Burn Your Television
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During my sophomore year of college, my roommate Ted decided to transfer mid-semester.
Fortunately he was he was a total jerk and a drug addict who didn’t respect my personal space, so that worked out well.
Anyway, when I returned from class one day, he was gone. His clothes, his posters, everything was gone.
Even his TV.
Oh no, not the TV! I thought.
Initially, I was scared.
No TV? How will I watch Dawson’s Creek? This is terrible! (Shut up. It was a great show.)
But after a while, I stopped missing it. I found other constructive ways to spend (er, invest) my time, namely, reading books.
After a few TV-less month had gone by, I realized that I was more energetic, more productive, and in general, happier than I’d been all year! Not to mention all the cool stuff I’d learned from reading.
As it turns out, I was onto something. A few weeks later one of my mass-com professors shared two sets of fascinating statistic with the class. The first set came from AC Neilson.
• The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
• The number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school is 8,000
• The number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
• The number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
• The number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
• Rutgers University psychologist and TV-Free America board member Robert Kubey explained that television that heavy TV viewers exhibited five dependency symptoms - two more than necessary to arrive at a clinical diagnosis of substance abuse. These included: 1) using TV as a sedative; 2) indiscriminate viewing; 3) feeling loss of control while viewing; 4) feeling angry with oneself for watching too much; 5) inability to stop watching; and 6) feeling miserable when kept from watching.
The next set of stats came from Para Publishing:
• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
• 42% of college graduates never read another book.
• 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• 57% of new books are not read to completion.
Now, you might be skeptical when reading such statistics. (As you should be. After all, 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot.)
But whether or not the numbers are accurate, the lesson is obvious:
MORE BOOKS, LESS TV.
Me, I'm up to about three books a week. When you travel as much as I do, that's an easy task.
Just remember: open a book and you will open your mind.
Beats TV any day.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many books will you read in 2006?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
© 2006 All Rights Reserved.
Set a goal to read at least 12 books a year. Start your list today. If you'd like a list of 194 Great Books to Read in the Next Five Years, email me and I'll send it to ya.
About the Author
Scott Ginsberg, aka "The Nametag Guy," is the author of three books and a professional speaker who helps people maximize approachability, become unforgettable and make a name for themselves. To book Scott for your next association meeting, conference or corporate event, contact Front Porch Productions at 314/256-1800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-10-18 00:42:14 in Personal Articles