One of the things I like to be smug about, along with shopping at farmers markets and commuting by bicycle, is the fact that we don't have a tv. Well, we have one, but as of some ten months ago it isn't connected to any sort of device that would allow it to show a picture. Not watching any tv at all, except an undisclosed amount on the internet, lets me be even more shocked and disgusted to hear that the average American now watches an average of five hours of television a day.
Actually, I'm not really shocked or disgusted. I knew some people watch a crap-load of tv, because I get to hear about so much of it at the lunchroom at work. But the cold hard figures—or rather, the interpretation of the figures presented by the LA Times, because reading that article is as far as I delved into this subject—really brings home to me the immensity of folks' television habit. I just don't understand how they find room to fit all that screen time into their day!
Me, I get home at around 4:00—earlier than a lot of people, I would imagine. As soon as I get home Harvey is ready to play with me for a while and mama is ready for a rest; sometimes the dog needs a walk as well. That takes us up until it's time to start dinner: we usually eat around 5:30. Then we have to get Harvey ready for bed. If he's getting a bath that's mama's job so I get a few minutes to catch up on my RSS reading, otherwise I first get him tired out by romping with Rascal and then read him books to calm him down, before we put him in bed around 7:00 or so. Cleaning the kitchen and baking bread or cookies as necessary takes another hour or so, and then it's time to write a blog post before bed. Where on earth could I ever find the time to squeeze in five hours of television?!
Obviously, that average has to be padded out a little by heavy weekend viewing, but I'm still only home for six hours before I'm dead tired at 10:00; and I go to bed at 9:00 or before when I can. Could I sit in front of the box for four of those hours? Then again, there is a little missing time in my reconstruction of my schedule... a little bit of reading books, perhaps, or stupid things on the internet, or even talking to my wife. That's where I could make up some quality tv time, by skipping those particular pastimes. That's if I even had a tv, of course!
[And hey, readers, I know you're out there: how much tv do you think you average a day! Don't worry, I won't judge you (out loud) by your answers!]