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Idaho Catholic Podcast

Friday, March 27, 2009

Trash Your TV - Are You Man Enough!

Why you should consider getting rid of your TV

Perhaps you are scratching your head and wondering why I would expect you to consider getting rid of your TV.
That little box in your living room can be so entertaining and relaxing, but there is a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that TV viewing has become an unhealthy addiction for a great many people.
Consider this one little fact:

THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WATCHES OVER FOUR HOURS OF TELEVISION PER DAY
Now, let's add that up. That is 28 hours every week, almost a second job for most people. That is five days per month and two whole months every year.
By age 70 that is almost 12 years watching television! Isn't there more important things you would rather be doing with this time?
Spending time with your family? Enjoying the great outdoors? Fishing? Reading?
If someone offered you four extra hours per day, would you take it? Imagine what you could do with all this time.
Contrast the time spent watching TV with the next little fact:
THE AVERAGE AMERICAN PARENT SPENDS ONLY 38 MINUTES PER WEEK IN MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION WITH THEIR CHILDREN
Family values?
That is 28 HOURS of TV versus 38 MINUTES of meaningful parenting.
How much better could families function if those numbers were reversed?
Convinced it's time to trash that TV yet? Maybe your waistline will convince you.
Consider this next little fact:

A PERSON WHO WATCHES 3 HOURS OF TV PER DAY IS TWICE AS LIKELY TO BE OBESE AS A PERSON WHO WATCHES ONLY AN HOUR PER DAY
TWICE as likely!
That is a major correlation. Several studies have shown that men, women, AND children who watch more than three hours of TV per day are twice as likely to be obese.
That is not surprising considering that the only activity that burns fewer calories is sleeping.
Doing anything besides watching TV will help you burn more calories. If you are seriously trying to lose weight, you may wish to consider losing that TV first.

Your valuable time and waistline are not the only victims of your TV.
Consider this next little fact:

CHILDREN ARE EXPOSED TO AN AVERAGE OF 40,000 TV COMMERCIALS PER YEAR

What does this mean for parents?
The advertising industry calls it the Nag Factor.
Assuming adults do not fall prey to the pressures of consumerism, the kids can be counted on to nag their parents incessantly.
To add to this, advertisers are increasingly turning to product placement to increase sales.
How much is this worth?

THE "NAG FACTOR INFLUENCES $300 BILLION IN SALES PER YEAR
In 2001, the Nag Factor was used to influence an estimated $300 billion in sales. That amounts to over $4,000 per pestering child per year.
Who knows how much more money was spent on the subsequent sales of headache relievers!

That TV box is not looking so innocent any more, is it?
Another little fact to consider:

CHILDREN WITNESS 16,000 TV MURDERS BY AGE 18

16,000 murders on average. Plus, they witness 200,000 violent TV acts during that time frame.
This violence has serious, long-term effects:
32-YEAR STUDY SHOWS THAT VIEWING TV VIOLENCE CAUSES AGGRESSION LATER IN LIFE
According to a 32-year study, watching television violence at age 8 was the strongest predictor of aggression later in life--stronger even than exhibiting violent behavior as children. Even if you are an otherwise ideal parent, by allowing your children to watch violent television, you may be unwittingly setting them up for a violent future.

Perhaps, you believe a v-chip and careful monitoring will be enough. It will help, but it is definitely not enough.
Another fact:
A RECENT STUDY SHOWED THAT TELEVISION VIEWING AT AGES 1 AND 3 RESULTS IN ATTENTION PROBLEMS AT AGE 7

"TV rots your brain" is not just an urban legend.
It is especially damaging for developing brains.
Children under the age of two should not watch any TV, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children do not need attention problems like ADD/ADHD.
Plus, many parents have noted that children just do not behave as well after they have been watching TV. On top of that, television puts the brains of children and adults in a very suggestible, hypnotic, alpha brain wave state.
This is just not very good for you, although it may be good for advertisers.
Are you ready to trash your TV yet?
Perhaps you want to, but just can not imagine life without it.
There is a reason for that:

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN STUDY SHOWS THAT TV VIEWING IS ADDICTIVE

This is the clincher: A recent Scientific American article showed that television is addictive. Why else would we trade our family time, our health, and our hard earned money for something that humanity has survived without for hundreds of thousands of years?
Many people find it almost impossible to turn it off, but not everyone.
For most, the only viable alternative is to get rid of their television completely.
Which category do you fit into?
If you haven't yet, take the TV Addiction Quiz and find out.

These are the reasons we are asking you to consider trashing your TV.
Get rid of it. It is possible.
My kids and I have lived the last 7 plus years without a TV.
We are better off.
If you can not bear to part with it...yet, here are some tips to help you reduce your TV viewing.
Here is a 5 Step Plan to get rid of your TV in 5 gentle stages.
Getting rid of your TV has never been easier.
Just think of all the fun activities you can do once it is gone!

Life is just better...Trash Your TV.

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