Nike has sold billions of dollars of shoes and apparel with its brilliant Just Do It campaign. The problem is that most of the people that buy Nike stuff are watching a scant few people Just Do It.
How many people have become better athletes by watching Sunday NFL? How may people become best selling authors by watching more TV? Or learn to play the piano? Or learn a second language? Or become accomplished artists? Or better business professionals? Or started their own company?
We have become the “Just Watch It” nation, sitting on our couches eating chips. Watching others do great things is the national pastime. I think it’s the great evil; unfortunately, it is easier to watch now that ever before. There are hundreds of channels. DVRs record all your favorites. If you forget to record it, it usually comes on again, or is available On Demand, or on Netflix, or Hulu, or at RedBox. If you miss the game, ESPN will talk about it all week, so that you can catch up before the next match. All you have to do is use your precious time to Just Watch It.
Consider these stats (Source: BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co. 2013):
|Total Use of Television||Data|
|Average time spent watching television (U.S.)||5:11 hours / day|
|Years the average person will have spent watching TV||9 years / lifetime|
|Family Television Statistics|
|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 %|
|Child Television Statistics|
|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 violent acts seen on TV by age 18||150,000|
|Number of 30 second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child||16,000|
Nine years of the average life sitting and watching TV! My favorite stat in the table is that kids spend 30% more time watching TV than they invest in school. If you want to make more of your life, putting yourself on a TV consumption diet has to be top of the list. How you invest your time is crucial. If you find the will power to pull back on TV, please don’t substitute with low-value internet surfing like Facebook!
As I’ve pointed out many time in the past, the first step to changing any habit is keeping a journal, no matter if you are trying to eat better, reduce how much you complain, or reduce your TV consumption. Then, the ultimate next step is to use all that newfound time in a positive way, and that takes planning.
Are you going to go along with the herd or are you going to transform yourself from Just Watch It to Just Do It?
No one on their death bed wished that they had watched more television.
I.M. Optimism Man