When Do You Know if You're Watching Too Much TV?

Monday, January 03, 2011 - 12:45 PM

Family watching television in 1958. (National Archives)

When you watch television for the same amount of hours as you put into a full-time job, it might be time to rethink the situation. Today's stat about TV-watching got us thinking about what happens to someone when they watch this much TV: 34 hours a week, according to Nielsen data.

But is this much time in front of the tube that bad for you? Not according to author Steven Johnson, who we're reaching out to for tomorrow's show.

He argues in one of his books, "Everything Bad is Good for You," that today's TV watcher has to do more "cognitive work" than the people who consumed television in the time of "The Love Boat" and "I Love Lucy."

We've been asking people to complete this sentence: "You know you're watching too much TV when..."

Here's what you've told us so far:

We have two shows recording while watching another program. We also record programs all day long (soaps) to watch when we get off work. The TV goes on when we get home at 6 PM and gets turned off around 1 AM, (6 AM till 8:30AM for morning shows), Monday thru Friday. On the weekends TV's are on from 6 AM till 12:30AM. You could say we love our TV's. Did I say we are not couch potatoes. We have exercise equipment in the main TV room with chairs. No couch. The bedrooms all have TV's with also in the bathrooms and other areas also. Outside around the pool area there is a 20 by 28 foot LED display system at the pool area. In total 14 TV's inside the house which two are 3D's.
—Gary Michaels, Miami Beach, Fla.

You can name more of the families who live on Wisteria Lane than in your own neighborhood.
—John Manrique, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla

You respond to everything with a TV line.
—Atlanta, Ga.

You can quote every commercial and know every jingle Or then the networks call you when you have stopped watching them.
—Denver, Colo.

You try to remember which episode of house MD, American Dad or Family Guy you watched on Fox, USA, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, TBS or Hulu.
—Justin Winbolt, Enid, Okla.

I justify "just one more episode" that way I can send this disk back to Netflix to get the next one on the way to me before Sunday slows it down.
—Parksley, Va.

You're excited to see a good rerun.
—Jersey City, NJ

You've even watched a reality show.
—New York, NY

You record daytime television.
—Columbia, SC

Your ass falls asleep and it hurts to get up.
—Mariana Rubio, Eden Prairie, Minn.

You sing in harmony with advert jingles

You're fat!
—Providence, RI

You're looking up statistics on watching TV.
—Ramsey, NJ

And, on Facebook:

  • B.J. O'Shea As someone who doesn't, I know I'm watching tv too much when I actually understand the pop culture references my friends talk about.
  • Dave Potts What is this "TV" you speak of?
  • Brandon Bowman ‎...when I find myself watching something that I didn't previously plan to watch. However, a DVR and Netflix goes a long ways towards eliminating this problem...
  • Darren Maloney When potential baby names you are considering include: Snooki and The Situation.
  • Kris Martin your ass is sprouting roots into the couch.
  • Suzanne Joblonski You can't name the last book you read.
  • Liz Hanes-Moreiras you think you are actually related to the cast of "Modern Family"...
  • Rebecca Janes you start dreaming commercials


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Comments [7]

Ed Minor

You know that you are watching too much tv when members of whitedot.org picket outside your house.

Jan. 06 2011 11:51 AM
Dewey from Cyberspace

You're contacted by Nielsen to join their TV panel...and say no, because they have to turn off your TVs to connect the meter.

Jan. 04 2011 12:34 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

You know you're watching too much TV when you find the teens on Skins or 90210 to be an adequate substitute for not having actual kids of your own.

Jan. 04 2011 10:15 AM
Mike from Nashville

when your Comcast bill is almost as much as your electric bill.

Jan. 04 2011 10:04 AM
Esin from Brooklyn

when you wake up in the morning and the first thought come to your mind is how rescue Olivia who trapped in the other universe (Fringe).

Jan. 04 2011 09:04 AM
Esin from Brooklyn

when you wake up in the morning and the first thought come to your mind is how rescue Olivia who trapped in the other universe (Fringe).

Jan. 04 2011 09:01 AM
jeannie from boston, ma

You make a resolution to STOP watching so much tv!

Jan. 03 2011 06:31 PM

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