Friday, September 22, 2006

The Times They Are A-Wastin'

We all find ways to waste time.

Maybe you daydream about exciting vacations, lost loves, or good desserts. You might gossip with a friend about another friends—who you call, in turn, to gossip about the first friend.

Some of you even find yourselves reading blog posts about ways to waste time.

All these things added up, though, aren’t matching the appetite Americans continue to have for television programming despite all the new media. According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, we are watching the boob tube more and more.

I’ll admit to watching more TV than ever before. Most of it serves as nothing more than interesting background noise while I write, however, and only a few current programs capture any of my attention.

So I was shocked to read that the average household had the TV on almost eight and quarter hours per day during the 2005-06 season—increasing three minutes from the year before and up a stunning 59 minutes per day from ten years ago.

And we wonder why we’re becoming more obese as a nation.

If television if this addictive, let’s use the technology to our advantage. We have iPods with video now … so why not have a TV headset that puts a hands-free screen about 12 inches in front of your face.

This way, you can go for a walk, a jog, or a workout without missing your favorite show. Even better, we'll make it waterproof to enable swimmers to get their fix while exercising.

I’m slowly becoming convinced we should watch the tube while driving, too, because the drivers in this area can’t get much worse anyway. And who knows, if we replace all the distractions like eating, drinking, cell phone-talking, and CD-swapping with a projected TV image on the windshield, at least drivers will be looking forward. The roads might actually become safer.

Especially if they’re watching Cops.

P.S. While we’re on the subject of television, please take time after you leave a comment here to check out my guest post about the show Lost over at Janet’s site, The Art of Getting By. It’s one of the better blogs out there—and I believed that even before she stooped so low as to let me write something for her. Enjoy.


At September 22, 2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Ben replied to my musings ...

I'm turning into a couch obsessed vegetable listening to music. God knows what would happen if I turned the TV on.

Couch blogging has also set a dangerous precedent. I have to balance TV dinner and laptop on my knees. Last week I stuck my knife and fork in the K and S keys.

At September 22, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger BV replied to my musings ...

God, I'm lucky if I catch an hour a day. I don't have a tv in my room either, which really helps.

At September 22, 2006 2:31 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A replied to my musings ...

I guess I'm not your average American, I watch one hour a week (House) and that's it. My son however, watches several hours a day.

I do however like to watch movies (Netflix rocks)

I'll head over and check out your guest post.

At September 22, 2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

hey I admit it I am a tv junky! Love my television would be lost without it, and can't even believe those people who don't have cable. I love my shows and won't miss them haha :)

You should copyright your ideas!

At September 22, 2006 4:45 PM, Anonymous Lynn replied to my musings ...

Here's your TV headset

I can't imagine what people are watching all that time. The Internet is much more interesting.

At September 22, 2006 6:12 PM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

The windshield thing would be cool but I'd wreck for sure, at least while channel surfing.

At September 22, 2006 8:33 PM, Blogger MIA replied to my musings ...

I missed you, thanks for making me laugh!!! Ok, i like watching cops. don't tell ANYONE

At September 22, 2006 9:06 PM, Blogger Miss Hobby replied to my musings ...

I'm one of those people who doesn't have cable. But I still have the tv on the entire time I'm home. Nearly 20 hours a day if I'm not working. I have to have the noise. I can tell you what was on today because I heard the intro music, but I couldn't tell you what any of the shows were about.

And there are probably more people out there like me driving those survey ratings up and making the normal television viewing world look so bad.

I'm sorry.

At September 22, 2006 9:12 PM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

I have always watched more tv that I should, but I do find I multitask more often than not these days. For whatever reason, very few shows warrant my undivided attention.

TV's in the car though seem as handy as skiing and doing your taxes.

Thanks again for guesting! :)

At September 23, 2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Or, we could just turn off the TV and talk to a real live person...

No, wait, that could lead to INTIMACY!

At September 23, 2006 1:25 PM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

I have little spates, I will watch TV every day for a few weeks and then totally not bother at all for another few weeks.

As for all the top shows, I always forget when they are on so tend to miss them anyway :\

At September 23, 2006 6:19 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Ben: That explains the delicious smells of your posts.

BV: You're keeping the US average from getting into double figures. Thank you.

BarBarA: The figure given in the report is per household, not per person--so these things add up.

Phats: If I had a nickel for every good idea I'd had that somebody else turned into a millions dollars, well ... I'd have about one nickel.

Lynn: I love it! And I agree; I don't know what is so fascinating about most of the crap that i flip by when I do turn the TV on.

OMW: Yeah, I guess flipping channels would be a problem. Maybe only speed racing woudl be allowed on-screen.

Mia: It's nice to be misseed ... thank you! And don't worry, NOBODY WILL KNOW YOUR SECRET!

Miss Hobby: That's how I am much of the time. If it's not my iPod, I often have music channels (on cable) or old episodes of Cosmos on in the background. Yeah, I'm so cool.

Janet: Multitasking rocks, it's how I've gotten by so far in life. And it was my pleasure to guest post for you.

ZW: Face-to-face interaction?!? Yikes--that's what drives most people to TV in the first place!

Pixie: Binge watching, eh? The first step is admitting that you have a problem ...

-- david

At September 24, 2006 8:35 AM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

The real answer is to take it back out of a 24-7 existence. When people can't have instant gratification at their leisure, when they realize that you have to be planted somewhere at home to talk on the phone without so much freaking choice and overstimulation, maybe they'll calm the hell down. Maybe. Everyone puts too much self-worth on themselves they martyr themselves whenever something is inconvenient. I thought about that once when I was screaming at the traffice because it was making me late for a job I hated anyway!

At September 24, 2006 9:51 AM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

I hate TV because of the commercials. I usually watch something off of my DVR while working out.

At September 24, 2006 1:56 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

I am a lot like Pixie in that I will watch tons of Tv for awhile and then not watch any for a period of time. I guess that I am one of those all or nothing type people.

At September 25, 2006 8:37 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

I love TV. But the introduction of netflix has put it on an all new level...all the shows I never cared to watch before keep the Antidote and I glued to the TV every night. *SIGH* We are products of the TV generation I guess!

At September 25, 2006 2:11 PM, Blogger Cinderella replied to my musings ...

I think I blog more then I watch t.v. Have they taken a blog poll yet? =P

At September 25, 2006 2:41 PM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

I guess I'm not average either. I watch hockey on TV, not much more...hubby watches Speed and Spike, but we're usually working, not watching tv :/

At September 25, 2006 3:43 PM, Blogger Paige Burns replied to my musings ...

Without DVR I'd never actually sit down to watch TV. The boys flip (it has to be a genetic guy thing) through Cartoon Network, Nick, and Disney, unless their playing video games on the XBOX.

When I do get to watch the DVR it's for a few hrs at a time, marathoning the TV shows I tape.

Now that it's actually livable outside though, the TV time for the boys is getting drastically reduced...mmmmuuuaaahhh.

At September 25, 2006 4:48 PM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

It's called the "dumbing down of America".

Distract the masses so they won't pay attention to their corrupt government.

Just saying.

At September 25, 2006 6:25 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

I watch tv at night(6pm on); mostly network shows, except during the summer, when I watch baseball every night. It helps to have the MLB package on my cable system. I'm also hooked on those crime shows on A & E. and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, too.

At September 25, 2006 6:49 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

Hi David,
Janet’s site is top notch ~ Thanks for the recommendation. I love the diner menu format! I'll take a burger and shake with that post.

Wasting time? I guess, but sometimes the journey is the destination. I like the idea of watching television while driving, or better yet playing video games like Grand-Theft Auto X... 20 points for the lady with the iPod.

At September 25, 2006 7:17 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Ray: Maybe. I'd like to think so, but I think people will always find something to freak out about.

Grafs, Paige: I have never used or even seen a DVR. I guess I don't care enough about TV, but it seems to make more sense than channel-flipping.

Fuzz: As long as you recover from your binges, it's all well.

Curare: I am resisting Netflix as long as I can.

Cinderella, DaBich: We are in the minority. Fight the power.

Laurie: The only flaw in your logic is that the TV industry is overwhelmingly liberal. But it's close to the Romans and their circuses ...

Bruce: I haven't seen Olberman since he left SportsCenter. But he was one of my favorites then.

GW: Here in the DC area, driving seems like a video game--on the Beltway, it's like a racing game.

-- david

At September 25, 2006 11:53 PM, Blogger X. Dell replied to my musings ...

I'm waiting for engineers to develop a direct cable feed to the cerebrum.

At September 26, 2006 6:33 AM, Blogger goldennib replied to my musings ...

I must have sqewed the numbers. After years of being a TV baby, I've begun keeping it off and even turning it off. I'm finding it's constant whine irritating.

At September 26, 2006 5:00 PM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

Wow, that is a lot of TV a day. I rarely watch TV and when I do the majority of the time it's the news or sports. I don't really watch any TV shows besides a select few. Now that I'm in college it's definitely on a lot but when I'm home in the summer it's probably only on an hour or two a day.

At September 26, 2006 7:27 PM, Blogger Beth replied to my musings ...

Eight hours a day? Don't these people have jobs? lives? friends and family? Now I don't feel so bad about my four hours last Thursday ... nah, that's still pretty bad.

At September 26, 2006 10:22 PM, Blogger Minka replied to my musings ...

I don´t have a TV. It is true. Bet you are shocked now:)

Wasting time? I think it is hard to define.
Grandma once told me that there was this whole thing about people getting worried when books became available for teh masses. People would just sit down and read and not move or do anything.
Our Intelligence level is going up, school children can read befor etehy enter school, cognitive abilitie sare gettign better...
computer games, Tv and even books have ot do with that. Maybe -in the grand sceme of things we werenæt meant to be helathy, skinny jogging cretaures, but floating heads attache dto a computerized body!
Just sayin´!

At September 27, 2006 8:27 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

X Dell: I have a hard enough time with cable going out to my TV--I don't want to risk it going out as it feeds into my brain.

GoldenNib: People often say the same thng about my constant whining.

Jeff, Beth: Remember, that's HOUSEHOLD time, so it includes total time that anyone in the house has a TV on. For the average individual, the figure is "only" a few hours.

Minka: I'm not shocked as much as impressed. According to the logic described by your grandmother, I suppose any innovation since fire is a step toward human laziness.

-- david

At October 02, 2006 7:37 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

And, by the way, thanks for everyone for visiting Janet's site!

-- david


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