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If you haven’t cut the cord on cable TV, you should

TV Usage Statistics[edit]

Hours of TV Usage by Country

  • 2011 average time spent watching television in the U.S.: 4:53
  • 2011 average time spent watching television in Italy: 4:13
  • 2011 average time spent watching television in the UK: 4:02
  • 2011 average time spent watching television in Germany: 3:45
  • 2011 average time spent watching television in China: 2:43
  • 2011 average time spent watching television in India: 1:59

ref: (Source: BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co. Date Verified: 2.7.2012)

  • Average time spent watching television (U.S.) 5:11 hours
  • Years the average person will have spent watching TV 9 years
  • Percentage of households that possess at least one television 99 %
  • Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household 2.24
  • Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets 65 %
  • Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner 67 %
  • Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV 56 %
  • Number of videos rented daily in the U.S. 6 million
  • Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV 49 %

Children and Television

  • Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television 1,480
  • Percent of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, * preferred television 54 %
  • Hours per year the average American youth spends in school 900 hours
  • Hours per year the average American youth watches television 1,200
  • Number of 30 second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child 16,000

One of the worst things you can do for your child is to aid and abet a lifelong addiction to television by putting a TV in their room. This not only promotes excessive television watching (an antisocial behaviour by default), it promotes entirely solitary, unregulated television consumption.

TV Health Effects[edit]

Harvard Gazette "Prolonged television viewing linked to increased health risks" In a 2011 meta-analysis, television use was linked linearly with incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality risk was found to increase for regular viewers after the level of 3 hours daily. "Too Much TV Viewing Linked to Weight Gain"

ScienceDaily (2013.02.18) “Office Workers Beware: Sitting Time Associated With Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases” “Sitting disease by the numbers”

Focal Upright Furniture “Are You At Risk for Sitting Disease?”

TV Financial Effects[edit]

TV Advertisements[edit]

Significant quantities of money are expended by highly intelligent people in the quest to convince you that you want or need the product they are selling. People spend 4+ years completing undergraduate degrees in advertising; they know all sorts of things about human psychology that you probably don’t, and they are trained to specifically exploit this fact. You do not want to tangle with these people.

But if you watch television, you likely do! And quite a lot: if you watch TV for the US average of five hours(!) per day, and advertisements are gracing your screen for one-third of that time, you are voluntarily subjecting yourself to marketing materials for 100 minutes per day. If each advertisement is around 30 seconds, that’s 200 advertisements; by the end of the year, you will have seen a full 73,000 targeted marketing messages, many of them repeated hundreds or thousands of times.

Advertisements influence consumer behaviour and drive sales. How do I know this? Because companies continue to spend billions of dollars per year on advertising! Advertising during the 2013 Super Bowl alone cost a quarter of a billion dollars just to air, not including the massive sums spent on producing the ads themselves. Samsung is spending $4 BILLION this year to convince you to buy its smartphones; Coca Cola spends $3 billion a year, while Apple, HP, Dell, and Microsoft spend a cool billion each. If advertising didn’t work, then Coca Cola wouldn’t spend more on advertising than it does on manufacturing and distribution.

Even if you believe that advertisements have no effect on your spending habits (extremely unlikely), paying to sit and watch advertisements still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Sure, technology now allows you to record a show and leave out or fast-forward through the commercials, but this comes in the form of a device or a service that costs additional money and it doesn’t help at all when you’re watching live TV. Only by opting out of TV can you opt out of this advertising.

TV Costs[edit]

Report On Average Rates for Cable Programming Service And Equipment (2012) via:

If wasting your irreplaceable time wasn't reason enough to get rid of cable TV, the financial costs should be. A 2012 report by the FCC found that the average household spends $54.44 per month on expanded basic cable. With a relatively short financial independence horizon of 20 years, the 7% rate of return Future Value Factor (FVF) of 500 creates a 20-year shortfall of over $27,000; for the typical 45-year worker, the monthly FVF of 3,500 yields a shortfall of $190,000. This number doesn’t include taxes, fees, or the cost of renting or buying equipment (TV, cable box, digital video recorder, AV receiver, etc). It also doesn’t include the productivity and life experience lost to passive entertainment, the health lost to a sedentary lifestyle, or the money lost to changes in purchasing habits driven by constant exposure to advertisements.