Ay! 8 hours?

I heard recently that we Americans watch, on average, eight hours of television per day. On average? Eight hours? How is this possible?

We sleep 8 hours, work 8 hours, and watch TV 8 hours? I'm dumbfounded. I just cannot imagine doing that without going into seizures.

Don't get me wrong. I did go through a phase of my life when I was a couch potato (the first twenty years). A friend of mine and I even changed the words to the old Beach Boys song, "Wouldn't it be Nice" from,

"Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long"


"Wouldn't it be nice if we were crippled
and we didn't have to go outside"

But, even then, I couldn't have averaged more than four hours a day. I would make resolutions to, say, watch all of the "Star Wars" trilogy or the entire "Dukes of Hazzard" marathon, but I never followed through. It was just impossible. I think the most television I ever watched was my last vacation to California, at the ol' family home, where I discovered there is now an entire channel devoted to real estate deals. Real estate! Can you believe it? Fascinating. I couldn't walk away. Someone finally convinced me I needed to sleep. It was like it just hypnotized me.

That must be it. Everyone is just hypnotized. Beware!

I've been reading this horror novel, Drood, that deals a lot with hypnotism, except he describes it as, "magnetism," as though the magnetic field in your body had something to do with it... and then there's Nikken, but that's another story.

(Afterthought: it just wouldn't be complete without TV.)


  1. I remember hearing about another study some time ago, that tried to determine how much of that time people were actually watching the TV, as opposed to just having it on in the background. The answer was that most people were engaged in other activities while the TV was on, and the most popular activity was reading.

  2. I still have and use my Nikken mattress. Or should I admit to that?

  3. We leave the television on most of the time (with the sound off), because the picture takes about half an hour to get in focus. If we were monitored, they'd think that there are 2 people here who watch TV about 12 hours a day. In fact, I watch 2 or 3 shows in the evening to unwind, so my stat is more like 2.5 hours.

  4. I hardly watch any TV at all, I guess that would make me unpatriotic, but I make up for it by watching the Colbert Report when I do watch TV.

  5. I don't know how to read and watch TV. Knit, yes. But how do you really concentrate on two things at once?

    Kathleen, you're getting very personal!

    I don't watch TV much either. I don't even watch the Colbert Rapport. I guess it's just because I hate America.

  6. Just kidding. I love America. (I'm not sure if everyone gets my sarcasm in the first comment.)