The average American watched 34 hours 39 minutes of TV per week in the last quarter of 2010, a year-over-year increase of two minutes. The heaviest users of traditional TV are adults 65+ (47 hours 33 minutes per week), followed by adults 50-64 (43 hours per week). Trailing all other age groups, teens age 12-17 watch the least amount of TV (23 hours 41 minutes per week).
Good grief – 34.5 hrs a week of TV!! That’s almost 5 hours a day. No wonder it’s so easy to read more, write more, produce a new product a month and do more than the average American. And here I thought maybe I was smarter — but no, it appears I just have an extra 34 hours a week to do something productive. Silly me –
So how hard to you think it is to set yourself apart from the “average” American? Using even 15-20 hours of that normal TV watching time you could write a book, start a business, learn a new language, get another degree, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, take art classes, mentor a needy person, prepare for a marathon, do a stunning landscape of your property, or perfect that invention you’ve been thinking about.
Last night Joanne and I sat down, exhausted after a holiday spent planting flowers and partying with friends. I flipped on the TV right at the beginning of the new Hawaii-Five-O. We complained about having to endure all the commercials but actually watched the entire show. And then we immediately thought – Why did we do that? A lady was murdered, her husband was the suspect but he was suffering from psychological problems. The little girl lost her Mom and her Dad was likely going to prison or a mental hospital. How is this good news? How was this supposed to brighten our day or give us hope? And then we expected to go to bed for a restful night’s sleep – with those images in our minds? What a poor use of precious time! And what negative, useless content to pour into our minds.
Do you really think one more crime show, looking into one more dysfunctional family, hearing one more angry talk show host, seeing one more pretty face reading a teleprompter and calling it “news,” listening to one more politician, or just sitting on your butt for 34.5 hours is going to improve your life?
The most common excuse I hear for not accomplishing new goals is “I don’t have enough time.” What could you accomplish yet this year if you redirected 34 hours a week to one of your goals?
For more information on these TV viewing trends, and the complete PDF file, download the State of the Media report from Nielsen here.
“I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx