Something has been playing in the back of my mind lately: television. To be honest, I think there is too much of it in my household. It’s noisy, unproductive and is physically changing my brain. Yup… that last one is scary.

So I have been looking into what TV actually does to the brain and the rest of the body and have come up with some pretty intimidating facts. I’m rather tempted to throw my television out now.

I began researching the effects of television after becoming a little concerned about the effects of screen time on my brain. I knew it would be bad for my health. Sitting still and mentally numbing myself out whilst I watch TV could not be good for me. Any of me. It’s a bizarre society we live in when we sit down after working for someone else, only to turn on the TV and watch someone else live their lives. Sound depressing? That’s because it is.

Today is a day I will not get back. Every moment I spend on the couch or in front of the TV is one I will never get back. Those people out there achieving their dreams and goals? Not on the couch.

It robs you of precious time

Did you know that the average American spends nearly 5 hours a day in front of the television? Being in nursing, I am often faced with the issue of morbidity and death. Naturally by dealing with death frequently, we think of it frequently. I have been thinking to myself, ‘if I die, what have I done?’. The answer? Not much. The reason is that we waste 35 hours per week in front of the idiot box watching others live their lives and achieve their dreams. I could die in a car crash tomorrow because some jerk t-boned me, but hey! It’s okay because I just finished watching Grey’s Anatomy!

TV lowers your attention span

You know how kids just cannot seem to pay attention these days? Or perhaps yourself? An Iowa State University study has found that children who watch 2 hours of television per day are twice as likely to have attention span problems. The problem with this? Most children’s average television and video game use is about 4.26 hours per day. The brain accommodates to a high stimuli environment and therefore struggles to pay attention during class from just 2 hours in front of the TV.

It makes you fat

Lets go back to the nearly 5 hours of television watching per day. This is 5 hours you could be moving, exercising or pottering around the house and back yard. With obesity rates at an all time high, many don’t exercise regularly with the excuse that they don’t have time. Well guys, I think I just found some time. Think this is just about yourself? Nope. Children with too much screen time are less active and are viewing a lot more advertisements including junk food  advertisements.

It makes you unhappy in your relationships

Now this one I have been saying for ages! A study conducted in 2012 found ‘the more an individual believed in the television romance, the higher people believed their relationship costs were’. The more enthralled you are with the relationship on a television show, the more likely you are to be unhappy in your relationship. I wonder how many couples would be happier without TV in their lives?

After all my research, I have really cut down on my TV viewing and what I do view, I find really unappealing. Thoughts have been crossing my mind to stop watching TV altogether for a while to see how my life improves in regards to productivity, mood, weight, satisfaction and accomplishments. Do you think I can go a year without it?

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