TV is a Waste of Time
Sometimes you just want to sit and do nothing. Watching TV seems like a pretty great idea; you’ll get to sit on the couch, perhaps have some ice cream, zone out for a while and otherwise decompress. That’s fine. There’s no problem with relaxing as a means to not doing. Television though isn’t a useful use of that free time. It’s not free. In fact advertisers take 30% of that time from you and twiddle it away trying to get you to buy dust mops, car insurance and other nonsense. That time you think you’re using to relax is really being spent channel surfing to avoid commercials (unsuccessfully because they all come on at the same time). That’s not relaxing, that’s frustrating. 18 minutes out of every 60 minute show is spend on advertising (30%). 8 minutes of every 30 minute show is commercials (26.6%). It sounds like one of those waiting in line statistics where it’s said that people spend as much as 3 years out of their life waiting in lines. I think that calculation is a bit high. I figure it’s 30 minutes per day for a normal person. Maybe more, who knows (figure all the time spent waiting for web pages to load, stuff to start, waiting at the post office etc…)? 30 minutes a day is equivalent to 1.6 years of your life if you live for 80 years (14,560 hours). Now, if you wait in traffic (which I don’t) then you’ll have to calculate up. Nielson says we spend 151 hours per month watching TV. That means you’ll spend between 40.1 and 45.3 hours watching commercials every month (depending if you like 30 minute shows or 60 minute shows). Unless you really love commercials I’d suggest an alternative. It all adds up to a pilfering of your precious free time.
Netflix: Cancel your cable and rent all your shows from Netflix. For less money than you spend on the dumb cable TV you can watch all your favorite shows commercial free and on your own time. The downside is that you don’t get to watch them the moment they air. So what? You won’t miss anything important and you’ll achieve sanity in the process.
Hulu: Hulu won’t cost you anything you’re not already spending on high speed internet. Of course the negative is that there are still commercials (albeit just a minute or two out of every 30) and your viewing material is severely limited. Still, I watched the whole Dead Like Me series on Hulu and that was great.
Whatever you decide to do, watching TV with all the commercials is not accomplishing your relaxation goal. The idea behind relaxation is to use what little time you have on something you really want to do. It’s not for someone else and not time to get anything done or to produce anything. It’s time just for you. Use it wisely and really enjoy yourself. You don’t want to be reminded from a commercial that your floors are dirty or that your car insurance is almost due.