Monday, October 10, 2005

Four Hours a Day: A TV Breakdown

The current average for a citizen of our wonderful country is 4.5 hours. That is of course how much television we actually watch. What does this encompass? With todays format, you get about one full hour of advertisement per day. About 90 adds. Take one product, say a single brand of beer. You probably get 5 exposures per day. In one month we are told how much better one brand of beer is 150 times. Pretty constructive use of time. We condition our brains to tune out this information (or drink alot of bad beer). We dull our minds just to survive the advertising.

What is that time worth? Lets break it down. Lets consider it a part time easy job at say, three hours a day at ten dollars an hour. The yearly income would be 10,000 dollars. Throw in another 700 for cable savings. Now for the rich and famous (or anyone else who doesn't want more work), you are talking about 68 days per year recovered for spending with your family, or hobbies, or just relaxing. That is more than two months out of a year that each person in America spends staring at a glowing box.

Now I know we could be stretching things. Some people unwind in front of the tube. Others eat while watching a favorite movie. And I am not discounting the value of information disseminated through television. But, for the most part, its amusement. And the strict definition of amusement is to not think. I would contend that television trains you to not think. So every week that you leave it turned off, you gain another full day of time for your own use and remove from your mind 600 advertisements. Sound very reasonable.

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