So what, I like to watch Grey’s Anatomy just as much as the other girls, but that’s about as far as it goes.
Spending hours in front of the “Idiot Box” (we’ll now refer to the TV from here out as the I.B.) is not the way anyone should spend their life. Yet, people do. How have we become so bored in our lives that all we can find pleasure in is living out our dreams through the lives of our favorite I.B. show?
TV and the Average American
Here’s the normal life of a guy we’ll call Clyde. This guy is going nowhere. Clyde wakes up every morning, washes his face, brushes his teeth and turns on a pot of coffee. Nothing wrong here until after that cup of coffee is in hand.
So what is the first thing Clyde begins to do after taking a sip of some delicious coffee? He grabs the remote and turns the I.B. on. Suddenly, Clyde’s intelligence has been taken away. He has literally turned his brain off and like a vacuum his intelligence gets sucked into the I.B.
Now, Clyde begins to get ready for work all the while with Good Morning America blaring in the background. Worried with nothing more than trying to get to work on time, he rushes out the door with bagel in hand or his carb-loaded Jimmy Dean breakfast of choice and sets out on his daily commute in the car beginning his sedentary life for the day.
When Clyde arrives at work, he sits down his things, gets more coffee, sits down (again) and turns on his computer ready to plug away at his 8 hour sedentary work day.
After all, he can’t help it. It’s not his fault. With meeting after meeting to attend and paperwork piling up, who can really blame him?
Finally, when 5 o’ clock rolls around he logs off his computer and goes to his car to do more sitting on his daily commute home.
For dinner, he stops at McDonald’s for something quick to eat, gets home tired from a long day of sitting and eats his carb-loaded processed dinner in front of the I.B. Looking forward to a quiet night, he’ll start his I.B. marathon.
Clyde then continues his downhill plummet when he decides, screw it, I’ll park my fat-a** in front of the I.B. for another 3-4 hours minimum before going to bed.
And tonight will be especially awesome because a new episode of Grey’s is coming on. And, “Oh my God!” I can’t believe they killed off Derrick. What will Meredith ever do?
This routine and habit happens night after night, week after week. The only thing that changes in this picture is the TV show.
Why the heck are we wasting our lives?
And we wonder why there is a problem with obesity in this country. We’re stupid Americans. From the time we wake up in the morning, all we do is sit and eat like sh*t!
We sit in our hour-long commute to work. We then sit for eight hours in front of the computer at work. We leave work and sit during our hour-long commute home. We then sit for another four hours in front of the I.B. each night only to do it all over again the next day. That’s a total of 14 hours of sitting in our 24 hour day.
Not to mention, if you sleep 8 hours a night. You’re now down to 6 hours per day where’s it’s possible you’re standing up. And exercise? Who has time for that when all Clyde wants to do is get home, relax and watch more of his favorite I.B.
Here’s the truth. Spending hours in front of the I.B. will not make you smarter, will not make you wealthier, will not improve your relationships and will not make you happier. Since it’s not adding value to our lives, my question to you is, “What the hell are we doing it for?”
Here’s what we do know about the I.B. Spending hours in front of the I.B. can dramatically increase risk of heart disease and premature death, regardless of how much exercise you get. So yes, the television is slowly killing you and it has definitely killed Clyde.
All this and we haven’t even discussed depression. Studies show, and if you’ve ever sat in front of the I.B. for a while you know it’s true, that excess amounts of the I.B. can cause you to feel depressed.
My thought on this is that you know you just sat and wasted hours of your life on nothing and you can’t get those hours back. You know it but you don’t do anything about it except do it some more.
It’s like the woman in a violent relationship who knows she shouldn’t be with the man but she keeps going back to him anyway. A never-ending cycle.
What can you do about it?
Well, you can start by getting off your butt. If you’re one to sit and watch the I.B. for hours this will not be an easy change. You’ll have to break this nasty habit and fill the void with something fun and productive.
What is this fun and productive thing? Anything that brings value to your life. You have to choose what it is. It’s your freaking life.
You need to ask yourself the following when choosing an activity:
1) Will this activity make me smarter?
2) Will this activity make me wealthier?
3) Will this activity improve my relationships?
4) Will this activity lead to long-term happiness?
If the answer is no to all the above then it’s time to find another activity. I guarantee the answer to these questions when considering the I.B. is a definite no.
Do I believe all television is bad? No. Do I believe at any time we can do be something more productive with our time. You darn right I do.
I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do but I am. I’m telling you because I can and because I want to help. However, we need to be aware that there are consequences to our actions and I’ve never known, read or heard of anyone to have lived a fulfilling life in front of a television.
Until next time. Stay Jacked, Stay Strong…