Are you addicted to watching TV?
Clare’s comments: This article, written in 2012, could as easily be applied to people’s internet, social media and mobile / cell phone use today.
According to A.C. Nielsen, the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of TV each day. That represents more than 52 days of non-stop TV-watching per year.
By age 65 the average American will have spent nearly 9 years glued to the tube.
The British watch an average of 3 hours of TV a day.
This means they will spend more time watching TV in their lifetime than they will spend working.
What is the impact of watching so much television?
What happens when, instead of going after your dreams, exercising and taking care of your health, working towards your goals, fulfilling your destiny… you simply drop like a lead balloon in front of the tube every night?
I remember that when I worked as a security guard for two years, and then in telesales for another year, I was so broke and I felt so disenchanted with my life that I would just plop myself down on the sofa and watch 5-6 hours of TV… every day.
TV’s Impact on our Happiness and Quality of Life
Richard Layard, a lecturer at LSE, points a finger to TV as the main culprit for the fact that, despite our purchasing power and incomes having risen 5-fold since 1950, we are not any happier.
He explains that people now compare their financial situation, their possessions, and their partners, not only to those of their friends or neighbours – like they did until 60 years ago – but to those of celebrities and superstars they see on TV day after day.
Men compare their spouses and women compare themselves to the skinny 18-year-old girls portrayed in ads.
In India, they noticed a marked increase in domestic violence and a tendency to fritter away money saved up for children’s education, in remote areas that until recently did not receive a TV broadcasting signal.
TV’s Impact on our Finances
Over the last 50 years, Advertising agencies have perfected every possible kind of psychological technique to manipulate us into buying or believing anything!
How do they do that?
Well, television is an incredibly powerful medium.
It has a very strong emotional impact, through the simultaneous use of sound, picture, and motion.
All our senses are engaged.
Furthermore, when you are “zombified” in front of the screen, you are very receptive to any messages that come to you.
We have been conditioned through simple repetition.
It is estimated that the average American is bombarded with over 3,000 advertising messages daily.
These messages are designed with ONE end in mind: to make us spend our money on things we didn’t even know we needed.
We end up giving away our financial power.
John Commuta, author of “Turn Debt Into Wealth”, accuses the “Coalition of Four” – Media, Advertising, Credit Lenders, Merchants – of showing us a very luxurious lifestyle, repeating that message over and over again until we’re completely conditioned, and then telling us we can have it NOW.
As a result, more and more people get into debt, becoming in effect ‘debt slaves’.
We may get the trappings of wealth, such as a nice car and a nice house, but we don’t ever truly become wealthy because money that we should be saving and investing is instead being channeled to our creditors!
You are so busy trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’… but the Joneses are BROKE!
(by the way, the road to achieving absolute financial freedom starts by spending less than we earn and investing the difference…)
TV’s Impact on our Peace Of Mind
Michael Moore, in his acclaimed Oscar-winning documentary “Bowling For Columbine”, came to the conclusion that American TV, and especially the News, were responsible for creating a culture of fear and paranoia that has led to spiraling gun possession.
Indeed, 54% of television broadcasts are devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war.
Sensationalism sells. Getting people scared sells!
Unfortunately, sharing positive, inspiring, uplifting stories may be nice, though not as compelling television watching…
The ‘news’ rarely choose to show real issues that affect people’s lives, such as pollution, poor health habits, corporate crime, but instead seek to titillate the public by sensationalising stories on crime, drugs, violence, and all kinds of dangers and scares.
TV’s Impact on our Spirituality
The Media have been conditioning us for years about ‘Individualism’, ‘Status’, ‘Being Successful’, ‘Being Better Than The Rest’.
This is the “Me, Me, Me” era.
This re-enforces the idea that we are separate from each other. That we must compete against one another.
And of course, if you want to be better than the rest… you must buy our products!
Buy our status-conferring luxury cars! Buy a yacht! Buy a Rolex watch!
Every spiritual teaching I know talks about the inter-connectedness of everything. How we are all ‘one’. So… ultimately, who are we trying to compete with?
Watching television, I feel, has resulted in people disconnecting with their true Self and with their spirituality.
They feel as if their life lacks meaning and purpose.
They lack inner peace. They lack equilibrium.
Instead of self-improvement and taking positive actions to change their lives, people seek distraction and escape from reality.
TV’s Impact on our Health
Over 200 ads for “junk-food” are broadcast in the US during Saturday morning cartoons.
The processed foods industry and junk-food industry spend billions in TV advertising every year trying to get you to buy hamburgers & fries, chocolates, biscuits, sweets, alcohol, coffee, dairy products, and all sorts of dead foods that provide your body with nothing of substance.
These products are actually killing you a bit more every day.
And then the pharmaceutical industry spends billions more to convince you to buy drugs to ‘fix’ the symptoms of your unhealthy lifestyle! (notice: they never CURE your health problem, but just sell you DRUGS to cover up the symptoms for a little while…)
Watching TV on a regular basis is setting you up for destroying your health and poisoning yourself and your children.
Yes, it’s that bad.
What’s the Alternative?
- When was the last time you learned something from TV that you actually applied in your life, resulting in an improvement of your quality of life?
- Did you learn how to improve your relationships?
- How to earn more money?
- How to be more healthy or lose weight?
- Has TV ever improved your career?
- Has it made you a better parent or a role-model?
- A Leader?
- Has it ever made you more effective in living your life and taught you how to enjoy every moment of it?
- Has it ever truly made you happy, or has it just been used to numb your senses and help you “zone out”, so that you don’t have to think about life for a while?
- Is it really entertaining & relaxing?
- How does it compare to, say, an evening out with your friends, or meditating whilst listening to some relaxing music for 10 minutes?
- What are all the little things you really enjoy in life?
Seeing your friends, playing games, listening to music, making love, concerts, having a walk through beautiful surroundings, swimming in the ocean, a lovely hot sandy beach, gardening, picking flowers, doing a sport or exercising, fooling around with your dog, reading a good book by an open fireplace, camping with your children, the thrill of learning something new or the pride of getting a job done well, words of encouragement or support or love, the feeling that you have contributed to someone in a meaningful way, contribute in making this a better world…
These don’t cost much, do they?
Does TV really figure in it at all?
When was the last time you did any of the above?
Wouldn’t our lives be better if we did away with TV?
The solution? Simply… SWITCH…..OFF!
You won’t be missing out on anything, I promise!
Nothing’s going to happen while you’re away.
When I got fired from my job in 2003 and became broke, I sold everything I owned – which at the time was simply my TV, VCR, and DVD player.
I was left with just a suitcase of clothes, and my rollerblades.
I spent the next 5 years without a TV in my house.
And you know what?
That was the best thing that I could have ever done. I got to actually live and experience life, rather than watch it and observe through the filter of television.
And it also allowed me the time and focus to build my Internet business, with zero distraction.
Here’s my challenge to you! Spend the next 7 days TV-free. Can you do it?
I promise you a dramatic explosion in your quality of life if you take on this 7-day challenge!
Stat of the Day
The average American spends 9 years of his life watching TV.
The average American spends 52 days per year watching TV.
54% of television broadcasts are devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war.
Over 200 ads for “junk-food” are broadcast in the US during Saturday morning cartoons.
Quotes Of The Day
“I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television.” ― Steve Jobs
“Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.” ― Bill Gates
“Conservatives sense a link between television and drugs, but they do not grasp the nature of this connection.” ― Christopher Lasch
“In Beverly Hills… they don’t throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.” ― Woody Allen
To Your Success,
Mark Anastasi http://www.laptopmillionaire.tv
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