now letís add the time the entire United States population spends glued to the tube. Using the CIAís statistics for the US population (295,734,134), 4 hours 32 minutes adds up to over 1.33 billion hours devoted to the tube EVERY day. Every year Americans collectively spend 498.67 billion hours staring at a piece of furniture. Try to imagine that many hours of flickering sets. Try to imagine that many hours of blank, staring faces.

Forget all the studies that link excessive watching to the obesity epidemic. Forget the studies that link excessive watching to ADHD symptoms and other attention problems. Forget about all the problems with violent content and the 16,000 murders that kids witness before they turn 18. Forget about the sexual content and the fact that sexual references on have doubled over the past 8 years. Forget about the studies that showed viewers slip into a hypnotic alpha brainwave state when they are watching TV. Do not even think about the fact that each hour of has about 32 commercials (more than 50,000 per person per year).

Just think about how much time you have spent watching over the past year and what else you could have accomplished with that time.

Think about how much time your family has spent watching over the past year and how many fun, family games and activities you all could have enjoyed instead.

Think about all the time that is being sucked into the sets throughout America every day and every year, and how many of society's problems could have been fixed with that absurd amount of time.

Then imagine what could happen if you, your family, and the rest of the country suddenly stopped watching TV.

Katherine Westphal is the founder of Trash Your TV! and the author of a revolutionary e-book system, The TV-FREE System. Get in control of your life by getting in control of your TV.

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