What Would You Do With an Extra 35 Hours a Week?

The last place I worked at had a lot of hard core TV watchers. The talk around the water cooler (actually the lunch room table, since we didn’t have a water cooler) would always include what had been watched the night before. When the subject would come up I pretty much was left out, half listening to excitable talk about plotlines and shows I had never watched. These people were pros, and if they were home the TV was almost always on and they were watching it for hours and entire evenings at a time, night after night.

I’m not some kind of an anti-TV snob; I will plop down from time to time and mindlessly watch reruns or spend an afternoon cheering or booing pro football games. Truth be told we got basic cable so that we could get better reception of our NFL games in the fall and winter. My wife likes the news shows like 20/20 and Dateline and will, when she remembers to, try to catch an episode of CSI or Glee. So we do watch TV, but it is usually not our first choice when deciding what to do. My guess is we watch around 2 to 5 hours of TV a week.

Years ago when TV was getting popular part of the population accepted it as a novel and exciting part-time diversion from the hardships of the daily grind, a way to sit back and relax for a while. Others saw it as a mindless waste of time, a destroyer of character and family traditions.

There is no doubt which viewpoint won. A recent Nielsen report states that, on average, Americans watched roughly 35 hours of TV each week. That staggering amount of time just spent being entertained is almost equal to working another full time job.

Maybe people that are stressed out because they are pressed for time and can never find enough hours in the day to get everything done should reexamine what they do with those 35 hours a week. Turning off the TV could be a life changing step.

Related Reading:

Center for Screen-Time Awareness

Turn Off Your TV

Sacrifice Boredom


  1. Wow, I would never have guessed that 35 hours is the average time in front of the TV, that is a sad statistic.

  2. Good topic! Have been more involved with my aging mom, trying to keep her mind lively as long as possible. We joined the senior center together (don't laugh, it's a nice place and we both enjoy the folks there). I decided while playing the weekly bingo game yesterday that I'd sit down soon and try to "flesh out" an imaginary schedule for what I might do weekly were I retired (I'm 56 and have maybe awhile to go before I can do that, unfortunately). I'd be taking classes at the community college, would be hiking, volunteering for sure several days a week. There's scads of things to do day or night where I live, you just have to seek things out and be open minded. I get the city papers (there are several here). I truly can't wait till I don't have to work for a living anymore. I'm with you about the TV, what a drag. I work nights from home as a medical transcriber with the radio or TV in the corner on, sound down. Nothing looks appealing, can't imagine parking my rear end in front of that thing night after night. Cindy M


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